Delay with a new electricity connection cause financial loss and inconvenience for Mr F (June 2017)

Getting connected and changing energy company, Meters, poles, wires and pipes
Case Number 2017/776
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

In September 2016, Mr F requested a new electricity connection for a unit he was building. The request was cancelled for a reason unknown to Mr F, so he contacted his electricity distributor to ask why the electricity was not successfully connected and it was unable to explain why. Mr F lodged another request to have the electricity connected in December 2016. However, this was not completed either, so Mr F contacted EWOV for assistance on 10 January 2017 and an Assisted Referral was raised.

Mr F’s electricity distributor called him to discuss the issue and assured him that the connection would be completed by 8 February 2017. However, this did not occur and on 13 February 2017, Mr F received another phone call from the distributor in which it asked him for a convenient time for its crew to attend to install the new connection. Due to the delay with the electricity connection, Mr F had to pay for diesel generators and associated costs that totalled over $3,000. Mr F re-contacted EWOV to advise that he was not satisfied with the outcome to the Assisted Referral, so we raised an Investigation. 

The Investigation

As part of EWOV’s Investigation, we requested all of the contact notes, details of the service orders for the new electricity connection requested, and information about why the connection was delayed. EWOV created a timeline of events from the first connection request through to the time Mr F contacted our office for assistance. This timeline, along with the information provided by the distributor, established that a combination of errors led to the long delay.

EWOV also reviewed relevant laws and codes, specifically clauses 2.2 of Electricity Distribution Code[1], which stipulates that distributors need to use their best endeavours to complete new electricity connections within 10 business days after the request. We also noted that clause 6.2 of the same code stated that where a distributor does not connect electricity within 10 business days, it must pay customers $70 for each day the connection is delayed, up to a maximum of $350.

Lastly, as Mr F was claiming for expenses incurred as a result of the delayed electricity connection, we asked him to substantiate those losses by providing documentation to us. This showed that Mr F had to rent a diesel generator for nearly nine weeks at a total cost of $3,614.

[1] Available at the Essential Services Commission’s website: http://www.esc.vic.gov.au/document/energy/30475-electricity-distribution...

The Outcome

The distributor apologised to Mr F for the inconvenience and the delay with the connection. The distributor agreed to pay $3,614 to Mr F, which he was satisfied with and the case was closed.

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