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CALD communities need urgent supports for the energy transition

A new report released today has found improvements are needed to the quality of advice and supports, and to the service provided by retailers and other energy service providers, or culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) consumers risk being left behind in the energy transition.

The joint Insights Report by Energy Consumers Australia (ECA) and Sydney Community Forum (SCF) is the result of a series of ‘deep dive’ workshops with migrant community leaders in Western Sydney.

The report sheds light on the additional challenges CALD communities face in accessing clean, efficient, reliable, and affordable energy services and pinpoints the policy interventions needed to address these challenges.

“We keep hearing that CALD consumers are ‘hard to reach’ – but this report shows there are simple solutions to more effectively engaging with CALD communities in the energy transition,” said Asha Ramzan, Executive Officer of the Sydney Community Forum.

“The issue isn’t that CALD consumers are ‘hard to reach’, the issue is that the energy industry is relying on a one-size-fits-all approach and not making appropriate efforts to engage with the almost one-in-four energy consumers in Australia who have CALD backgrounds.”

“Ensuring that CALD consumers are not left behind in the transition to a net zero future needs to be a priority for governments and industry,” said Energy Consumers Australia CEO Brendan French.

“The work we have undertaken with Sydney Community Forum highlights additional barriers for CALD people in the existing energy system – and some practical steps that could be taken by the sector to ensure the energy transition is equitable.”

In the workshops, CALD community leaders made it evident that CALD consumers must be able to access the services, information and support they need in a language they prefer through the sources they trust. The report recommends a number of actions for governments and industry, including funding a pilot mobile Community Energy Hub in Western Sydney to provide culturally appropriate, in-language energy education to CALD communities.

The report also recommends the need for the industry regulator and Australian Energy Council to partner with community groups to improve communication, information and assistance to CALD communities.

A free public webinar on the report findings and recommendations will be hosted by ECA and SCF on Friday 19 April. Click here to register.

Media contact for Energy Consumers Australia: Phyllis Sakinofsky 0492849846
Media contact for Sydney Community Forum: Asha Ramzan 0400959900

About Energy Consumers Australia

Energy Consumers Australia is the independent, national voice for residential and small business energy consumers. We enable residential and small business energy consumers to have their voices heard. Find out more about Energy Consumers Australia.

About Sydney Community Forum

Sydney Community Forum (SCF) is a regional community forum working towards social justice, inclusion and sustainability for disadvantaged and marginalised communities in Sydney. Find out more about Sydney Community Forum.

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