There’s been much speculation about the impact of the ‘energy crisis’ on households and small businesses. But we wanted to hear directly from those impacted about their lived experience and gain further understanding about how the energy system is – or isn’t – working in their best interests.
To do this, in collaboration with Essential, we conducted qualitative research with 60 representative participants who joined a series of focus groups and discussions. We have published a report that captures these findings, including in-depth quotes and summary of the key themes.
This research is essential reading for policy makers, government, industry, and researchers, who are wanting a better understanding of the state of play for energy users on the ground. This will help deliver an energy system that meets the needs and values of the people who use it and pay for it.
The report delivered three key findings.
- Recent bill increases and expectations of further rises have convinced consumers that there are underlying problems with the energy system.
- Consumers lack trust in energy providers and governments to put consumers’ best interests ahead of their own.
- Consumers are supportive of the transition to renewables although some are concerned about reliability issues and cost.
Detailed below are a series of quotes directly from consumers. These provided textured insight into the lived experience and perceptions of Australian consumers:
- “The energy markets doesn’t make sense to the average person. How is it that cost has gone up so much, when more and more people are using solar.” – Male, VIC, 40-49 years, Financially pressured consumer
- “Our energy system is not as modern as it could/should be and cannot support the demand” – Female, NSW, 30-39 years, Business owner
- “There aren’t very many options with energy, yes there are different companies but I have previously found their pricing all to be quite similar.” – Male, ACT, 30-39 years, General public
- “I have no trust in either [the government or energy providers]. Both have their own agendas (money) and consumers don’t come anywhere near the top of their priority list.” – Female, QLD, 30-39 years, General public
- “The transition to renewables in Australia has been extremely slow!” – Male, VIC, 60-69 years, Business owner
- “Despite trying to do everything in my power to bring it down I noticed an increase in the price of the latest electricity bill[…] it means I have to be conscious all the time in calculating the actual cost of power we use every day and to try and budget for it.” – Female, WA, 50-59 years, Financially pressured consumer
Read the full report to discover more personal stories from energy consumers.