A customer was experiencing sleeping issues due to a noisy transformer (January 2016)

Meters, poles, wires and pipes
Case Number 2015/30208
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Mr R was experiencing sleeping issues caused by a noisy transformer located just outside his bedroom window. He contacted his electricity distributor on 14 July 2015 and advised them that he believed the transformer breached the State Environment Protection Policy (SEPP N1) noise limit, and that he had trouble sleeping because of this. The distributor arranged for an external consultant to undertake a night time noise emission assessment on 28 July 2015. This assessment showed that the noise exceeded the limit and Mr R's distributor acknowledged the complaint was justified. In response to this, it confirmed the transformer would be replaced.

By 22 October, the transformer had not yet been replaced and Mr R contacted EWOV for assistance, wanting the faulty transformer replaced as soon as possible and financial compensation from the distributor for the substantial loss of enjoyment of life.

The Investigation

After speaking with Mr R, EWOV raised an Assisted Referral. However, based on the matters involved, the distributor requested the case be moved to an Investigation, and the customer agreed.

As part of EWOV’s Investigation, we requested a detailed summary of the distributor's assessment of the claim and copies of any communication between the distributor and Mr R regarding this issue. EWOV also reviewed the results of the transformer test and sought industry practice advise from other distributors.

The Outcome

Mr R's distributor indicated it had experienced issues sourcing a suitable replacement transformer at the time, which caused the delays. It advised a new delivery of transformers was expected in October 2015, but these were already allocated for distribution across other parts of its network.

While the EWOV case was still open, the distributor advised that the transformer was replaced on 12 November 2015, which was confirmed by the customer. In addition to replacing the transformer, the distributor offered Mr R a customer service gesture of $500.00 in recognition of the inconvenience caused as a result of the delays.

Mr R was satisfied with the resolution and the case was closed.

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