In the past 12 months, a time of falling wages and flat inflation, the Average Australian power bill has gone up 17% from $1,582.9 to $1,867.0 per year according to the latest research from CoreData.

When we set out to conduct this research in November we wanted to understand – whether prices had gone up, if so by how much, and who Australian consumers blamed for the price rise.

The answers are clear – the prices have gone up (most markedly so in the otherwise boom state of South Australia), the consumers blame profiteering retailers, badly managed state governments and the Carbon Tax, in that order, for the price hikes.

Most telling of all is that the price hike is hitting the Australians that can least afford it with one-third of the 1100 households surveyed stating that they were already under financial pressure to pay their bills.

Notable changes in behaviour include cutting spending on holidays, eating out and even basics like groceries.

How much more could energy prices go up before your household started feeling financially stressed to afford to pay these bills?

Environmentalists will appreciate that Australians are more conscious about the energy they use by turning off electrical appliances when not in use or switching to energy saving devices, but this behavioural change is mainly driven by financial concerns rather than any increased regard for the environment.

With almost three in 10 likely to switch in the next 12 months, the bargain hunting is open. Indeed, with discounts and good deals the main factors Aussies take into account while deciding to stay or switch to another energy provider, companies needs to review their offer and the way they communicate it. Especially as only one in 10 believes the offers advertised are real.

*For more information on the Energy Retail Report please contact CoreData on 02 9376 9600.

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