‘Bills here, bills there’: Report on the lived experience of Victorian energy reform

This report is a deep dive into how energy reforms of recent years are impacting Victorians. Taking a qualitative approach, we draw on interviews and case studies to examine how recent reforms are helping people manage their energy bills and the difficulties they still come up against.

Helen (name changed), is a survivor of family violence and mother of five who is struggling with energy debt. This report documents her and others experience. The interviews help us to better demonstrate the complex social determinants and interactions that sit behind people’s experience of the energy market.

The report also draws on in-depth interviews with two financial counsellors and looks at the impact that recent Victorian energy reforms have had on their work assisting clients.

In summary, Bills here Bills there is very supportive of recent reforms. It does however highlight the disconnect between policy making and the actual experience of energy customers which is allowing some people to fall through the cracks.

The report makes 18 recommendations including:

  • additional enforcement by the Essential Service Commission
  • implementation of the Energy Fairness Plan by the Victorian Government
  • a review of experiences with disconnection during the COVID-19 crisis
  • introduction of a Victorian Default Offer for gas.

Read the full report (PDF).

2012 Bills Here Bills There Report FINAL
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