Single, Trusted Source for Australian Energy Consumers Needed

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Original media release by Energy Consumers Australia (27/11/2023).

New research released today by Energy Consumers Australia finds that households are disengaged with the information provided to them by the energy market.

A national survey of 2,500 household energy consumers found that 48% of households did not recall seeing anything in the media or online in the last 12 months about how to reduce their energy costs or usage. Those who did recall seeing information often found it complex and irrelevant.

The results show that while households are interested in learning about saving on their energy use and bills, their trust is low in the energy market to provide them with good advice.

Energy Consumers Australia CEO Brendan French said the results showed the need for a ‘one-stop-shop’ for energy information and advice consumers can trust.

“Australians are not receiving the right information at the right time from trusted sources and this is leaving them lacking the confidence to take action and lacking trust in the energy market,” said Dr French.

“Consumers can be the heroes of net zero, but they need to know what is being asked of them in the energy transition. How can they have the confidence to take action when they don’t know what to do because it hasn’t been clearly communicated to them?

“It’s not a lack of interest – we found that 89% of households are interested in learning more about ways to reduce their energy use and costs – but the information is coming at them from so many sources, many of which they simply don’t trust, and it is so complex that they just switch off.

“We believe there needs to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for energy information and advice to support consumers and provide them with the certainty they need to make the right decisions in the coming years.”

Dr French said that, in the context of rising costs of living and high energy bills, consumers are taking steps to try to reduce their energy bills, but the actions they are taking are not the ones that will have the most impact for them because they don’t have the right information.

“People don’t know what they need to do to reduce their energy use and costs,” he said.

“Our research shows 81% of households have taken some steps in the last year to try to reduce their energy use and costs, but the actions they have taken are not what would get them the ‘best bang for buck’.”

You can see the full report here.

There are many examples of one-stop-shops for energy information elsewhere in the world. Energy Consumers Australia is now conducting research to make a recommendation to the energy market about what could work here.