Energy affordability

Many Australian households are struggling with high energy bills. Rising electricity network costs and high retail costs are driving up prices, magnifying the issues caused by inefficient homes and appliances.

A man and woman look over their expenses

We are working with government, energy companies, regulators and consumer groups  to secure sustainable and affordable energy for all Australians. 

Our recent efforts have focused on:

  • a critique of the retail energy market and how well it serves the interests of low-income Victorians 
  • an analysis of Australian fuel poverty using data from the Household Income Labour Dynamics in Australia survey
  • a national plan for affordable energy (developed in partnership with the Australian Industry Group, Choice, and the Energy Efficiency Council) to advocate for critical energy market reforms
  • and an investigation of the impacts of smart energy demand on consumers.

Featured research

Fuel poverty, household income and energy spending

Identifying which Australian households are experiencing fuel poverty requires more than a single measure.

Read more »


Recent work

Submission to Essential Services Commission re payment difficulty framework new draft decision

We responded to the new draft of the payment difficulty framework proposed by Victoria's Essential Services Commission to protect energy customers. More »


Submission to the review of retail electricity and gas markets in Victoria

Victoria’s retail energy market is failing to deliver on its promise to consumers. The Brotherhood is keen to collaborate with the state government and others to develop workable solutions that can be shown to lower energy bills for low-income and vulnerable consumers. More »


Response to Safety net for Victorian energy consumers facing payment difficulties draft decision

We responded to Victoria's Essential Services Commission's draft decision regarding provision for households in energy hardship. More »


Submission to Essential Services Commission inquiry into the financial hardship arrangements of energy retailers

Energy is an essential service for Australians. The Brotherhood believes that the ultimate goal of energy retailers’ hardship arrangements should be that no customers are disconnected from energy supply and that customers are able to move out of hardship. More »


A critique of the Victorian Energy Retail Market

The retail electricity market is failing Victorians, according to a new report, A critique of the Victorian retail electricity market.

The report found that overall retailers' charges in Victorian electricity bills, which include metering, billing and marketing, rose by an average 212% over six years, from a range of $86 to $183 in 2008 to a range of $371 to $471 in 2014. More »


Smart demand, what's in it for consumers?

In this workshop hosted by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Monash Sustainability Institute on 7 April 2014, participants discussed the benefits and potential pitfalls of smart demand. More »


The Brotherhood of St Laurence, CHOICE and the Energy Efficiency Council all have the goal of improving the affordability of energy services. These three groups commissioned Essential Research to undertake a survey on energy affordability, building on work carried out by CHOICE in 2012. More »


The Brotherhood has joined the Australian Industry Group CHOICE and the Energy Efficiency Council to seek decisive reforms to fix the electricity system and ease the burden on households and businesses. More »

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The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.