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EWON can help if you have a complaint about your electricity, gas or water connection – this could relate to problems experienced with getting a new connection or to an issue with an existing connection. We can investigate your complaint, try to negotiate between you and your supplier, provide new connection advice and referral information.

Please note the following:

Electricity connections 
New connections – Depending on where you live, and whether you are classified as an urban or rural customer, or a developer, you may be liable for the costs of connecting or extending the network to your property, and ongoing maintenance or upgrade costs

Gas connections
New connections – In areas where supply is not currently available, you may have to pay for the costs of extending the existing network to your property. If the new connection requires a main road to be excavated to connect your property to the gas mains under the street, this can incur additional charges.

Unwanted existing connections – If you have a gas connection but are no longer using gas and want to avoid liability for any Service Available Charge (SAC) from a retailer, your options depend on whether you are a tenant or a home owner.

Tenants: From 31 January 2011, the landlord is now responsible for paying the supply fee in these circumstances. It is now a term of the Standard Form Agreement that the landlord agrees to pay all charges for the availability of gas to the residential premises if the tenant does not use gas supplied to the premises for any purpose.

Home owners have two options available:

Permanent disconnection: In this case the actual meter is left on the site but is disconnected. The gas distributor continues to read the meter for safety, however, the meter is removed from the market and no SAC is applied. The gas can be reconnected at a later time by contacting a retailer to establish an account. This will then generates a service order to have the site reconnected. Charges apply.

Decommissioning or relinquishing a site: In this case the supply is disconnected and the meter is removed. The meter is then deactivated in the market and no SAC is applied. If you wish to connect gas at the property in the future, you will need to apply for a brand new connection.

Please note that charges apply for permanent disconnection and decommissioning, however, permanent disconnection is the cheaper option and is more easily reversible.

Water connections
New connections – For new developments and connections you may have to pay a developer charge, which can sometimes run into tens of thousands of dollars.

Case studies

Water rates charged before the connection was complete

Denise is building a duplex with another party. Although they have received a strata title classification, the units are not completed and the water is not connected to the property. As such, Denise feels that the water company should not have started charging them for water and sewerage service availability.

Denise contacted her supplier to discuss her concerns and was told that she was liable for the service charges and the supplier had already commenced debt recovery action for the $225 owed to them in charges. Denise contacted EWON to clarify the basis for these charges.

EWON discussed the matter with the supplier. After visiting the site, the supplier agreed that the information Denise had been given was incorrect. They reversed all service charges and confirmed that they would not bill Denise again until construction of the units was completed.

Gas connection charges reduced

Frank contacted his retailer for a gas connection. As it was a non-standard connection, the retailer told him there would be an additional delay in arranging for the connection. He was also quoted $1540 for traffic management costs as he resides on an RTA road, and this would need to be excavated to carry out his connection. However, when the field officers from the gas network company came to the property on the day prior to the installation, they noted that the gas main runs down a side street and that it would not be necessary to come in from the main road.

Frank contacted his retailer to complain that they should have known all along that the mains ran up the side street, which would have reduced the delay, and should also reduce the costs of the traffic management. The retailer said they couldn’t help him, as they were not the owner of the infrastructure, although they had organised for the distributor to carry out the connection.

Frank made a complaint to EWON and following our investigation, the gas network company agreed to waive part of the connection charge.

A tree breaks the overhead power lines to a terrace house

Edwin has a power pole at the front of his house that is very close to a tree. One day a branch fell off the tree and cut the cable that supplies electricity to his house and to several neighbouring properties. The distributor installed a temporary cable to provide emergency power to the properties. Following this they sent Defect Notices to the owners, stating that the temporary cable needed to be replaced with a permanent cable and the work must be undertaken at the owner’s expense. The distributor provided a quote for $1925.00 to undertake the work.

As the tree was on Council land, Edwin had contacted the Council for assistance, but they referred him to his insurance company. The insurance company advised that he that he would need to pay the excess and this would also affect his no claim bonus.

Edwin came to EWON to confirm whether he was in fact responsible for replacing the cable. We explained that while the property owner is responsible for the maintenance of his own service lines, the distributor is responsible for the overhead mains from the network to the first point of attachment on the property (in this case on the bargeboard).

EWON discussed Edwin's installation with the distributor who revised their initial decision and installed a permanent replacement at no cost to Edwin.