February 2019 – Electricity issues with Energex

This month, a lot owner’s hot water went cold.  A plumber was called who found no issue with the plumbing.  Eventually, Energex was called and identified a fault in the electrical infrastructure on the property.  They also stated that other lot owners would have been affected in the same way.  The plumber charged $200.  The lot owner asked the plumber to put the invoice in the name of the body corporate and the lot owner then on-sent the invoice to the body corporate treasurer for immediate payment.

This process is not in accordance with the BCCM regulations and the body corporate treasurer correctly refused to pay the invoice.  The plumber and the lot owner were advised that the lot owner had no authority to contract the plumber in the name of the body corporate.

Electricity infrastructure is not body corporate common property.  The better cause of action for a hot water fault, if water is still running, is for the lot owner to call an electrician.  They would have identified the issue much quicker and could have taken some urgent temporary action until Energex were called to fix their fault.  Energex will reimburse a contractor call out where the issue was an Energex fault.

If the lot owner is unsuccessful in claiming the reimbursement from Energex, the committee could consider a motion for reimbursement of the lot owner for the expense.  However, it should be noted that the electricity infrastructure is not body corporate common property.  If other lots were affected by the issue, the other lot owners might choose to unilaterally directly contribute to any out-of-pocket expenses of the lot owner.