What is the energy divide?
The energy divide is the rapidly growing gap between consumers who can easily access efficient, reliable, and affordable energy, and those who cannot.
What is driving the energy divide?
To close the energy divide, the energy system needs to be designed to mitigate against a diverse range of barriers to participation.
There are three main drivers of the energy divide:
- Being left behind in the energy transition
Who is impacted?
Our December 2023 Energy Consumer Sentiment Survey (ECSS) tells us that at least 82% of Australian households are likely to face one or more barriers to accessing efficient, reliable, and affordable energy services.
But some demographics are likely to be more affected than others such as renters, apartment dwellers, those living in rural and remote areas, and culturally and linguistically diverse consumers.
Where to from here?
The impact of the energy transition is currently the biggest risk to the energy divide growing—but it also represents the best opportunity to close it. The promise of cheap, clean, and reliable renewable energy, coupled with a vision for a not-too-distant future where all households can generate and store their own energy, puts closing the energy divide squarely in our sights.
But to make this vision a reality, we need to better understand the evolution of the drivers of the energy divide and develop more accurate indicators of risk factors for consumers who are or are likely to experience the energy divide. This knowledge will help us to shape policy recommendations and advocate to decision makers to ensure the system is designed by and for consumers, so that all consumers can access the benefits of the transition equitably.