This project identified ways to enable a fair transition to clean affordable energy in Australia.

Alongside ACOSS, the Brotherhood of St Laurence commissioned research to explore the best ways to support low-income households as they transition to clean energy.

Through three related studies, the project modelled the impact of climate policy and rising energy prices and recommended new ways to support vulnerable households.

Findings include:

  • People on low incomes are more vulnerable to climate change impacts and a poorly managed transition to a clean economy.
  • Energy prices have risen significantly in the last decade and low-income households are hardest hit.
  • An emissions trading scheme can help reduce energy prices but low-income households will still pay disproportionately more.

Measures to reduce energy bills (such as energy efficiency programs) and improve people’s capacity to pay (such as raising Newstart Allowance) are needed.

This project was funded by Energy Consumers Australia as part of its grants process for consumer advocacy and research projects for the benefit of consumers of electricity and natural gas. The views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the views of Energy Consumers Australia.

Contact Damian Sullivan


Tackling climate change and energy affordability for low-income households (PDF, 1.15 KMB)
Models the impacts of different emissions reduction targets, and the exclusion of Energy-Intensive Trade-Exposed industries, on residential retail electricity prices and carbon emissions

Energy stressed in Australia (PDF, 861 KB)
Shows, using Household Expenditure Survey data, that some groups are spending a larger share of their income on energy bills

Affordable clean energy for people on low incomes (PDF, 2.4 KMB)
Models several policy solutions that would reduce the amount that Australians on low incomes spend on energy