WESTERN Power has offered a former Bassendean business owner an $80 inconvenience payment, despite a $4000 loss in stock after a 36-hour power outage last month.
Mel Ellis who owned the Lenard’s Chicken Bassendean and owns Lenard’s Ellenbrook was one of two butchers who together lost about $19,000 worth of stock due to power outages.
She and The Swiss Butcher owner Reto Abplanalp are calling for quicker notifications from Western Power in order to prepare for emergencies as well as better compensation.
Both butchers based in the Bassendean Shopping Centre on Old Perth Road went 36 hours without power on January 13.
The Swiss Butcher also lost power for three hours on February 16.
A Western Power spokeswoman said the outages were caused by an unusual weather pattern and a pole-top fire.
“Western Power responded to outages in Bassendean on the February 16, which began at around 3pm and homes were restored from 6pm that night,” she said.
“All customers were restored by 11.20pm after we sent extra crews to work into the night; at the peak of the outage, 1400 homes and business were without power.
“The cause was a pole, which had been damaged by a small pole-top fire, and had to be replaced; this typically takes at least five hours to complete.”
The spokeswoman said Western Power prioritised safety of workers and customers which caused delays in restoring power.
She said extended outages payments were an acknowledgement of inconvenience and would not necessarily cover the losses incurred.
“Compensation is available for customers who have been without power for more than 12 hours through the State Government’s extended outages scheme, which can be accessed through the Western Power website,” she said.
“We also encourage customers to contact their insurer about food spoilage cover.”
Mr Abplanalp said he could not save the majority of his meats during the outage in January, which resulted in a loss of about $14,800.
“My dry stock was all right but there were other things that were just no good; it was just the small goods that do not have a lot of preservatives in it,” he said.
“Basically, I do have some generators like single phase but if we do know that the power is going to be out for a long period, we would hire a big generator and get an electrician wired up.”
Mr Abplanalp said his insurance company only covered for motor breakdowns.
Lenard’s Ellenbrook owner Mel Ellis, who closed her Bassendean store this month, said she managed to save a lot of stock by transferring it to her Ellenbrook store.
“You cannot operate a whole business with 36 hours without power,” she said.