People living on low incomes are experiencing significant pressures as a result of substantial increases in the cost of electricity, without a concomitant increase in income. Low income people are most likely to live in poorly-insulated and inefficient rental accommodation, and spend a higher proportion of their income on energy, water and fuel than others. They are least able to respond to increases in prices and to invest in more efficient homes. Given that energy is an essential service, energy price rises leave the most vulnerable households with little option but to pay the extra.
ACOSS has been active since 2006 as an advocate on behalf of low income and disadvantaged consumers in development and reform of the national energy market, and we welcome the Senate Inquiry into Electricity Prices as an opportunity to look at the broader drivers, protections and opportunities in energy regulation and policy.
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