Report investigates energy disconnections

PIAC has commissioned
the third instalment of its research into people’s experiences of being
disconnected from electricity, gas and water in NSW.

Cut Off III will
examine the ways people become disconnected, the social impact of this
disconnection, and how people manage to reconnect to utilities. 

Over 18,000 homes were disconnected from electricity in
2010/11. This trend is expected to continue following a recent 18% increase in
electricity prices.

PIAC has commissioned an independent research company,
Urbis, to collect data for the study.

From 1 October 2012, major utility providers will distribute
4800 surveys to customers who were disconnected from utilities, or who had
restricted access to utilities, during July, August and September 2012.

PIAC has also partnered with several community organisations
to distribute the survey to 400 clients. These organisations will also provide
referrals for potential interviewees, who will be asked in more detail about
the impacts and issues surrounding their disconnection.

Clients who receive the survey are encouraged to complete
and return the survey by 5 November 2012. The research report will be published early in 2013.

Although utility providers are assisting with survey
distribution, the study is independent from these energy and water companies.

PIAC will use the research findings to advocate for better assistance
for people who are struggling to remain connected to essential services.

Cut Off I and Cut Off II are available online.

Photo: Flickr

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