Aussies more concerned about going green than energy costs

Electricity and gas prices are under regular scrutiny, but a new issue has emerged as the No.1 concern for Aussies and their power bills.

Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA) has found that a majority of Australians (55 per cent) believe it is important to get energy from renewable sources, and 70 per cent believe it is important to lead an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

But the bank also found that just eight per cent of respondents had actually made the move to a green energy provider.

The lack of engagement when it comes to energy bills was a consistent theme throughout the CBA research.

Read: Tips to help you fight back against soaring energy bills

An alarming 15 per cent of Australians could not even name their current energy provider, with younger people much more likely to not know (30 per cent) compared with older Australians aged 50 to 70 (five per cent).

While price was not the No.1 concern for energy users, it was a major consideration.

A whopping 73 per cent of survey respondents said they did not know what they were paying for their energy and 70 per cent wanted their energy provider to be more transparent about pricing.

Working from home during the pandemic has also made Australians more energy conscious, with 42 per cent of respondents saying they have become more personally aware of their usage.

Read: Wondering if your energy company takes climate change seriously?

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) recently proposed the Better Bills Guideline, a mechanism that would require energy retailers to make clear on bills how much customers are being charged and how their energy usage is calculated.

Energy providers would also be required to alert customers to any cheaper rates with the same provider.

“Bills play an important role in supporting switching,” says AER chair Clare Savage.

“Through our research we heard that people want their retailer to tell them about cheaper plans, and for it to be easier to compare their plan with other offers.

Read: Difficulties paying energy bills

“Over time, energy bills have become more complex and detailed in the level of information and usage calculations they provide, and our consumer research reveals this can turn customers off seeking the help they need.”

Even armed with all the correct information, some customers are still reluctant to switch providers.

CBA found one third of Australians (34 per cent) are with their current provider because they inherited the account, and around 18 per cent believe there’s no point switching providers as they all charge the same.

Are you more focused on price or the environment when it comes to energy bills? Have you shopped around recently for the best offer? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyer
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.
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