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Mind the gap: identifying the gap between energy concession eligibility and concessions received

Energy consumption Energy pricing Low socioeconomic status Concessions Cost and standard of living Victoria

People on low incomes spend a disproportionate percentage of their income on energy bills. They are often least able to respond to price increases, due to the poor quality of housing stock, inability to install rooftop solar, and ageing, inefficient appliances in rental accommodation.

In a growing cost of living crisis, driven in part by rising energy prices, ensuring people on low-incomes receive energy concession and rebate entitlements should be a matter of priority for governments. But rather than being automatically applied to bills, the onus lies with eligible concession holders to ensure their concession is applied and updated to each bill.

In helping low-income households access the Victorian Government’s Power Saving Bonus (PSB), CPRC identified a significant gap between those eligible for energy concessions and those receiving their concession on their energy bill. CPRC’s analysis of published departmental and regulatory datasets of the total number of concession card holders and concessions received suggests this gap is generalisable across the broader population.

This report outlines the insights and data collected by CPRC when working with low-income households in Melbourne, exploring insights around why concessions weren’t applied to bills, supported by additional existing research. This report also incorporates data analysis drawing from government and regulatory datasets to identify where this gap applies across the broader population and the estimated size of this gap.

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