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EWON can investigate complaints about:

  • the placement and maintenance of network assets
  • health and safety concerns about any aspect of the network
  • damage to private property caused by network operations
  • vegetation management around power lines
  • the right to acquire easements over private land for network purposes

Case studies

Distributor plans substation outside customer's property

Helen was concerned about the installation of a kiosk type substation near her property. The distributor had notified her of their intentions by letter and she submitted an objection. Helen then observed that the site has been marked out for the erection of the kiosk and became concerned about the aesthetic impact on her property.

Helen submitted a complaint to us and our investigation indicated that the network operator had complied with all the necessary regulations, including the NSW Electricity Supply Act, the NSW State Environment Planning Policy (Infrastructure) (SEPP) and the applicable network standard.

Routine maintenance goes wrong

A distributor carried out routine maintenance work on the water mains in a street near Paula's house. An error was made which resulted in Paula's house being deluged with sewage. Paula could not reach agreement with the distributor about the extent of the damage to her property and she made a complaint to us.

Following our investigation the distributor accepted liability and arranged to accommodate Paula and her family in a hotel while the spill was cleaned. Paula's insurance company paid for the replacement of the carpet and damaged furniture.

Negotiations fall down during an easement acquisition

A distributor planned to run a new 66kV distribution line and required an easement creation over the full length of the southern boundary of Richard's property. The distributor offered Richard $57,500 and advised him that if he didn’t sign the agreement, they would compulsorily acquire the land.

The planned easement required trees to be removed and Richard advised the distributor that he still would need shade for his cattle. The distributor offered to provide shade shelters for the cattle and replace some of the fencing and trees.

Richard agreed with their proposed compensation however the distributor later retracted their offer, advising him they would no longer replace the trees. Richard was concerned about losing his trees and contacted us for help.

We discussed Richard's complaint with the distributor who acknowledged their miscommunication. The distributor apologised in writing to Richard and advised him that they had initiated a review of their internal processes. They reimbursed all Richard's out of pocket expenses relating to the matter, including his solicitor's fees, and applied a $500 goodwill credit to his account to try to restore a more constructive relationship with him.