Rising Electricity Prices - The Knock On Effect For The Elderly Population in Australia

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Rising Electricity Prices - The Knock On Effect For The Elderly Population in Australia

How Will Rising Electricity Prices Effect The Elderly Population in Australia?

The elderly population is at risk of significant harm due to the impending surge in electricity prices in several regions of Australia. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has recently confirmed that electricity costs will rise by as much as 25 percent from July 1, affecting New South Wales, south-east Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria. This decision will directly impact approximately 600,000 customers, particularly those who are on the default offer, which is a benchmark price aimed at mitigating price hikes for households and small businesses.

Initially, the AER proposed a draft offer in March, suggesting an increase of 20 to 22 percent. However, after considering feedback from stakeholders, the regulator adjusted the default market offer to result in a minimal change of 1 to 3 percent from the draft offer. The AER explained that these adjustments were made to account for additional information and refine the methodology, thereby better reflecting the actual costs associated with retailing electricity.

While the AER emphasises that the price increases are somewhat close to the initial draft offer and lower than anticipated, it is crucial to recognise the adverse effects this will have on elderly individuals, who are often more vulnerable and financially strained. Residential customers without controlled load will witness price hikes ranging from 20.8 to 23.9 percent, while those with controlled load will experience increases of 19.6 to 24.9 percent. Small business customers, including many elderly entrepreneurs, will face even greater challenges, with prices surging between 14.7 and 28.9 percent.

The situation in Victoria is equally concerning, as the Essential Services Commission (ESC) announced a default offer with a 25 percent rise in electricity prices. This equates to an approximate $352 increase for residential customers and a staggering $752 surge for small business owners. It is important to note that in certain cases, the actual price changes may be even higher, reaching up to 27 percent for Victorian customers.

These distressing price fluctuations will take effect on July 1, further burdening the elderly population who are already grappling with the rising costs of living. This news presents significant challenges for seniors who rely on fixed incomes and limited resources to meet their daily needs. Urgent attention and support are required to mitigate the negative impact on elderly individuals, ensuring their well-being and access to essential electricity services are not compromised.

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