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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Supply case studies

Further information:

Disputed water pressure supply

The customer had on-going issues with low water pressure at their premises and sought a remedy the issue with the distributor. The customer was concerned the distributor had failed to deliver on their minimum standards as the water pressure at thei property tested below the minimum standard of 210kPa. The customer contacted EWOQ as the issue was raised with the distributor on a number of occasions but no remedy had been offered, and the issue not adequately addressed.

EWOQ issued the distributor with a Notice of Investigation to understand what actions the distributor had undertaken in regards to the customer’s complaint and the results of any previous investigations conducted by the distributor. EWOQ also sought to understand if the water loss and reduced water pressure was due to any issues beyond the point of connection. 

The distributor’s investigation indicated water pressure at the site when tested fluctuated between 190kPa and 220kPa. In consideration of the customer’s complaint, the distributor was able to increase the water pressure from the closest District Metered Area that saw the water pressure at the customer’s premises increase from 210Kpa to 280Kpa, which is much higher than the minimum standard. As a result, of EWOQ’s intervention, the customer confirmed water pressure had noticeably increased since the distributor addressed the complaint.

Between a rock and a hard place

The customer was building a new house and had contacted her retailer to find out if gas supply was available in her street. The retailer confirmed that there was, and as it would take 20 business days to connect to her house she was advised to call back when the house was nearer to completion and closer to the move-in date. The customer purchased gas appliances and arranged with the builder and plumber/gas fitter to install the necessary fittings. When the customer contacted her retailer again to arrange for the gas supply to be connected, she was advised it would cost $4,000 as there was no gas supply available in her street. As all the appliances had been purchased and work had been undertaken on the building the customer was committed to continuing with the supply.

The customer was left in a difficult position. She could either refuse to connect to gas and be left in possession of appliances she did not need or she could pay the expensive connection fee. The customer acted reasonably in making inquiries of the distributor before purchasing the gas appliances. Had she been correctly advised that gas was not available she may have chosen not to proceed with her purchases. EWOQ considered that it was not fair and reasonable to charge the customer for connection given she had received, and acted on, erroneous advice from the distributor. We took the matter up with the distributor who decided not to charge the customer for her connection.

Extension delays

The customer paid for an extension of the electricity supply to the house he was having built. The energy supplier had provided three different dates for connecting electricity to his house but did not meet any of them. The customer was concerned about the delays and the inconsistent advice being provided by the energy supplier. Because of the delays he had to use a generator and was seeking reimbursement of the fuel costs for the generator and interest on the money he had to borrow from the bank to cover the cost to extend the electricity supply.

EWOQ met with the customer and the energy supplier to discuss the problem and seek reimbursement of costs due to the delays. The customer was connected shortly after the meeting took place and the energy supplier agreed to reimburse the customer as a gesture of goodwill.

Investigation clears the distributor of any fault

The customer, a farmer, claimed that the voltage supplied to his property varied so much that it caused his irrigation pump to stop. Discussions with his distributor had failed to resolve the issue. The customer claimed that the distributor had conducted tests on his power supply but he did know the results. Seeking a timely resolution, the customer contacted EWOQ.

Outcome: As a result of the EWOQ investigation, voltage recorders were installed at the service pole which found that the voltage entering the property was within the required range. However, during the investigation, EWOQ noted that no complaint had been made by the customer until after he had completed some work on the pump. The customer was advised by EWOQ to have an electrical contractor check all of his connections. In addition, the distributor offered to further discuss other options to assist the customer.