COTA NSW Energy Security Case Studies

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					    COTA NSW

     Energy Security – Protecting older
     consumers from energy hardship.




               Energy security is a right, not a privilege. We must
CASE STUDIES   protect older consumers from energy hardship.
Background

   Chris Trizna, Internship Social Welfare Policy
   University of Virginia USA

   Alan Morris, School of Social Sciences &
   International Studies, UNSW

   COTA NSW
The problem


July 2010 to June 2013, NSW Energy prices 40%
on average for the typical consumer (IPART 2010).

Age pension indexations and increases:
Single pensioner 11%
Couples 4%
Fuel Poverty – Energy Hardship
 “Fuel poverty” is a term used in the United Kingdom
 to characterize those households that would need to
         spend more than 10% of their income on all
        household energy fuels in order to achieve a
                  satisfactory indoor heating regime.”
                                          Lloyd 2006
Characteristics

  Pay bills every time
  Deprive themselves to save money.
  Age pension, and older households in general, are
 more likely to report “missing out” on certain activities in
 order to save money.
                                                     Bray 2001
Findings

   Frustration, fear
   Bills rising beyond indexation of pension
   Cutting back a range of things to cope
   Uncertain how they will cope in the future
   Pride
   Not online
  Jessica and Tom
  -   Jessica, 71, button maker
  -   Tom, late 70s, railways
  -   Rural area 300km southeast of Sydney
  -   Raised 4 children
  -   Medical conditions, mobility scooter
  -   Energy bills 10% of income
  -   Volunteer, active in community
  -    Information on internet
  -   12 months ago on a payment plan


“If it keeps going the way it’s going, I don’t know
what we’re going to do…I just don’t know.”



CASE STUDIES      Energy Security – protecting older people from energy
                  hardship.
  Trish
  - 66, single, OT, avid skier and tennis player
  - diagnosed with autoimmune disease
  - needs cooling
  - Lake Macquarie                         “The prices keep increasing,
  - energy efficient $380 per quarter      and no matter what I do, my
                                           costs just won’t go down.”
  - Solar
  - Retirement Village
  - supermarket, library, walk the dog




CASE STUDIES      Energy Security – protecting older people from energy
                  hardship.
  Karen and Rebecca
  - 71 and 77, Housing NSW
  - Age pensioners
  - medical conditions - drugs
  - Pemulwuy                             “It’s a bloody disgrace,” she
  - energy efficient                     says, adding very resolutely
                                         that she never swears.
  - Frozen meals
  - $491 quarter




CASE STUDIES       Energy Security – protecting older people from energy
                   hardship.
Conclusions

   Prevention & early intervention approach

   Education & Information

   Alternatives to online!
   Energy efficiency & Rebates,
    concessions, solar energy,
    no interest loans
      RECOMMENDATIONS

 Prevention of Energy Hardship in NSW
     Accessibility of information, programs, incentives
     Energy Accounts Payment Assistance provision to non
         welfare providers
     Energy provider – targeted information
     Energy rebates – name not on bill
     Indexation not enough


                   “In the end its not the years in your life that count.
Abraham Lincoln
                                 Its the life in your years.”
COTA NSW

    Energy Security Case Studies
    Guide to communicating with older people
    Seniors Impact Statement
      Questions?
        Ian Day, CEO
        Ian.day@cotansw.com.au
        Anne-Marie Elias, Policy & Communications Manager
        anne-marie.elias@cotansw.com.au
        www.cotansw.com.au
        www.raisinggrandchildren.com.au
        www.oldermenswellbeing.com.au

                                              Thank you for your time.

Marion Wright Edelman   “You can really change the world if you care enough.”

				
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