Lights on for future of power

Lights still on in Gnarabup

Lights still on in Gnarabup

Last week's super storm and subsequent loss of power left most of the region in the dark for around 24 hours, but a handful of future-focused residents say they barely noticed the interruption thanks to innovative new technology.

The Plico Energy program has been taken up by a number of households across the South West, including Margaret River and Dunsborough.

When the lights went out last week, Plico spokesperson Fiona Edwards said the disruption to their Gnarabup home was minimal.

"We didn't even notice, until my daughter who was baking cookies at the time mentioned that the oven had switched off," she explained.

"I went outside and realised we were the only house for ages still lit up - we had lights, internet, tv all on the battery backup system.

"One of our neighbours sent a photo showing our house shining on the hill, which was really cool!"

Mrs Edwards said the lengthly blackouts across WA had led to a spike in inquiries from home and business owners from as far north as Geraldton, keen to establish a secondary power backup.

"There are also businesses realising the benefit of not having that interruption to trade - if a store can remain open and trading when others are closed, that's clearly going to benefit them. What if you're a dentist halfway through a crown, it's very difficult to say to a patient - sorry, we can't continue until tomorrow.

"People can also continue to work from home without much hassle."

Creator of the project Brian Innes said households could have a solar and battery storage system installed for under $40 per week.

"This means they can power their house during the day directly from the sun and store the energy for use at night, ending their reliance on traditional coal powered fossil fuels," Mr Innes said.

"Over 20 years we will halve the energy costs of our Plico members with the savings increasing over time but they will see the impact on their bill from day one."