NSW Feels The Pinch Of Power Prices

Imagine waking up one morning to find your shower has gone cold, the lights won’t switch on and the fridge has gone off, along with the food inside. A growing number of people are facing the nightmare of being disconnected from their energy supply, according to recent research from the St Vincent de Paul Society.

The second national Households in the Dark report found that close to 200,000 households in NSW had their power cut off by energy providers in the three years from 2015 to 2018. They fell behind on their bills due to increasing prices, the effects of the ongoing drought, and household financial crises brought on by high rents and insufficient income support payments like Newstart.

At Vinnies, we are especially concerned for our regional and rural communities, where we see a greater increase in disconnections compared to cities. Of the 30 postcodes in NSW with the highest proportion of power disconnections, all but one were in regional or rural areas.

If your home is at immediate risk of being disconnected we encourage you to contact Vinnies or another local Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) provider for assistance. The NSW Government’s cost of living service can also help make sure households are receiving the assistance to which they are entitled.

Getting through the drought is hard enough without having your power cut off. We urge the energy industry and all levels of government to take lasting action to ensure regional households can keep powering on.

The full Households in the Dark report can be found at: www.vinnies.org.au/disconnections

Jack de Groot

CEO, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW