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Census Insights: The rise of energy poverty in Australia

The rise of energy poverty in Australia

KPMG's Census Insights explores the shifting trends in Australia's lifestyle habits by analysing the data provided in the 2016 National Census. In this first report, demographer Bernard Salt and KPMG Partner Cassandra Hogan explore the rise of energy poverty that continues to be driven by the rising cost of energy supply.


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In September a new dataset was released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that provides real insight into the operation of Australian households. Based on a survey of 10,000 households the Household Expenditure Survey (HES) tracks money flows into and out of households over the 2016 financial year. But best of all this dataset continues a methodology that goes back 30 years. It is now possible to compare how Australians spent their income at different times in history. Is the cost of living rising or do we expect get more out of the income we do earn?

This question could be applied to cost of housing or to the cost of raising a family. In this paper we look at the cost of energy or more precisely at spending on domestic fuel and power. Who is most affected by rising energy costs and what is the quantum of this group within Australian society? And perhaps even more importantly what can be done to ameliorate the rise of what might be termed energy poverty?

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KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”) is a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.

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