Survey: utility bills greatest concern in cost of living

Australian currency in front of electricity meter (SMEs grants)
Image: Shutterstock

Savvy’s latest nationally representative survey has shown that 45 per cent of respondents say that rising utility bills are of greatest concern to their cost of living—an estimated 8.7 million adult Australians if extrapolated across the current population.

While all age groups expressed significant concern over the cost of utility bills, the 55–64-year-old cohort were the most concerned (56 per cent) followed the over 65s (49 per cent) and 45-54-year-olds (47 per cent).

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Respondents to the survey also reported they are spending an average $137 per week on utilities, when water, gas, electricity, and internet bills are combined.

The average reported spend on electricity throughout Australia was $49 per week, with NSW topping the averages at $55.60 per week, followed closely by Western Australia $55.20 per week.

The reported average spent on gas per week was $26.50 per week, with ACT residents claiming to pay the most on $48.60 per week, followed by Tasmania on $45.30 per week.

Respondents to the survey say they spend an average of $31.60 per week on internet access.

This comes in the wake of Australian wholesale electricity prices more than doubling over the last 12 months, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Fifty-four per cent of Australians reported their electricity bills have gone up. Topping the list were Tasmanian and Western Australian residents at 74 per cent and 72 per cent respectively.

Gas prices have also increased over the previous year, now an average of $9.93 per gigajoule compared with $6.05 per gigajoule in the March 2021 quarter.

Forty-two per cent of respondents agreed that gas has increased, with Victoria leading the results at 50 per cent.

Savvy CEO Bill Tsouvalas says rising energy and utility prices are going to affect everyone over the coming year.

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“Inflation is coming whether we like it or not; and utility prices will fuel much of that hip-pocket pain,” he said.

“With everyday Australians already feeling the impact of cost-of-living pressures from every direction, it could be a cold and bitter winter for many.”

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