During the past six months residents of Mosman in NSW have had to put up with at least 5 major power failures caused in part by negligence by Energy Australia employees.
The failure of the Energy Australia grid has led to broadband networks, security systems and lighting being knocked out for hours.
On one occasion, the fault was a circuit breaker in a brand new substation with the engineer assigned to find the fault advising SmartHouse that the original circuit breaker had not been installed properly.
SmartHouse later found out the substation in question was being used to train employees of Energy Australia.
Residents have also had to put up with Energy Australia contractors arriving at 6.00am in the morning to do repair work and training with cranes and concrete trucks being allowed to poor concrete prior to a 7.00am work curfew that is applied to local residents who want to conduct building or construction in the municipality.
On two occasions the work that often involves banging and the use of noisy engines and drills has started prior to 6.00am.
A Mosman Council Ranger admitted to SmartHouse that local residents would be fined if they commenced work prior to the 7.00am curfew. They also said that construction jobs would be shut down if a resident persisted in doing the work prior to a 7.00am curfew.
“Energy Australia is a law onto themselves we are powerless to police them even if they are doing non essential work. They are a utility like the Water utility people.” Mosman Council has also admitted that Energy Australia is except from paying Council fees when work is being conducted. A local resident who has to repair a pavement after construction work to a property is charged a fee of over $1800 for 24 hours work on a pavement.
To place a rubbish skip on the road in Mosman to remove the rubble from the pavement is an additional $300. In addition residents are forced to use a Mosman approved rubbish skip service which is up to 100% more expensive than a non approved service say residents.
Energy Australia claims that they have every right to work prior to 7.00am even if it is on non essential work. However it appears that their actions fly in the face of recent corporate statements. On their web site Energy Australia claim that they are “committed to minimise our impact on the environment and continuing to find ways to help our customers. We engage in activity that creates a positive consumer attitude towards Energy Australia”.
Both Mosman Council and Energy Australia have so far failed to comment on their policies.