EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Exploring energy-related economic abuse in Australia: Victim and survivor perspectives
Family violence can have many devastating impacts on victims and survivors, including on their use of essential services such as energy. Since the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence (2016), increasing attention has been placed on energy utility responses to consumers impacted by family violence. In 2019, the Victorian energy regulator introduced new protections for Victorian family violence-affected energy customers, making it the first Australian jurisdiction to formally address the problem of family violence in the energy sector. In June 2022, the national regulatory body announced that similar protections will soon be extended to family violence-affected energy consumers nationwide. Nevertheless, despite these policy changes, the lived experience of energy problems and energy utility responses by family violence victims and survivors remains unexplored.
This is the first academic study on energy-related economic abuse. It aims to understand 1) how energy services can be implicated in the experience of family violence; and 2) how energy utilities and their regulators can improve their family violence responses.
This research is led by victims and survivors: the relationship between economic abuse, energy and energy utilities is explored through the eyes of economic abuse victims and survivors across Australia via individual, in-depth interviews.