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Fuel Poor Households on the rise in Victoria

Fuel Poor Households on the rise in Victoria

The latest figures from electricity and gas price comparison site www.makeitcheaper.com.au reveal that Victorian households will be hit hard as electricity price hikes send thousands into fuel poverty.

  • In 2009 an estimated 158,000 households suffered Fuel Poverty across Victoria
  • This has since risen by approximately 53,000 to 211,000 in 2010 - equivalent to the population of the Northern Territory
  • We anticipate a further 2,900 households will be added for each 1% increase in electricity costs

The latest figures from electricity and gas price comparison site www.makeitcheaper.com.au reveal that Victorian households will be hit hard as electricity price hikes send thousands into fuel poverty.

"Fuel Poverty is when the cost of your energy bills is more than 10% of a household's income," explains Tim Wolfenden, electricity expert and CEO of Make It Cheaper.

"These figures clearly show the social implications of these severe price increases.  Households just won't be able to pay," he says.

"Melbourne's coldest winter in a decade, mortgage pressure plus energy price rises of up to 20% this year have pushed thousands of households into Fuel Poverty across the state. Despite switching off fuel-hungry devices, there's no doubt that families are going to struggle," warned Wolfenden. "Older people may shiver through cold nights or swelter through the heat of summer for fear of being hit with an unmanageable bill at the end of the month," he added.

Make It Cheaper arrived at the startling statistics by identifying the average Victorian household income and comparing that with the average household electricity bill.

"There's no doubt that fuel prices will continue to rise.  All Victorians will be slugged with increasing fuel bills over the next few years, particularly if carbon tax is introduced - and unfortunately the vulnerable households will be hit hardest," said Wolfenden.

However, there are other options for reducing the family fuel bill.

"A household bill could be slashed by up to 15% by finding a better deal and switching to a new supplier," Wolfenden advised.  "As competition increases across Victoria families can make significant savings by just switching their energy supplier.  Even if they think they are locked into contracts, the savings often outweigh the penalties," he explained.

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