RP2.1-06 Mapping vulnerability to Future Fuels – A Scoping Review

Executive Summary

This research project addressed the issue of energy vulnerability and disadvantage within the context of residential energy services. The impact on vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers is of key concern as previous research into electricity markets indicates a relationship with energy vulnerability and disadvantage. This project considered the role of gas in energy disadvantage and vulnerability in Australia at the household level and sought to identify what is currently known about the potential roles of future fuels in either improving or exacerbating energy vulnerability.

The study consisted of three elements: a scoping review of the existing literature (a systematic literature review); a dataset review; and an online stakeholder workshop with participants from academia, government, industry and advocacy organisations with knowledge, experience, interest or stake in energy vulnerability in Australia.

Prior to this scoping review, the potential impact of new fuels on vulnerable customers was largely unknown. The project was the first attempt to synthesise existing knowledge around vulnerability to future fuels in Australia and to identify important research themes.

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Commencement / End Date May 2020 to November 2020
Outcomes / Impact

Prior to this study there had been no attempt to synthesise existing knowledge around vulnerability to future fuels in Australia. The scoping study concluded the relationship between vulnerability and gas at the household level in Australia is predominantly centred on affordability questions. Broader gaps were identified regarding the risks and opportunities of future fuels for vulnerable households and the availability of data to support related research and interventions.

This initial scoping study resulted in a new understanding of both existing knowledge around vulnerability to future fuels in Australia and the need for additional research to address knowledge gaps (e.g. those found to exist around practices and decision-makings processes around gas at the level of householders). These findings inform additional research being conducted in Research Program 2 into the development of customer-centric future fuels.

Partners RMIT University, Jemena, AGIG, AusNet Services
Research Contact

Dr Stephen McGrail

Research and Education Program Coordinator