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1741 posts

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  # 2368527 5-Dec-2019 04:06
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dejadeadnz:

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From what the OP has stated the pillar is NOT works, it is a private pillar, this makes it INSTALLATION and the distribution network has no authority over it.

 

 




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Ultimate Geek


  # 2368544 5-Dec-2019 06:32
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So here is a diagram of whats going on.

 

Click to see full size

 

The red border indicates the boundary, The blue circle is where the pillar box is located on our property and the blue lines are the underground supply, we paid for and installed this on our own accord when this was built many years ago.

 

The Yellow Line is the network operators Property alongside the networks Pillar circled in yellow.

 

Where our underground cable meets the Yellow Network cables there is also a Pole as it goes from underground to overhead lines as shown in this picture.

 

Click to see full size

 

You can clearly see the Network pillar on the council property.

 

And our pillar on our property(the view is from the adjacent road as there are vehicles parked in the way).

 

Click to see full size

 

Clearly you can see the pillar on Private Property and that is NOT owned by the network. If it was owned by the network they would have installed it.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2368566 5-Dec-2019 08:26
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gregmcc:

 

From what the OP has stated the pillar is NOT works, it is a private pillar, this makes it INSTALLATION and the distribution network has no authority over it.

 

 

Maybe (and maybe not - again the situation isn't as clear as you assert it to be) but I was replying to your nonsensical assertion that::

 

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. 

 

In context, you could only be referring to works because of the reference to the distributor not having an easement. And my point is that such a generalised and definitive statement just isn't safe.

 

As for your and the OP's point that merely because the OP might have built the pillar, the distribution company will definitely have no rights/jurisdiction over the so called "private" pillar either, that's not necessarily correct either. When the property was originally electrified, it is conceivable that the distributor agreed to do works up to the point of the boundary under a works agreement and to allow the property owner build their own pillar up to a certain standard. Then as part of the agreement, the landowner agreed to give ownership and right to register an easement to the distributor in respect of the otherwise private pillar. That's typically to allow the owner to save some costs but not every distributor will allow this, especially these days. The owner might also be required to abide by the easement terms as though the easement has been registered even though it was not - such easement terms would typically contain maintenance provisions. Now none of this arrangement would be binding on any subsequent land owner but if the original landowner is still the same and such terms existed, they are bound by those terms.

 

I am again not saying this is necessarily what happened. But I am pointing out the possibility to draw out the dangers of some outraged OP choosing to go on the internet to obtain so called "advice" on the legal implications/meanings of events, with a pre-determined view that someone else is in the wrong. It gets doubly dangerous when such views are blindly parroted by people who have little experience with distributor's standard contracts (I know the biggest ones' practically off by heart because I work for one currently) and understanding of the Electricity Act.


1982 posts

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  # 2368584 5-Dec-2019 08:54
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That's a service demarc point that could provide power to the individual units on that property.  They are absolutely allowed to access that and disconnect whether it's yours or not.  The alternative would be for them to have disconnected power on the fuses at the power pole but that would have shut power off to all the units.


3080 posts

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  # 2368639 5-Dec-2019 09:35
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A similar event was described in a comment on the Consumer site page on disconnections.

"Disconnected because of delays in communications between retailers
My tenant was disconnected because "no contract was in place" even though there was a current contract in place at the time of the disconnection. This happened because it takes days for one retailer to talk to another (up to two weeks according to Contact Energy). During that time, the previous retailer may decide to disconnect the electricity and, if they do, the new retailer must send someone to reconnect it and so they charge a fee ($150 in this case).

This seems wrong to me in several ways. First, it's not the customer's fault that the retailers' systems are slow. Surely, in "this day and age" this information could be communicated instantly if retailers invested in the electronic infrastructure to do so. Secondly, the new client wasn't told they'd have to pay this charge when they signed up for electricity. This seems like a "hidden charge" to me. Thirdly, $150 seems excessive to have someone come and spend a few minutes "reconnecting" the supply. Finally, in this case, each retailer said it was because of the other that this had happened. That seems unreasonable to me. The customer has no control over interactions between retailer.

Electricity is an essential service and this seems to me to be a case of "we have the power so we make the rules and you have to live with them". That's not reasonable behaviour."

The Comsumerprotection.govt.nz site has a hypothetical example

"Brenda moves house. A month before her shift, she calls her power company to let them know she is moving. After a few weeks in the new house, the power shuts off. She assumes it's a regular power outage, but when she gets home from work that evening, she still has no power and her food has spoiled in her fridge. She calls her power company and they are confused, as they haven't disconnected her. She discovers a different power company has disconnected the property as they believed they were supplying power to the property and it was still vacant. She calls this new power company and explains her situation and the inconvenience this has caused in terms of reconnecting the power and the spoiled food. She sends them the emails she sent to her current power company about the house move and her billing information to prove she gave enough notice for switch. The company apologises and offers her $200 as compensation."

So there may be a window of confusion but you'd expect that to be shut after 5 months when the connection is recorded against a different retailer.

206 posts

Master Geek


  # 2368715 5-Dec-2019 11:51
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A great Fair Go story here. Thats the only way blame will be apportioned correctly. 


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  # 2368904 5-Dec-2019 17:07
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dejadeadnz:

 

gregmcc:

 

From what the OP has stated the pillar is NOT works, it is a private pillar, this makes it INSTALLATION and the distribution network has no authority over it.

 

 

Maybe (and maybe not - again the situation isn't as clear as you assert it to be) but I was replying to your nonsensical assertion that::

 

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. 

 

In context, you could only be referring to works because of the reference to the distributor not having an easement. And my point is that such a generalised and definitive statement just isn't safe.

 

As for your and the OP's point that merely because the OP might have built the pillar, the distribution company will definitely have no rights/jurisdiction over the so called "private" pillar either, that's not necessarily correct either. When the property was originally electrified, it is conceivable that the distributor agreed to do works up to the point of the boundary under a works agreement and to allow the property owner build their own pillar up to a certain standard. Then as part of the agreement, the landowner agreed to give ownership and right to register an easement to the distributor in respect of the otherwise private pillar. That's typically to allow the owner to save some costs but not every distributor will allow this, especially these days. The owner might also be required to abide by the easement terms as though the easement has been registered even though it was not - such easement terms would typically contain maintenance provisions. Now none of this arrangement would be binding on any subsequent land owner but if the original landowner is still the same and such terms existed, they are bound by those terms.

 

I am again not saying this is necessarily what happened. But I am pointing out the possibility to draw out the dangers of some outraged OP choosing to go on the internet to obtain so called "advice" on the legal implications/meanings of events, with a pre-determined view that someone else is in the wrong. It gets doubly dangerous when such views are blindly parroted by people who have little experience with distributor's standard contracts (I know the biggest ones' practically off by heart because I work for one currently) and understanding of the Electricity Act.

 

 

 

 

The definition between works and installation is clearly defined in the electricity act, it is the boundary line of the property, clearly the private pillar that the OP had installed at their cost is part of the installation, even if it was works the property owner is allowed to set reasonable restrictions on access.


 
 
 
 


512 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2368920 5-Dec-2019 17:30
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sparkz25:

 

So here is a diagram of whats going on.

 

Click to see full size

 

The red border indicates the boundary, The blue circle is where the pillar box is located on our property and the blue lines are the underground supply, we paid for and installed this on our own accord when this was built many years ago.

 

The Yellow Line is the network operators Property alongside the networks Pillar circled in yellow.

 

Where our underground cable meets the Yellow Network cables there is also a Pole as it goes from underground to overhead lines as shown in this picture.

 

Click to see full size

 

You can clearly see the Network pillar on the council property.

 

And our pillar on our property(the view is from the adjacent road as there are vehicles parked in the way).

 

Click to see full size

 

Clearly you can see the pillar on Private Property and that is NOT owned by the network. If it was owned by the network they would have installed it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

just so you know, just because it wasn't installed by the network operator doesn't mean there isn't possibly an easement in place for them. It's the same deal when you pay for pillars or pits from a network operator. You pay the fee but you don't own the asset - same thing can happen if you pay for your own installation of pillar/pit!




504 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2368922 5-Dec-2019 17:34
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snnet:

 

just so you know, just because it wasn't installed by the network operator doesn't mean there isn't possibly an easement in place for them. It's the same deal when you pay for pillars or pits from a network operator. You pay the fee but you don't own the asset - same thing can happen if you pay for your own installation of pillar/pit!

 

 

 

 

So what your saying is if I purchase a pillar for the likes of Transnet, Russells or Ideal for that fact and install it on my property I don't actually own it? 

 

If I pay for and install it my self and sign it off sort out an ROI (if needed) and then get it connected to the network I still don't own it?


512 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2368923 5-Dec-2019 17:39
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sparkz25:

 

snnet:

 

just so you know, just because it wasn't installed by the network operator doesn't mean there isn't possibly an easement in place for them. It's the same deal when you pay for pillars or pits from a network operator. You pay the fee but you don't own the asset - same thing can happen if you pay for your own installation of pillar/pit!

 

 

 

 

So what your saying is if I purchase a pillar for the likes of Transnet, Russells or Ideal for that fact and install it on my property I don't actually own it? 

 

If I pay for and install it my self and sign it off sort out an ROI (if needed) and then get it connected to the network I still don't own it?

 

 

No, I'm not saying that it is for certain

 

All I'm saying is to be aware that it is POSSIBLE - have installed many private pillars and pits (and transformers!) with "sneaky" easements in place for network access on private property.

 

Not trying to argue, just saying it's possible they have a legal right to access it. Sounds like a real mess - there are definitely certain retailers I avoid altogether for huge messes like this (Contact definitely being one of them)




504 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2368966 5-Dec-2019 17:51
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snnet:

 

sparkz25:

 

snnet:

 

just so you know, just because it wasn't installed by the network operator doesn't mean there isn't possibly an easement in place for them. It's the same deal when you pay for pillars or pits from a network operator. You pay the fee but you don't own the asset - same thing can happen if you pay for your own installation of pillar/pit!

 

 

 

 

So what your saying is if I purchase a pillar for the likes of Transnet, Russells or Ideal for that fact and install it on my property I don't actually own it? 

 

If I pay for and install it my self and sign it off sort out an ROI (if needed) and then get it connected to the network I still don't own it?

 

 

No, I'm not saying that it is for certain

 

All I'm saying is to be aware that it is POSSIBLE - have installed many private pillars and pits (and transformers!) with "sneaky" easements in place for network access on private property.

 

Not trying to argue, just saying it's possible they have a legal right to access it. Sounds like a real mess - there are definitely certain retailers I avoid altogether for huge messes like this (Contact definitely being one of them)

 

 

Hence why we left Contact, had a better offer elsewhere, alongside better customer service.

 

 


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  # 2368979 5-Dec-2019 18:22
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I thought anything upstream of the meter was given to the lines company when they connected it up? I know that when a place had to get a big transformer put in for a tenant, when they left and a new one without the high power demands moved in, they were not able to sell it and recover the space it was taking up because it had become part of the network despite not running much anymore.





Richard rich.ms

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  # 2368987 5-Dec-2019 18:37
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sparkz25:

 

snnet:

 

just so you know, just because it wasn't installed by the network operator doesn't mean there isn't possibly an easement in place for them. It's the same deal when you pay for pillars or pits from a network operator. You pay the fee but you don't own the asset - same thing can happen if you pay for your own installation of pillar/pit!

 

 

 

 

So what your saying is if I purchase a pillar for the likes of Transnet, Russells or Ideal for that fact and install it on my property I don't actually own it? 

 

If I pay for and install it my self and sign it off sort out an ROI (if needed) and then get it connected to the network I still don't own it?

 

 

 

 

That will be a yes.

 

 

 

MadEngineer:

 

That's a service demarc point that could provide power to the individual units on that property.  They are absolutely allowed to access that and disconnect whether it's yours or not.  The alternative would be for them to have disconnected power on the fuses at the power pole but that would have shut power off to all the units.

 

 

Much like those that have to pay $50,000+ for a new transformer + cabling in their street if they want their new home connected.  The transformer isn't theirs.

 

 

 

 


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  # 2369154 5-Dec-2019 21:00
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snnet:

 

sparkz25:

 

snnet:

 

just so you know, just because it wasn't installed by the network operator doesn't mean there isn't possibly an easement in place for them. It's the same deal when you pay for pillars or pits from a network operator. You pay the fee but you don't own the asset - same thing can happen if you pay for your own installation of pillar/pit!

 

 

 

 

So what your saying is if I purchase a pillar for the likes of Transnet, Russells or Ideal for that fact and install it on my property I don't actually own it? 

 

If I pay for and install it my self and sign it off sort out an ROI (if needed) and then get it connected to the network I still don't own it?

 

 

No, I'm not saying that it is for certain

 

All I'm saying is to be aware that it is POSSIBLE - have installed many private pillars and pits (and transformers!) with "sneaky" easements in place for network access on private property.

 

Not trying to argue, just saying it's possible they have a legal right to access it. Sounds like a real mess - there are definitely certain retailers I avoid altogether for huge messes like this (Contact definitely being one of them)

 

 

 

 

if it was a network pillar on private property, yes the network company does have the legal right to access it, but for maintenance and safety reasons and the property owner can set reasonable access conditions, but for disconnection purposes I doubt he Electricity Act would allow the network company access

 

 


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  # 2369221 5-Dec-2019 21:36
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gregmcc:

 

if it was a network pillar on private property, yes the network company does have the legal right to access it, but for maintenance and safety reasons and the property owner can set reasonable access conditions, but for disconnection purposes I doubt he Electricity Act would allow the network company access

 

 

This argument makes no sense. By what you're saying, all you have to do to make yourself immune to disconnection is install a pillar on your own property and never allow access. That's some chewbecca defense stuff if ever I've seen it.


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