This is the final report in a series on improving support for low-income households through the transition to clean energy.
People on low incomes are more vulnerable to climate change impacts and a poorly managed transition to a clean economy.
Energy prices have risen significantly in the last decade and low-income households are hardest hit.
An emissions trading scheme can help reduce energy prices but low-income households will still pay disproportionately more.
Measures to reduce the size of energy bills and improve people’s capacity to pay are needed.
Investment in energy efficiency could provide annual savings from $289 for apartments to $1,139 for houses. It could reduce energy expenditure as a percentage share of income for lowest-income households from the current 6.4% to 4.1%.
A fair regulated retail price could save $261 to $436 per annum for 37–60% of households and reduce energy expenditure as a percentage share of income for lowest-income households from the current 7.6% to 6.1%.
Increasing Newstart by $75 a week would reduce energy expenditure as a percentage share of income for Newstart households from the current 6.3% to 5.6%, a $110 increase would reduce it to 5.3%.
A shift to percentage-based concessions improves equity, responsiveness to change in energy bills, and provides greater support to couple and single parent families.
A faster transition to clean energy is desirable and achievable with targeted affordability measures.