Western Australia’s Curtin University has shed light on the province’s energy provision, revealing that a quarter of citizens live in energy poverty.
The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre’s (BCEC’s) latest report, Power to the People: WA’s Energy Future, examines the state of play of WA’s energy industry, and the key challenges, risks and policy issues facing the industry.
The major cause of inequality revolves around the use of solar to combat rising energy prices from conventional sources like gas. While solar provides cheap power, the upfront cost of installing panels is out of the reach of many Western Australians.
“West Australian households are now spending an average of $1,791 on energy each year, which can account for more than 10 per cent of household spending for low income families,” Professor Duncan said.
“While roof-top solar power is a solution for many households seeking to deal with rising electricity costs, low-income households are only one quarter as likely to have roof-top solar as those with median wealth.
“There is some evidence to support the claim that high energy costs lead to compromises in other life aspects. While average household energy costs have increased since 2010-11, spending on health and groceries have both reduced in this same period.”
The report also found that WA has been slow in adopting large-scale renewable energy technologies, with the majority of renewable energy generated by roof-top solar installed on homes.
Some quick-fire stats from the report include:
Be sure to read October’s edition of Business Review Australia magazine to see an exclusive interview with Curtin University’s Chief Information Officer Chris Rasmussen.