Horizon Power has attributed a string of power failures in Kununurra last week to varying causes including vandalism, wildlife, extreme weather and cars colliding with power poles.
Six outages ranging from 30 minutes to two hours occurred over eight days at the end of September.
Horizon Power said it was still investigating the outages but the causes included factors it could not control.
“A number of the recent power interruptions were as a result of circumstances beyond Horizon Power’s control, such as adverse weather conditions, motor collisions with power poles, wildlife coming into contact with powerlines and acts of vandalism on electrical infrastructure,” a spokeswoman for the supplier said.
Stitched Up Embroidery owner Danee Fincke said the blackouts were affecting her business.
“When the power goes out, my business grinds to a screaming halt,” she said.
“It’s not just the annoyance, though, of having to reboot several computers more than once in an afternoon, it’s the potential damage to equipment. I now have a rather expensive UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system installedthat isolates my big machine fromthe general power but my three computers and other electrical equipment remain vulnerable.”
The Bangle Business owner Elise Petty said she had contacted politicians seeking more information about how to improve reliability.
“The unreliability of the power supply impacts us in terms of keeping the shop air-conditioned, you need lighting and access to EFTPOS,” Mrs Petty said.
“I also run an online business, it means my orders aren’t getting through, it affects your banking, it affects your business in every possible aspect.
“It’s just been a nightmare.” Horizon Power said it was working to improve the service.
“Horizon Power strives to continually improve the reliability and quality of supply to all of our customers and has ongoing maintenance and programs of work in place,” a spokeswoman said.
“Works include replacing of ageing equipment and checking and recalibration of high voltage equipment.”
The company said customers could be eligible for compensation if the outage was caused by Horizon Power, but not if it was attributed to events beyond their control.
Claim forms for compensation must be submitted to Horizon Power within 30 days of the unplanned power cut.
They are available from the company’s website, from the Kununurra office or by calling 1800 267 926.
Wyndham was not affected because it has a back-up power station.There were 14 power outages in Kununurra during the 2011 to 2012 financial year.