Vulnerable customer conversations

about 2 years ago

During an early stakeholder workshop on the Regulatory Reset, participants identified engagement with low income customers as a gap in our engagement strategy.

So we delivered a focused program to engage ‘vulnerable’ electricity customers who are experiencing hardship and life events which limit their ability to engage with the electricity market.

Engagement activities, held from October-December 2017, included:
  • Stakeholder workshop with South Australian Service of Social Services (SACOSS) Essential Services Group
  • Travelling discussions with Uniting Communities’ Connect-Ed clients
  • Focus groups with uniting Care Wesley Bowden clients
Creche facilities and translation services were provided at some of the sessions to support inclusivity.

What did we hear?
Price
  • “I look after 2 children on my own, I really have to rug up in winter because I can’t afford higher bills.”
  • “Prices keep going up and up and up. Pension isn’t going up and up.”
  • “It costs more to be low income than high income.”
  • “If bill was a set price it would be easier to budget.”
Solar PV
  • “If you rent, you can’t put something on your roof.”
  • “There are less of us paying for power when people use their solar.”
  • “Unfair on those who can’t afford it.”
Reliability
  • “Reliability is not useful if you can’t afford to put it [electricity] on.”
  • “You can’t do without electricity.”
Retailers
  • “When you are on a hardship program, can’t access cheaper rates or other providers so you stay in debt with retailers.”
Go here to view the full report.
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Consultation has concluded