Canberrans hit hard struggling to pay power bills

A new report shows how Canberrans are struggling to pay their power bills. It demonstrates there are many in the ACT who would be finding it hard to get by in a climate of extremes, Shadow Minister for Housing and Family and Community Services Nicole Lawder said today.

“The Australian Energy Regulator’s Annual Report on the performance on the retail energy market shows around 5000 Canberrans had an energy bill debt last financial year, a rising number. The bills average several hundred dollars,” Ms Lawder said.

“Even more worryingly, 7000 gas customers had a gas bill debt with their retailer. Some customers have payment plans for the debt while other received assistance under a retailer hardship program.

“My broader concern however is that the thousands of Canberrans who can’t pay their bills are really struggling. We have a climate of extremes in the ACT. It’s very cold in winter and summer can be unbearably hot. Energy is essential to stay safe.

“This is a problem the ACT government should pay serious attention to. We have many vulnerable people in Canberra and power bills can be a major stress on their lives,” Ms Lawder concluded.