Energy stressed in Australia

11 October 2018

ACOSS and Brotherhood of St Laurence, 2018

Analysis drawing on results from the Household Expenditure Survey shows that some groups are spending a larger share of their income on energy bills. The widening gap has contributed to an increase in inequality and poverty.


ACOSS and the Brotherhood of St Laurence commissioned Associate Professor Ben Phillips, from the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods, to analyse the cost of energy (electricity and gas) for a range of household types in Australia. The modelling is based on the Household Expenditure Survey undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and includes trends between 2008 and 2018.

While the analysis finds that spending on energy (as a share of income) has increased slightly for most households over the decade, some households are paying significantly more of their income on energy, and the gap has increased since 2008. Policies need to focus not only on reducing energy prices, but also on reducing household bills and improving people’s capacity to pay.

Download the report Energy stressed in Australia (PDF, 861 KB)

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