Improving energy concessions and hardship payments policies
Electricity prices have increased significantly in recent years, and lowering customers’ energy bills is now a key policy focus, both for Federal and State and Territory Governments.
Increases in energy bills clearly have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable members of society. When coupled with an inability to pay to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and appliances, these increases leave more and more customers vulnerable and in need of government assistance.
Deloitte was engaged by the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA) to conduct a high-level study on ways to improve assistance for vulnerable Australian customers faced with energy price changes. In particular, this analysis addressed ESAA’s five key questions concerning:
- The range of measures currently in place in Australia
- An identification of vulnerable groups and how they might best be targeted
- The impact of deregulating energy markets on these groups
- How assistance is provided to vulnerable customers in international markets
- The optimal method(s) of targeting vulnerable customers in Australia.
Deloitte’s review of energy concessions and hardship policies highlights that the broad policy architecture supporting vulnerable energy consumers is in need of review and renewal. This report represents an early step in an industry led initiative to focus on the key issues associated with energy vulnerability.