Aussie Resident Warned With $10K Fine for Air Conditioner Noise

A man from Australia is understandably irate after being fined $10,000 for using his air conditioner at night. Someone complained that it was too noisy, and the authorities agreed—to the tune of $10,000.

George said he has been notified that his Artarmon property on the lower north shore of Sydney is not permitted to use its heating or cooling system after 10 p.m.

He said that the Willoughby City Council had informed him by notice that he was also forbidden from using it before 7 a.m.

A warning notice with the words “Noise disturbance” was found on top of the document.

George also claimed that the council had emailed him about his $10,000 fine.

Using an air conditioner that disrupts peace and tranquility is a violation of the 2017 Protections of the Environment Operations Regulation.

The legislation specifies that if an air conditioner is operated on home premises in a way that may be heard in any room of another residential premises, then the individual is guilty.

According to the law, the regulation is to be enforced between 10 pm and 7 am on weekdays, regardless of whether the door or window to the room impacted by the noise is open or closed.

On weekends and holidays, the regulation is also in effect from 10 pm until 8 am.

Offenders face a maximum penalty of $11,000 for their transgression.

Michael Regan, a former mayor of the Northern Beaches and current independent MP for Wakehurst, noted that his office used to receive many complaints about the noise from air conditioners.

He said that the number of complaints received by his customer support staff would likely be several every day.

It is recommended that the systems not exceed 40 decibels, the usual level of background or ambient noise, while air conditioning units often reach 35 decibels.

In accordance with development laws outlined in the State Environmental Planning Policy 2008, residents are exempt from the need for construction or planning permission when proposing to install an air conditioning unit.