The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) have published the report Affordable, clean energy for people on low incomes, with modelling from the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods (CSRM).

The study shows that measures focused on reducing the size of energy bills (investment in energy efficiency in homes and implementing a fair regulated retail price) and improving people’s capacity to pay (increasing Newstart and better targeted concessions) have a positive impact on reducing energy costs for people on low incomes.

Authors note that their previous report, Energy stressed in Australia, found that recent energy price increases have disproportionately affected certain vulnerable groups. The lowest-income households now spend on average 6.4% of their income on energy, while the highest income households spend on average 1.5%. The report also found people receiving Newstart and Youth Allowance, sole parents, lone pensioners and renters are most vulnerable to rising energy prices. Low income households are also missing out on opportunities to take up clean, affordable energy sources like solar because they lack choice and control.

ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said: “The report confirms that raising Newstart, the payment for people looking for paid work, and improving energy concessions, would go a long way to ensuring that people living below the poverty line don’t have to go without food or other staples when they get their electricity bill.“

(Source: Media release | Read the report)


From the blog: Topics – Poverty | Topics – Social Security

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