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443 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 261541 2-Dec-2019 21:52
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What are the legalities around this? Brief Rundown on this.

 

Contact energy put a Disconnection request through to Wells for our Unit that is was apparently vacant but the unit never has been vacant we are just now with another retailer.

 

The only notice that we get is when we are contacted by the tech sent out to the site to disconnect the supply.

 

The Tech was told not to disconnect and to leave the site, He refused and pulled the fuses from a Private pillar on private property.

 

Upon doing this I have spent most of my day on the phone and lost time and a bucket load of money in the process.

 

Contact claim they are not the culprit, but when the lines company tell me that they had the request from contact and the contractor sent to do the disconnection "Wells" tell me it was contact, it kind of looks like they are trying to get out of this one.

 

Contact were adamant that the unit was Vacant and that they are the retailer but they didn't want to listen to me trying to explain that they have not been the retailer for at least 5 months.

 

 

 

We own the entire block of industrial units, and the land underneath them, the pillar is bang smack in the middle and was installed by us not Counties, so technically is on private property.

 

My question is how is a retailer allowed to disconnect a supply without consent or permission to enter the property?

 

The retailer surely cant override a current retailer if there is an ongoing supply with another retailer without the permission of the account holder or land owner can they?

 

 


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4194 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2365262 3-Dec-2019 07:10
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Did the ICP numbers match ?

What have the new power provider done in to put the power back on ?

You are probably going to have to go to utilities disputes

 

https://www.utilitiesdisputes.co.nz 


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  # 2365269 3-Dec-2019 07:23
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What ICP did they disconnect? What ICP is yours? What do these ICP records show when you enter then into the EA website?

 

As for access to the pole on what you deem to be private property, there are rights that lines companies have that do grant them access to equipment even if it is on privater property. These rights can differ significantly depending on the age of the network build and legislation that existed at the time. You potentially also have a legal easement on the property for that pole and lines.

 

Your assumption that you could kick them off your private property while they were going about their duties may not be correct.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2367773 3-Dec-2019 19:15
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Would love to know what happened here!



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Ultimate Geek


  # 2367796 3-Dec-2019 20:36
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sbiddle:

 

What ICP did they disconnect? What ICP is yours? What do these ICP records show when you enter then into the EA website?

 

As for access to the pole on what you deem to be private property, there are rights that lines companies have that do grant them access to equipment even if it is on private property. These rights can differ significantly depending on the age of the network build and legislation that existed at the time. You potentially also have a legal easement on the property for that pole and lines.

 

Your assumption that you could kick them off your private property while they were going about their duties may not be correct.

 

 

 

 

They Disconnected our ICP [removed], This shows that this is currently with Genisis.

 

Access is not on a pole it is a pillar in the middle of the property. The situation is slightly different as it was not the lines company, but Wells a metering company, who were contracted by Contact and i presume are authorized to work on the counties network.

 

The Assumption of asking them to leave the property, in my opinion, would be correct as they had been asked to leave, as the tech had been informed that we were not with contact but EOL (Genisis), this person had been informed by Us the owners and the tenants of the building.


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  # 2367802 3-Dec-2019 21:10
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You may want to contact WELLS directly as they are not allowed to do any work on private property without the owners permission.

 

Assuming that the pillar in question is on your property and is owned by you and not the network then that makes you the owner and your permission must be gained before electrical work is commenced - there are exceptions for safety related issues but this should not be the case.

 

Ask WELLS for a please explain, the name and the registration number of the electrical worker so a formal complaint can be made with the EWRB.

 

 

 

It may seem a bit harsh but it is the electrical worker (not WELLS) who will carry the responsibility, but this may prompt WELLS in to sorting this out.

 

 




443 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2367824 3-Dec-2019 22:24
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gregmcc:

 

You may want to contact WELLS directly as they are not allowed to do any work on private property without the owners permission.

 

Assuming that the pillar in question is on your property and is owned by you and not the network then that makes you the owner and your permission must be gained before electrical work is commenced - there are exceptions for safety related issues but this should not be the case.

 

Ask WELLS for a please explain, the name and the registration number of the electrical worker so a formal complaint can be made with the EWRB.

 

 

 

It may seem a bit harsh but it is the electrical worker (not WELLS) who will carry the responsibility, but this may prompt WELLS in to sorting this out.

 

 

 

 

I'm still waiting for Wells to respond, I have asked the question and forwarded Footage of the tech in question.


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  # 2367852 3-Dec-2019 23:08
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I dont think any pillar would be private as long as it network fuses in them. Wells are contracted by many retailers to action vacancy disconnections. Not sure if Wells would be at fault. Sounds like a retailer/icp mixup. Double check meter numbers as well.




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  # 2367909 4-Dec-2019 09:00
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Damager: Not sure if Wells would be at fault. Sounds like a retailer/icp mixup.

 

But who is this Wells tech who, after being told that this is a mistake, just goes ahead and disconnects anyway? Regardless of who caused the mix up; it's either a Wells policy to disconnect regardless of what the property owner says, or it's a Wells tech just being an a**hole. Assuming we have the full story, I'd be blaming Wells.


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  # 2367917 4-Dec-2019 09:15
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Assuming that they do have the authority to disconnect it may be their policy to just carry out the request of the retailer. In the case of non payment the customer should have had opportunity to sort it out before the disconnection and they probably always get "the cheque is in the mail" when they turn up. If it was being disconnected just because Contact thought it was a vacant site when there was obviously someone there and a different retailer there should have been enough for the WELS guy to check back with the office.

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Ultimate Geek


  # 2368084 4-Dec-2019 12:58
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The tech should not have disconnected after you objected. We have a few contractors here who do disconnects/reconnects etc. The procedure is very clear on this. It can be a multi-step process.

 

First they go on site and contact the occupant and tell them they are there for a disconnect order. If they occupant allows then they can do it. If the occupant objects or prevents them they leave (Often people will pay on the spot or call the company and arrange payment if it is for non-payment). They then report back to the company on what happened e.g Visited site, occupant prevented disconnection.

 

Next they return with another tech or two for support, same deal.

 

Last they can return with a police officer to help enforce the disconnection. E.G if they say no when the officer is present the officer can restrain while the tech disconnects the power if needed.

 

 

 

Sounds like this was only at step 1 where the occupant can tell them no, they dispute the order and they should leave. The process around disconnections was tightened up a lot after the lady died a few years back when the power to her house was cut and she was dependent on an oxygen delivery device.




443 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2368248 4-Dec-2019 17:33
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Damager: I dont think any pillar would be private as long as it network fuses in them. Wells are contracted by many retailers to action vacancy disconnections. Not sure if Wells would be at fault. Sounds like a retailer/icp mixup. Double check meter numbers as well.

 

Well, the pillar is in the middle of our property, so, therefore, private property. That pillar is then fed from another pillar at the Road. 




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Ultimate Geek


  # 2368250 4-Dec-2019 17:33
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Bung: Assuming that they do have the authority to disconnect it may be their policy to just carry out the request of the retailer. In the case of non payment the customer should have had opportunity to sort it out before the disconnection and they probably always get "the cheque is in the mail" when they turn up. If it was being disconnected just because Contact thought it was a vacant site when there was obviously someone there and a different retailer there should have been enough for the WELS guy to check back with the office.

 

 

 

How hard is it to look up and see who the new retailer is? like, come on if I can do it why can't they?




443 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2368251 4-Dec-2019 17:34
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Varkk:

 

The tech should not have disconnected after you objected. We have a few contractors here who do disconnects/reconnects etc. The procedure is very clear on this. It can be a multi-step process.

 

First they go on site and contact the occupant and tell them they are there for a disconnect order. If they occupant allows then they can do it. If the occupant objects or prevents them they leave (Often people will pay on the spot or call the company and arrange payment if it is for non-payment). They then report back to the company on what happened e.g Visited site, occupant prevented disconnection.

 

Next they return with another tech or two for support, same deal.

 

Last they can return with a police officer to help enforce the disconnection. E.G if they say no when the officer is present the officer can restrain while the tech disconnects the power if needed.

 

 

 

Sounds like this was only at step 1 where the occupant can tell them no, they dispute the order and they should leave. The process around disconnections was tightened up a lot after the lady died a few years back when the power to her house was cut and she was dependent on an oxygen delivery device.

 

 

I remember this, it was all over the news wasn't it?


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  # 2368303 4-Dec-2019 17:57
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sparkz25:

 

Damager: I dont think any pillar would be private as long as it network fuses in them. Wells are contracted by many retailers to action vacancy disconnections. Not sure if Wells would be at fault. Sounds like a retailer/icp mixup. Double check meter numbers as well.

 

Well, the pillar is in the middle of our property, so, therefore, private property. That pillar is then fed from another pillar at the Road. 

 

 

 

 

This is where the problem begins, the pillar may be well within your property, but does the network company have an easement?

 

The pillar may still be owned by the network company but with no easement the network company (or one of its agents such as WELLS) don't have any legal right to enter your property to do a disconnection irrespective of the disconnection been correct or not.

 

I would head down the track of a formal complaint with the EWRB about some one doing unauthorised work on your installation and failing to issue an Electrical Safety Certificate.

 

 

 

 


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  # 2368471 4-Dec-2019 22:52
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gregmcc:

 

 

 

This is where the problem begins, the pillar may be well within your property, but does the network company have an easement?

 

The pillar may still be owned by the network company but with no easement the network company (or one of its agents such as WELLS) don't have any legal right to enter your property to do a disconnection irrespective of the disconnection been correct or not.

 

I would head down the track of a formal complaint with the EWRB about some one doing unauthorised work on your installation and failing to issue an Electrical Safety Certificate.

 

 

Sorry buddy but before you go around dispensing legal advice, you might like to get your facts straight. The situation is hardly as black and white as you think.

 

By dint of s 22, existing "works" as defined under the Electricity Act (which essentially includes all electricity distribution network equipment beyond the point of supply) that are lawfully installed (won't bother explaining this in too great detail -- most distribution equipment will be deemed lawfully installed regardless of whether private property owners' permission was obtained and certainly regardless of whether there is an easement on the title) on private property can remain there regardless of what the current property owners think. And the distribution network owner has maintenance rights, which include the right to access the property with/without notice depending on the situation, pursuant to s 23. Maintenance is quite broadly defined under s 23.

 

The distribution network owners' right to access the property may also be protected by the property owner's contract with his/her electricity retailer.

 

As for the OP's situation, until people have all the facts, it's hard to give any definitive opinion. But the usual Geekzone rule on anything to do with the law applies: people who are not lawyers like to think they know the law. You don't. If the OP has concerns, I suggest he or she calmly raise this with the entity concerned.

 

 

 

 


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