230 volt transition
The Queensland Government recently confirmed a change in voltage from 240 volts to 230 volts (V) across the state.
Before this change was made, a trial was carried out in 2016 in seven areas across the state. The trial included around 8,000 customers to test the benefits and impacts for you and our network.
The trial results indicated a variety of benefits linked with switching from 240V to 230V.
Why are we doing this?
Queensland is one of the last areas where low voltage (LV) supply is still supplied at 240V1. Most of the world and other Australian states (except Western Australia) use the international standard2 of 230V (+10/-6%) introduced in 2000.
Also, the high number of solar PV connections in regional Queensland has increased our network voltages, so switching to 230V will help improve this.
There shouldn’t be any negative effects from this voltage change as all equipment and appliances manufactured since 2000 and retailing in Australia are manufactured to the 230V standard.
What are the benefits?
The expected benefits of changing to the 230V standard include:
- Alignment with international standards
- Wider allowable voltage band on our network, meaning we can save money on expensive network upgrades
- Ability to connect more micro embedded generating units (e.g. solar PV and batteries) to our network in future.
Where was the trial?
We chose seven network feeders to be part of the trial with different features in the following urban and rural areas:
- Goldsmith Street feeder (Mackay)
- Louisa Creek feeder (Mackay/ Sarina)
- Hardy Road feeder (Cairns)
- Serene Valley feeder (Townsville)
- Mt Lofty feeder (Toowoomba)
- Brigalow feeder (Chinchilla/Jandowae)
- Boulia network (isolated community).
When was the trial?
The trial commenced late in 2015 and included data collection, analytics and monitoring. Network modelling and analysis took place in 2016 to help us identify what changes are needed prior to a change to network voltage.
The results of the network modelling and analysis contributed to the Queensland Government’s Regulatory Impact Statement into Queensland’s statutory voltage limits which opened for public comment in April 2017.
The trial was deemed a success, and we will now commence working with the Queensland Government, Energex, and our customers on a plan to switch to 230V across the state.
Will we need access to your premises?
We will not require access to your premises as any changes made will be carried out on the network.
Will it affect solar PV systems?
The switch to 230V shouldn’t have negative effects on solar PV systems. In fact, it may improve the performance of systems that currently have over-voltage issues.
Please note: We haven’t made any changes to solar PV owner’s connections or wiring.
One of the main reasons we are switching to 230V is to see if it will help our network support more connections of micro embedded generating units (eg solar PV and batteries) in future.
What if I have a three phase connection?
If you have a three phase connection the voltage switch will be from 415V to 400V.
Will I have voltage issues?
We don’t expect you’ll have any voltage issues, but things to watch for include:
- dim lights
- slower cooking times
- appliances running slow
- a high number of blown light bulbs
- your PV inverter switching off.
If you experience any of these please contact us on 13 22 96 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) to raise a Quality of Supply Enquiry. We will then investigate the voltage issues at your premises.