Nearly one in three Australians have missed a payment on an electricity bill in the past 12 months while more than one in 10 have missed three or more payments.
These findings from Ernst & Young’s latest Customer Experience Series – Utilities survey highlight that rising power prices are a major factor contributing to hardship for Australians.
“Unable to afford payment” is the single biggest reason given for not paying on time (60%).
The proportion of customers often or occasionally worried about being able to pay their electricity bill has remained consistently high at 70% since EY last undertook the survey in 2013 (73%).
Jenny Young, EY Oceania Customer Leader, says there is an opportunity for retailers to retain and attract market share by better monitoring and controlling energy use and by managing “bill shock”.
She says that switching providers is difficult.
The research shows 55% have recently switched or have considered switching electricity providers in the past 12 months.
Receiving an unexpected large bill was a significant trigger to consider switching providers for a quarter of those respondents.
Customers felt that retailers continue to make the switching process too difficult and complicated, with 20% of potential switchers not making the change because they find the information search too hard, up from 15% in the previous survey.
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