New data show consumers want energy affordability

esb, energy, transmission

Consumers are generally satisfied with the reliability of their power supply, but not with affordability, according to a new report.

Energy Consumers Australia’s fourth biannual survey of household and small business attitudes to electricity and gas services is the largest of its kind in Australia.

The Energy Consumer Sentiment Survey shows consumers believe they get worse value for money from their electricity provider than any other services including banks, insurance companies and mobile phones and are taking matters into their own hands.

Only 21 per cent of consumers nationally said they have confidence the market is working in their interests.

Around three in ten consumers (34 per cent) were satisfied with the value for money they receive from their electricity company, compared with 71 per cent for banks and 69 per cent for mobile phones.

In comparison, consumers are broadly satisfied with the reliability of their electricity services.

More than 60 per cent of consumers said they’re satisfied in every state and territory in the National Electricity Market (NEM).

“Consumers are telling us clearly that their primary concern is affordability and not one more dollar should be spent on new generation or the poles and wires than is necessary,” Energy Consumers Australia CEO Rosemary Sinclair said.

“People want comfortable homes, competitive businesses and bills that dont make them so anxious that they put off opening them.

“Affordability must be a fundamental constraint on our decisions about this market.

“Consumers are reaching for control and choice, but have little confidence the market can deliver, so they are taking matters into their own hands.”

The survey also found consumers are prepared to be part of the solution with considerable interest in new home energy management solutions.

More than 5 per cent of people have already purchased a home energy management system, and a further 20 per cent looking to do so.

Battery storage interest is high with around 30 per cent considering procuring the technology.

Around half of those surveyed said they are prepared to lower their energy use to help avoid an outage on hot summer days without a reward and another quarter would do so for a small financial reward.