According to a St Vincent de Paul Society survey, low income South Australians get less energy concessions than people in other states and pay more for their bills.

It found that whilst an average household in SA faced a bill of $2350 a year after receiving a 7% concession, Victorian households would only pay $1750 and Queensland households $1500 after concessions. The St Vincent de Paul report highlights the inconsistencies across Australia for low income families after years of prices rises and increasing lack of affordability.

Victorians receive the greatest discount at 16 per cent, in NSW it’s 11 per cent and South Australia 7 per cent. The report also outlined the variation between the eligibility for support in each state. For example in Queensland eligibility is determined by age, not income.

St Vincent de Paul Society social policy unit manager Gavin Dufty commented that adequate assistance is not being provided:

“With the move by the states to a national energy market and a broad agreement to price deregulation, the introduction of smart meters and time variant pricing, it is astonishing that states have not reviewed and adjusted their concessions base to ensure eligible households will not be disadvantaged regardless of the pricing structures. Only Victoria is offering a percentage-based concession that adjusts to changes in energy pricing.”

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