Before the 1920s, few Melbourne homes used electricity. Not only was the supply unreliable and prices high, but many people feared electrocution. Most people were satisfied with gas, kerosene, coal or firewood for their lighting, heating and cooking needs.
With Yallourn Power Station completed in 1924, the State Electricity Commission of Victoria set to work promoting the use of electricity in the home. Its campaign was a success. By 1950, nearly all Melbourne homes were wired for electricity. Even so, many Melburnians limited their electrical use to lighting and a few small appliances. Only in the 1950s did 'white goods' - electric fridges, washing machines and stoves - become standard household items.