Cost of living Energy prices

Larger households more at risk of energy poverty

20 September 2018

Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan says that the latest findings by the Energy and Water Ombudsman illustrate just how dire the energy crisis is for Victorians.

The latest quarterly affordability report by the EWOV has found that large, low-income houses are most at risk of energy poverty, with households having to choose between having their energy disconnected or going without food and heating.

“Families are having to choose between having a warm dinner or a warm home. That is the now the reality of the situation we are living in,” Ms Ryan said.

“When the Daniel Andrews closed Hazelwood in November 2016, he told Victorians that they would not see energy prices increase by more than 85 cents a week.

“Now, thousands of Victorians across the state have suffered as a result of Hazelwood’s closure, including families that are struggling to heat their homes during the winter months.

“The latest findings by the EWOV for the April-June quarter reveal the number of credit cases have increased 10 per cent since this time last year.

“Customers from large households were found to be more than twice as common to have a credit issue, accounting for 8 per cent of overall credit cases.”

Ms Ryan added that while the report’s findings focused on metropolitan areas, the energy crisis has also had a direct impact on businesses and individuals across the Euroa electorate.

“Many local businesses and individuals within my electorate are really bearing the brunt of Hazelwood’s closure, seeing a significant hike in their energy bills,” Ms Ryan said.

“One aged-care home in Benalla has seen a 40 per cent increase in their overall energy costs in the past year alone, despite having a 100-kilowatt solar system installed.

“I have continued to raise my concerns with the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and seek that she takes immediate action to address the escalating energy crisis facing all Victorians."

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