A report released by social service organisations found that while around three million households receive some form of ongoing financial assistance for their energy bills, the poor design and implementation of the assistance means too many people still can’t afford the energy they need.
The report found that providing energy concessions and annual rebates as a fixed amount means it does not respond to energy price changes, seasonal variations in energy use, or the energy performance of the home. It also means that some people are getting more assistance than they need, and others are getting significantly less.
It also outlines complementary measures Federal, State and Territory Governments should take to support the effectiveness of energy concessions:
- immediately lift income supports above the poverty line to improve the capacity of people on low incomes to afford energy bills;
- co-invest in efficient electric appliances, thermal efficiency, and solar upgrade programs for low-income households;
- shift the costs of green schemes off bills or offset the costs for people on low incomes.