Rising electricity costs affecting older Australians

Older citizens feeling the sting of electricity prices 16000646 800500725 0 0 7066579 300

For those feeling the sting of rising energy prices, an electricity comparison service can provide a respite from high power bills finding you the best electricity prices available.

The Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA NSW) - a peak organisation for people over 50 in NSW - have shown particular concern over the effect rising electricity prices have been having on the older population.

In a statement, chief executive officer of COTA NSW Ian Day expressed his approval of minister for resources and energy Chris Hartcher's Low Income Household Rebate, which will provide relief for these consumers.

"The Hon Chris Hartcher, minister for resources and energy, gave the forum’s keynote speech and it’s clear that he’s listening to older consumers, who’ve been telling us they want to see action on the rising cost of electricity," said Mr Day.

"Yesterday he announced the government’s Low Income Household Rebate would be increased by $16 million dollars. This means eligible consumers will see their rebate rise from $215 to $225 from July 1, and then to $235 in 2014. He also announced that for the first time, residents of retirement villages will also be eligible for the rebate."

COTA NSW surveyed a number of people over 50 and in their last one 74 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that rising energy prices would affect their ability to live comfortably as years go by.

91 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they would like to find out more about rebates for energy use that may be available.

According to Mr Day, electricity prices in NSW have risen by more than 79 per cent in real terms over the last five years and the number of houses having their electricity disconnected is rising.

Low-income earners and older people are especially at risk of being adversely affected by this.

Mark Bryne, energy market advocate at TEC, however, said that the energy market is coming up with some positives.

These include new technologies which offer consumers, as well as the environment, a number of tangible benefits.

These technologies could include smart meters and time of use software which give consumers more insight and therefore control over their energy use.

In order to get the cheapest electricity or gas prices around, use a comparison and switching service to make a change that can save you those precious dollars.

Posted by Charlie Moore