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8.7m Aussies Say Utility Bills Concern Them Most: Survey

Heating the home this winter may be a bone of contention among households, as our survey shows rising utility prices concerns among Australians
Published on May 17th, 2022
  Written by 
Adrian Edlington
Adrian Edlington is PR & Communications Manager at Savvy. With a keen interest in personal finance, car loans, the mortgage industry, cost of living pressures, electric vehicles and renewable technology, Adrian's research includes conducting primary data surveys and analysis of up-to-the-minute secondary Australian data sources. His work on behalf of Savvy has been featured on ABC.net.au The Conversation, the Sydney Morning Herald, AFR, News.com.au, The Age, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, SBS On The Money, 7News, Car Expert, Which Car, Drive.com.au and more. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and business podcasts.
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   Commentary by 
Bill Tsouvalas

Guest Contributor

Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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Rising utility bills in Australia

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Savvy's 2022 survey of 1005 Aussies learns how rising utility prices are affecting the cost of living in Australia.

  • Estimated 8.7 million Australians cite utility prices as the greatest cost of living concern
  • Average Australian spending $137 per week on utilities
  • 54% of those surveyed have experienced electricity price rises
  • 42% say they have experienced gas price rises

Savvy’s latest nationally representative survey (n=1,005) has shown that 45% of respondents say that rising utility bills are of the greatest concern to their cost of living – an estimated 8.7 million adult Australians if extrapolated across the current population.

While all age groups expressed significant concern over the cost of utility bills, the 55–64-year-old cohort were the most concerned (56%) followed the over 65s (49%) and 45-54-year-olds (47%).

Respondents to the survey also reported they are spending an average $137 per week on utilities, when water, gas, electricity, and internet bills are combined.

The average reported spend on electricity throughout Australia was $49 per week, with NSW topping the averages at $55.60 per week, followed closely by Western Australia $55.20 per week.

The reported average spent on gas per week was $26.50 per week, with ACT residents claiming to pay the most on $48.60 per week, followed by Tasmania on $45.30 per week.

Respondents to the survey say they spend an average of $31.60 per week on internet access. 

Utility bill increases in Australia 2022 - infographic

Utility bills continue to rise

This comes in the wake of Australian wholesale electricity prices more than doubling over the last 12 months, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

54% of Australians reported their electricity bills have gone up. Topping the list were Tasmanian and Western Australian residents at 74% and 72% respectively.

Gas prices have also increased over the previous year, now an average of $9.93 per gigajoule compared with $6.05 per gigajoule in the March 2021 quarter.

42% of respondents agreed that gas has increased, with Victoria leading the results at 50%. 

Bill Tsouvalas, Savvy Managing Director & personal finance expert;

Savvy CEO Bill Tsouvalas says rising energy and utility prices are going to affect everyone over the coming year. “Inflation is coming whether we like it or not; and utility prices will fuel much of that hip-pocket pain,” he says. “With everyday Australians already feeling the impact of cost-of-living pressures from every direction, it could be a cold and bitter winter for many."

In this situation, many people are inclined to put more and more on the credit card, though over the long run a better option is to take out a personal loan with fixed interest and repayments."

Future of Australian's Finances

The impact of utility bill increases is being felt acutely by Australians with regard to their family finances. When combined with other necessities, such as fuel and groceries, rising electricity prices only serve to increase the pressure on individuals and families. 

This information is general in nature and not a substitute for professional financial advice.

Savvy - 2022 Cost of Living Survey (n = 1005) 

Sources:

AEMO.com.au - Wholesale electricity market WEM - Data dashboard

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Savvy is one of Australia’s largest online financial brokers, focusing on personal and commercial financial products. Founded in 2010, the firm has seen rapid growth, a testament to their provision of market leading rates and reaching customers with the latest in media and technology. Savvy is a proud supporter of Kids Under Cover, a charity assisting homeless and at-risk youth to strengthen their bonds to community and education. Savvy was named one of BRW’s fastest growing companies in 2015.

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