Electricity Comparison CEO Is Disheartened That Australians Can No Longer Afford to Keep Lights On
More than 10,000 energy customers can no longer afford to pay for quarterly electricity bills, resulting in mass disconnections. Electricity Wizard CEO Alan Belkin believes that this matter must be taken seriously to provide aid for energy customers undergoing financial hardship.
Due to rising electricity prices in each state, more than 100,000 households have had their electricity disconnected after failing to pay power bills. This unfortunate turn in the energy market is the highest cut-off rate that has been seen in more than a decade.
The industry regulator released statistics to confirm that 10,100 homes were without electricity in the past 12 months, a significant jump from 7300 in the previous year.
Electricity Wizard CEO Alan Belkin interacts with energy customers on a daily basis and is "disheartened" to find that so many Australians can no longer pay for basic utilities. According to Belkin, “Rising prices in the electricity market are one part of the issue. Households also need to know that they have hope by comparing electricity retailers to find more affordable rates so that they can pay their monthly bills. No family should have to go without power when cheaper alternatives are available.”
Households unable to afford quarterly electricity bills have instead used candles as lighting and barbecues for indoor heating. Perishable items that include milk and butter have been kept in Eskies, according to the welfare agency Anglicare.
Belkin stands behind the Essential Services Commission of South Australia's decision to urge energy retailers to be more flexible with their customers. According to Belkin, “The ESCOSA firmly believes that customers need extra help when experiencing financial hardship, and so do I. It is of the utmost importance that customers have access to power and don't have to resort to drastic alternatives, such as using candles instead of electric lights.”
Customers who have disconnected power may not be able to afford to turn their electricity back on. Statistics confirm that the number of reconnections is at roughly one third of the number of disconnections recorded in 2011/2012.
Belkin agrees with Anglicare wellbeing manager Christine Bell’s assessment in that many customers can no longer pay for extra electricity supply charges that are beyond their control. According to Belkin, “More must be done to deal with this serious issue. Further research is needed to determine if customers can benefit from bill smoothing to make fortnightly payment instalments instead of paying a larger sum for quarterly electricity bills.”
Belkin encourages customers to consider an electricity comparison to save money by exploring cheaper rates available in their area. Electricity Wizard offers customers a free energy price comparison at ElectricityWizard.com.au to make power bills more affordable visit the electricity comparison site at http://electricitywizard.com.au