Methodology

The Energy Consumer Sentiment and Behaviour Surveys are conducted by Essential Research for Energy Consumers Australia, to support Energy Consumers Australia’s goal of regularly engaging with energy users across Australia. From 2016 to 2020, the Energy Consumer Sentiment Survey was conducted twice a year and included explored consumer behaviour, perceptions, and attitudes to a range of energy-related issues including satisfaction, usage and relationship with suppliers and retailers. Starting in 2021, the behaviour questions have been shifted to a separate annual survey (now known as the Energy Consumer Behaviour Survey), with the Energy Consumer Sentiment Survey continuing twice a year with questions on perceptions and attitudes.

The questionnaire content for the latest sentiment survey can be found here.

Both surveys follow the same methodology.  The target population for both surveys is household consumers aged over 18 who are involved in decisions about electricity and gas issues in their household, and business consumers who are involved in decisions about electricity and gas issues in their household.

The surveys are conducted online, with participants being invited to participate and completing the questions in their own time without an interviewer present.  The sample is stratified by state, territory and participant type (household or business).  Stratification by state is to provide sample sizes for all states and the ACT that are sufficient for robust analysis, although this has the effect of reducing the effective sample size for the weighted overall nationwide results (because results from smaller jurisdictions, which have been boosted to ensure robust sample sizes for separate analysis, have to be weighted down in the nationwide results to ensure the nationwide results are representative of the total Australian population).

Quotas are placed on the household sample by age and gender, and business sample by business size. RIM weighting is applied to the final data using information sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The final data is weighted based on ABS data by state, territory, and participant type. Information of the weighting efficiency, sample size and margin of error for each wave of the survey is listed below. Margin of Error is calculated to a 95% confidence level.

The survey fieldwork was conducted by Qualtrics using participants from online research panels. All other tasks were completed by Essential Research.

All Essential Research staff hold Research Society membership and are bound by professional codes of behaviour. This research is compliant with the Australian Polling Council Quality Mark standards.

Publication DateFieldwork Start DateFieldwork End Date
Sentiment Survey 202115th March 20217th April 2021

Type Sample SizeWeighting efficiencyEffective Sample SizeMargin of Error
Household2,27478%1,765±2.3%
Business55190%493±4.2%

State/TerritoryHousehold Sample SizeMargin of ErrorHouseholds with electricity onlyHouseholds with electricity & gas
NSW427±4.7%195232
Victoria440±4.7%70370
Queensland326±5.4%26957
(SE Queensland)234±6.4%18549
South Australia307±5.6%120187
Western Australia220±6.6%72258
ACT198±7.0%71127
Tasmania220±6.6%18832
Northern Territory26n/a260

Definitions for the groups used in the Interactive tool are defined below:

Household LifestageDescription
Young HouseholdAged under 44, max, no dependent children. Not retired
Family HouseholdHave dependent children under 18 in Household. Not retired
Older HouseholdAged over 44. Have no dependent children under 18 in Household. Not retired
Retired HouseholdRetirees
HH Type & Financial PressureDescription
Own home, financially comfortableOwn house, financial comfortable
Own home, under financial pressure or manage to get byOwn house, Under Pressure/Pay bills
Rent home, financially comfortableRent house, financial comfortable
Rent home, under financial pressure or manage to get byUnder Pressure/Pay bills

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