The Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) is a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for unresolved complaints with your electricity, gas or water supplier. Before you contact EWOQ with your complaint, you must first try to resolve the problem with your electricty, gas or water company.
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Land & assets case studies

Further information:

Example 1

The customer contacted EWOQ concerned that after she and her husband had paid their deposit to have power extended to their new property, the energy supplier wanted payment for tree clearing. The customer did not see why they had to pay for tree clearing on Council land as there was no tree clearing required on their property.

When EWOQ investigated with the energy supplier it was determined that the customer had signed a contract accepting tree clearing as their responsibility.

After intervention by EWOQ the energy supplier agreed to absorb the cost of the consultant it had employed to determine the extent of tree clearing required and for the customer to obtain their own quotes from approved tree clearing contractors. The cost of the tree clearing was then substantially reduced.

Example 2

The customer contacted EWOQ because the local energy supplier's vegetation contractor had cut down five trees on the nature strip outside his residence and not cleared up the debris. He claimed two of the trees were inside his property boundary and the energy supplier had not sought permission or given any reason for the removal of the trees. He wanted the stumps removed and replacement trees.

When EWOQ contacted the energy supplier it stated the Council had given permission for the removal of the trees and the trees were outside the boundary of the customer's property. The customer advised his fence was behind the nature strip and survey pegs clearly marked the boundary of his property. He reiterated that two of the trees were within his property. The customer claimed Council had given permission for tree contractors to clear vegetation around the electricity lines but not to remove the trees.

The energy supplier agreed to grind out the stumps and supply power line friendly trees.

Compensation sought for loss of livestock

Cattle belonging to the customer died when they came into contact with a sagging power line. The customer claimed that the distributor’s linesmen told him that the line was sagging due to rusted connectors. His claim for compensation having been denied by the distributor he came to EWOQ for help.

Outcome: On being contacted by EWOQ, the distributor agreed to compensate the customer for his loss, but without admitting liability. The customer received $3,000 in compensation.

Customer responsible for blockage

The customer’s sewerage overflowed on a number of occasions over a 12 month period due to tree roots invading the sewer pipe. On each occasion the customer’s DR cleared the blockages at no expense to the customer. Following the last overflow, the customer received a bill from the DR for $229 for the repairs which had been undertaken. When the customer queried the bill he was told he had been charged because the blockage was due to the roots of a tree on his property invading and blocking the pipe on the customer’s side of the meter. The customer contacted EWOQ.

Outcome: On investigation, it was found that the blockage to the pipe had occurred in the pipes on the customer’s property, and under the Water and Sewerage Services Code, the DR was not responsible for repairing the damage to the pipe. As such, the customer was required to pay the bill for $229, however, he was given an extension of time to pay.