Number of utility disconnections rising

More and more Victorians are facing disconnections as a result of unpaid power bills, according to a report from the Essential Services Commission (ESC).

Electricity disconnections are up 33 per cent and the severing of gas services has risen 50 per cent in the last 12 months.

The Consumer Action Law Centre's Gerard Brody says that the rate of increase in utilities being axed is a worrying sign.

He commented: "The data shows that almost half the disconnections are being reconnected at the same address, in the same name within seven days.

"That's a telling statistic, that people are having problems with making payments and rather than making it easier for the household, the retailer is simply disconnecting them."

He added that with electricity prices rising again in January - there is growing concern for low income earners to come up with the money necessary to pay the bills without sacrificing any other aspect of their lives.

Mr Brody said that the energy market needs to seriously reform how it does business in order to protect its customers who are at their most vulnerable.

If you are unhappy with your current energy provider, talk to a comparison and switching service to see if there is a better deal out there for you.

Posted by Charlie Moore