EWON can investigate complaints about land and supply issues, including:
- the quality of the electricity, gas and water supply
- damage or loss as a result of an event on the network
Concerns about the quality of supply can include electricity voltage variations and low gas pressure. We have received complaints about the taste or colour of drinking water and these concerns may be referred to NSW Health. Interruptions to supply can occur as a normal part of the network’s operation, and usually only cause minor inconvenience to customers. However if you believe your provider was responsible for damage to your property or household appliances, loss of food or any other loss, contact your provider first to discuss the event. Generally, your provider will ask you fill out a form or submit your claim in writing. If you are not satisfied with your provider's response, you can ask us to review your case.
Low gas pressure interfered with use of gas appliances
Cynthia experiences an intermittent gas supply which prevents her from using her gas heater during winter and causes interruption to her hot water service. When she first noticed the problem Cynthia engaged a private plumber who was unable to locate any leaks or corrosion that could indicate a cause for the low pressure inside her house. Cynthia also contacted her retailer several times to report her concerns and although technicians had come to inspect her supply on several occasions, they had been unable to identify a problem. Cynthia was not satisfied with her retailer's response and contacted us for assistance.
During our investigation, the distributor measured the gas pressure coming in to the property at the meter. The results showed that there was no issue with a pressure at that point. , This indicated a possible problem with Cynthia's installation. We advised Cynthia of the information provided by the distributor and Cynthia engaged another plumber to check her appliances. The plumber discovered that the regulator built in to the gas oven had disintegrated and once this was replaced, the gas pressure returned to normal.
Power interruption beyond the distributor's control
Stephen experienced a power outage of approximately one hour, after which his house alarm no longer worked. He submitted a claim to the distributor however they denied his claim and he lodged a complaint with us.
Our investigation established that the outage was the result of a motor vehicle hitting a power pole and NSW Police confirmed they had a record of this. We advised Stephen that it appeared that the event was beyond the reasonable control of the distributor and he can consider approaching his insurance company for assistance. .
Customer claims for computer damage following blackout
Celine was using her computer when a blackout occurred. When power was restored, her computer no longer worked. She took it to a repairer, who advised that the computer was beyond repair and that she should consider buying a new computer. Celine submitted a claim to the distributor for the cost of a new computer. The distributor denied Celine's claim and she contacted EWON in relation to the matter.
Our investigation indicated that the outage was the result of an automated protection operation on the network which was triggered by a possum coming into contact with the power lines. The distributor advised us that this is a routine safety function which typically does not adversely affect household appliances.
Given the circumstances, we concluded that the distributor’s denial of Celine's claim appeared reasonable. We recommended that Celine approach her insurance company. We also recommended that she considers installing equipment such a surge protector.
Change in policy about planned electricity outages
Joe lives in a rural area and is accustomed to two or three planned power outages per year. The distributor in his area would contact him about the outages, allowing him time to prepare and work around them. However his distributor's recent change of policy meant that he would no longer be personally notified about planned outages.
He contacted his distributor to discuss his concerns but was informed that the notification service was no longer part of their business operations. Joe had several discussions with the distributor but was not satisfied with their response and made a complaint to us.
We contacted the distributor who advised that they had changed their policy. The distributor now advertises planned interruptions in the local newspaper as the population in the area had expanded and they considered it was no longer feasible to do a letter drop or contact individuals by phone.
Following further consultation with us, the distributor agreed that their policy needed to be amended to incorporate advance warning of the outages to rural customers in similar situations to Joe.
Distributor delay leaves customer without gas
Daniel relies on gas for his cooking and hot water. Over the period of a month, Daniel experienced four gas outages. Each time he contacted the gas provider, they visited the following day, inspected the pipes and told him that there was water trapped inside the gas pipes under his street and they would fix the problem.
After the fourth outage, Daniel was without gas for two days. As the repairers had not arrived and the gas provider had not returned his call, he contacted us for assistance.
We contacted his provider who confirmed that the problem was related to a water leak in the gas pipe that supplies Daniel's property.
The provider organised for urgent repairs and the pipes were fixed within two days. They credited Daniel's account with $48 for the supply fees from the previous quarter, in recognition of the outages he had suffered and the extended delay in repairing the pipe.