5.7.11 Consumers slash spending

5.7.11 Consumers slash spending

New research shows consumers are preparing to tighten their belts and slash discretionary spending to help cover the cost of skyrocketing power bills as electricity price increases come into force across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia this month.

A Newspoll survey of more than 1200 adults aged 18 to 64 found a massive 96% of participants feel rising power bills will add pressure to the household budget with an overwhelming 87% of respondents indicating they will cut down on eating out or ordering take-away just to afford energy costs.

Commissioned by Solahart, the survey also found that 79% of consumers will put the brakes on purchasing household items such as furniture or electrical goods, 76% will slash holiday spending and 73% will go without new clothes.

Essential items such as transport/petrol and groceries aren’t safe from the impact of mounting energy prices either, with 45% and 38% of respondents respectively admitting they will seriously contemplate curbing their spending on these basic goods.

Stephen Cranch, National Manager at Solahart, Australia’s leading solar water heater manufacturer, said the hike in power prices clearly has consumers scrambling for ways to cope as energy surges up the list of household burdens.

“For home owners in New South Wales alone, electricity bills will go up by between $216 and $316 per year, while businesses will be forced to pay an extra $307 to $528 per year,” he said. “Saving energy by turning off switches, rugging up and moving to sustainable energy options will help families and business owners feeling the pressure, but it’s obvious the impact of these price rises will be wide ranging with spending on non-essential items about to take a big haircut.”