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.

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 small business consumers (with less than 200 employees) 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 small 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. 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 (MoE) is calculated to a 95% confidence level.

Results with a base size of less than n=100 are shown with a caution that results will have a high MOE and therefore may be subject to high variability. Results with a base size of less than n=30 have been suppressed.

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.


Energy Consumers Sentiment Survey

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

Publication DateFieldwork Start DateFieldwork End Date
Sentiment Survey December 202115th September 202121st October 2021
Type Sample SizeWeighting efficiencyEffective Sample SizeMargin of Error
Household2,37679%1,886±2.3%
Small business53585%453±4.6%

State/TerritoryHousehold Sample SizeMargin of ErrorHouseholds with electricity onlyHouseholds with electricity & gas
NSW462±4.6%230232
Victoria459±4.6%77382
Queensland350±5.2%27278
(SE Queensland)250±6.2%19060
South Australia330±5.4%133197
Western Australia329±5.4%88241
ACT212±6.7%63149
Tasmania207±6.8%18225
Northern Territory27n/a252

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
Financial PressureDescription
Financially comfortable Participants self-select definition in Question D16
Manage household bills but struggle to afford anything extra Participants self-select definition in Question D16
Under financial pressure Participants self-select definition in Question D16

Energy Consumers Behaviour Survey

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

Publication DateFieldwork Start DateFieldwork End Date
Behviour Survey 202120th July 20215th August 2021
Type Sample SizeWeighting efficiencyEffective Sample SizeMargin of Error
Household2,22777%1,763±2.3%
Small business54488%480±4.5%

State/TerritoryHousehold Sample SizeMargin of ErrorHouseholds with electricity onlyHouseholds with electricity & gas
NSW425±4.8%219206
Victoria442±4.7%91351
Queensland336±5.3%27561
(SE Queensland)251±6.2%19853
South Australia326±5.4%117209
Western Australia321±5.5%89232
ACT201±6.9%72129
Tasmania204±6.9%18123
Northern Territory22n/a211

Definitions for the groups used in the analysis 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
Financial PressureDescription
Financially comfortableParticipants self-select definition in Question D16
Manage household bills but struggle to afford anything extraParticipants self-select definition in Question D16
Under financial pressureParticipants self-select definition in Question D16

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