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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Provision case studies

Further information:

Getting answers to simple questions about subdivision

A customer was trying to secure a new second point of supply at a property that they’d recently subdivided.

The electricity distributor told them there was a document they needed to provide before they could be approved for the supply.

The customer was experienced in requesting new supply and hadn’t heard of this document requirement before or how he could obtain it.

He tried to find out why they were asking for it and how to get it, but he didn’t get any answers. His experienced colleagues also didn’t know.

The customer contacted us in frustration and we investigated:

  • what action they needed to take to get approval for a second point of supply
  • whether the specific document was required and why
  • how the customer could obtain this document.

We discovered that the customer simply needed to provide a copy of their survey plan to confirm that the property had been registered with the council as subdivided.

The customer stated that they were very happy and thankful to finally have an answer to their query.

Six-month delay on solar meter installation

A customer had a solar system installed in December 2018. The solar metering was to be installed in March 2019.

However, when the meter provider attended in March 2019, they found defects with the system. The customer’s electrician corrected the defects and a new request for meter installation was submitted.

By September 2019, the meter still hadn’t been installed. The customer was still receiving high billing and not benefiting from solar system. So they contacted EWOQ for assistance.

We investigated the delay and confirmed when the meter would be installed. We also asked the retailer to review lost generation due to the delay.

The retailer confirmed the metering installation date and agreed to waive the entire balance of the account - $995.16.

The customer said they were satisfied with this outcome.

Meter installed at incorrect property

The customer had solar installed at her premises in early 2018, which required installation of a new advanced meter. She had concerns about the high billing at her premises and had engaged an electrician who told her the meter was not working properly and she needed it investigated. The customer contacted her electricity retailer and requested a meter investigation, however, as the meter investigation was not completed, the customer contacted EWOQ.

EWOQ’s investigation of the matter established that the advanced meter reflected on the National Database as being located at the customer’s premises, had actually been installed at the customer’s neighbours’ premises. As a result, the customer had been billed for usage for the incorrect meter by two separate retailers, as the customer had transferred retailers on three occasions since early 2018. EWOQ notified the customer’s previous retailer of the metering issue, who agreed to reverse the incorrect billing and remove a default listing.

As a result of EWOQ’s investigation, the current electricity retailer reversed the billing on the customer’s current account, applied a commercial offer of just over $300 to cover the billing under the customer’s previous closed account and applied a customer service gesture of around $200. The electricity retailer confirmed they would only commence billing the customer once the new meter had been installed and scheduled an appointment for a new advanced meter to be installed at the premises with a solar register. Furthermore, the retailer confirmed there would be no additional charge to the customer for the new meter installation and the National Electricity Database would be updated to reflect the correct metering once installed. The customer was satisfied with the outcome.

Solar tariff error

After the installation of a smart meter, a customer's solar tariff was removed from their bills. The customer contacted their retailer to have the $0.44 solar feed-in tariff reinstated. The retailer agreed to this request and did not know why the solar tariff had been removed. The customer contacted their distributor who also confirmed there was no reason for the tariff to have stopped.

A systemic notice was raised to identify any issues in the retailer's process for solar customers installing smart meters. The retailer's investigation identified the solar feed-in tariff rate table was not mapped to the meter exchange program. The retailer confirmed the mapping issue was resolved and that no further customers migrating to smart meters would be impacted. They also remedied the accounts for 50 Queensland customers who had been affected by this mapping issue. 

Repeatedly told issue was resolved

A customer contacted EWOQ after trying to resolve an issue with his retailer since 2008 regarding a meter used for crop irrigation. The customer had received a final bill for this meter, which he had not requested. Concerned about being disconnected, the customer contacted the retailer and was advised the issue had been resolved. Over the next two years, the customer continued to pay his bills and thought no more of it, until a contractor attended to disconnect the meter. The customer contacted his retailer and was again advised the issue had been resolved. In June 2011, the customer was told by his retailer that he had been illegally using electricity and had 12 days to rectify the situation.

As a result of our intervention, the retailer provided the customer with an accurate bill. However, the retailer sought to back bill the customer for 3 years. This is prohibited by the Code. We again intervened and the bill was reduced by approximately $10,000.

Failure to remove meter

The customer had solar panels and a solar meter installed in 2009, at which time the electrician contacted the distributor and requested the removal of the off-peak meter. This was not done. Over the years the customer contacted his retailer trying to have the meter removed and to be reimbursed for the minimum service fee for the meter. The customer eventually contacted EWOQ seeking assistance.

We contacted the retailer who confirmed that the meter should have been removed in early 2010. After discussing the matter with us, the retailer also compensated the customer by applying a credit to the customer's account, waived the fees charged for the period the off-peak meter was not removed and offered the customer a goodwill gesture of $75.