Energy poverty is on the rise, and it's a complete disgrace.
Over the past decade, the price of electricity in this country has soared towards the stratosphere.
At these altitudes, it gets tough to breathe, and many Australians are suffocating.
Electricity is the oxygen of your household, and it shouldn't be a luxury good.
The government's aware of this, and as you'd expect they're doing their best to keep their heads in the sand.
The big corporations are aware of this, but they're quite happily counting their millions.
Meanwhile, some families in one of the wealthiest countries in the world have to choose between heating and eating.
How has this happened in a country this well off?
Continue reading to learn about why it's happening, who it's hurting, and what you can do to fight it.
What is energy poverty?
What is energy poverty? It's a complicated question with a complicated answer.
Firstly, there are many different ways it is calculated.
We won't bore you with the maths, but we will show you the working that auditing firm KPMG put out.
In 2010, the average Australian family shelled out $32.52 a week to keep the lights on.
In contrast by the year 2016, that number had leapt up to $40.92.
So that's about a 26% increase in how much you have to spend on energy a week.
Eight bucks might not seem like much but spread out across a year that's $400.
So, for a family that's doing okay, that's not too much of a burden…
For a family that's struggling that's the difference between steak and mince…
And for a family that's living through energy poverty, that's the difference between warm and cold.
Another way to look at energy poverty is as a percentage of your income.
What KPMG has found is that when your household income goes up, you spend a smaller and smaller percentage of your household income on your energy needs.
So, if you're a small of affluent household, you should be okay.
But their findings concluded that large families and those on low incomes were in were at risk of being in energy poverty.
They defined a large family as being five or more, and a low income as being $650 a week or less.
These people are most affected as the energy price rises as the fixed cost of energy price increases keeps rising as a proportion of your total income.
All in all, this amounted to about 42,000 Australian households, many of whom are elderly pensioners.
Therefore the poor, large families and those on fixed incomes are amongst our most vulnerable citizens, and more needs to be done to assist them.
Read more: Stop overpaying on power!
This is energy poverty.
Far from being just a buzzword used to sell papers, sometimes it's best to illustrate how bad energy poverty can get through a real life example.
Take the story of Mark Brewer, father of two teenage daughters, from Melbourne's Ascot Valley suburb.
In a conversation with the ABC Mark outlined some of the extraordinary measures he goes to ensure his family can both eat, and pay their power bill.
Firstly, on a chilly day, his family doesn't turn the heater up. He asks his daughters to rug up in under some extra coats.
When it comes time to cook dinner how much time is spent cooking dinner is a suddenly a major issue.
Mark and his family often have to choose foods that take less time to cook, so they use less power and cost less energy.
In addition to this, family trips to the pool now serve a purpose other than fun.
Should there be shower facilities at the pool, Mark requests his daughters show there rather than at home to save on water.
Worst of all for his kids is, if their friends come over, Mark requests that they don't charge their phones in his home.
In a first world country, this is absolutely ridiculous.
The problem is that stories and struggles like Mark's are becoming increasingly common.
This isn't the Australia I want to live in.
This is how you beat it
We said it at the start it bears repeating.
The rising trend of energy poverty, in a country like Australia, is an absolute disgrace.
Above all, that's why here at Electricity Monster we're passionate about finding a sharp rate for each and every Australian.
As we saw above the rising cost of power is putting some real pressure on Australian families, and it's more important than ever to know if you're getting a sharp rate.
And this is why making the call to Electricity Monster is the smart move to make.
Our team of trained, professional Energy Brokers specialise in finding sharp rates for each and every customer we serve.
Just recently this number of happy customers served broke through the 30,000 mark.
Finally, no-one wants to see Energy Poverty affect their family. That's why it's important to compare your electricity and gas.
We can sort your power, gas and even solar needs in less than fifteen minutes, our number is 1300 232 848.