navigating the high tide of living costs: insights and solutions
In the last few years, Australians have witnessed an unprecedented surge in the cost of living, creating financial strains for many. The surge, particularly in the past 12 months, has affected various aspects of daily life, from grocery bills to housing and energy costs. As an embedded energy network retailer and water utility, Altogether understands the challenges faced by consumers, and we are committed to providing support in these trying times.
Unpacking the cost of living (key statistics):
The recent cost of living report delves into the causes and consequences of the rising cost of living. Drawing on data from reputable sources like Finder, government reports, and academic research, we aim to shed light on the challenges faced by Australians.
- Households paying more: In December 2022, households were paying 7.8% more for goods and services compared to the same period in 2021.
- Grocery costs soar: A staggering 94% of survey respondents noticed an increase in their weekly grocery bills. Consumers are now spending an extra $37 per week on groceries, equating to an additional $1,924 a year. Notably, 43% of consumers are stressed about their grocery costs.
- Housing struggles: Rate rises have added over $12,000 to the annual cost of servicing a $600,000 mortgage. In the second half of 2022, 429,000 households missed a mortgage repayment.
- Financial strain on families: One in three Australians have sought financial help from friends or family in the past 12 months.
- Inflation drivers: Food is identified as the main non-housing expense driving increased inflation, according to the Australian Consumer Price Index (CPI)
- Stressors on households: Monthly consumer sentiment trackers reveal a steady increase in stress around housing, grocery, petrol, and energy costs since 2021.
- Depleting savings buffer: The average Australian has lost almost a month of their perceived savings buffer since the beginning of 2021. Perceived savings buffer now sits at 14–15 weeks, down from around 18 weeks (3-month rolling average).
Altogether: A beacon in challenging times
As an embedded energy network retailer and water utility, Altogether is not just a service provider but a partner in navigating these tough economic waters (pardon the pun). We recognise the financial challenges our customers face and are dedicated to offering support.
- Sustainability: We are committed to sustainability, ensuring cost-effective energy solutions for our customers, both now and in the future.
- Guidance and support: Our dedicated team is here to help you manage utility costs effectively and sustainably. From understanding your bills to identifying applicable discounts, we provide personalised guidance.
- Payment support: Life doesn't always go as planned. Our payment support services assist you in managing your budget and setting up sustainable payment plans tailored to your needs.
- Empowering communities: Altogether aims to empower communities to optimise their utility usage, ensuring both energy and water customers can afford their bills. Through our Customer Hardship Program and a range of other support services, we handle challenging situations with empathy, respect, and fairness.
In these challenging times, Altogether stands ready to be your partner in creating a more sustainable and budget-friendly tomorrow.
For more insights download the cost of living report here.