Ahead of their meeting with the Prime Minister tomorrow, ACOSS joins other organisations to call for urgent action from energy retailers to help reduce high electricity costs, which are pushing low-income and disadvantaged households over the edge.
ACOSS CEO, Dr Cassandra Goldie, said: “ACOSS is deeply concerned about the impacts of increasingly high prices on people who are disadvantaged and living on low incomes.
“The price of electricity has increased by 114% over the past decade, leaving many people having to choose between paying high bills and buying enough food to feed their family.
“There are some clear steps that can be taken immediately by the big energy retailers to protect disadvantaged people, such as ensuring people are on the best deal, without tricky terms and conditions, and assisting them to manage energy consumption and costs.
“Retailers also need to agree to standard industry language and improve transparency so people can understand their energy bill and more accurately compare offers by retailers.”
ACOSS supports the statement made by Energy Consumers Australia released today, which can be found here.
ACOSS also calls on the federal government to act now to relieve energy stress.
“The federal government should also step up and keep the energy supplement, which they are currently trying to repeal; increase social security payments, particularly Newstart; work with state governments to improve adequacy of energy concessions; and address barriers to energy efficiency,” said Dr Goldie.
“Electricity is an essential service. We must make clean energy affordable and available to all, and protect low-income and disadvantaged households from the rising costs of electricity.”
For further recommendations see the joint report from ACOSS, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, and The Climate Institute Empowering disadvantaged households to access clean, affordable energy.