CALD energy consumer research 2011-2012

The Ethnic Communities Council (ECC) commissioned research in order to understand better the experiences and concerns of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) energy consumers in households and in ethnic specific businesses. The National Electricity Market Consumer Advocacy Panel funded the research as there had been little research previously that sought the views of these groups.

The experiences of four types of ethno-specific businesses regarding rising energy costs and the impact of this on their business, understanding of energy efficiency and the carbon price were investigated. These were Asian restaurants, Vietnamese hot bread shops, small groceries run by Tamil and Afghan owners, and kebab shops run by Arabic speaking owners. The research also aimed to understand the experiences of CALD householders with regard to purchasing energy, the impact of higher costs and their understanding of energy efficiency, renewable energy and the carbon price. The householders came from groups who arrived in Australia in three distinct post war periods – the 1940s and 50s; the 1970s and 80s; and the more recently arrived migrants and refugees.

A survey and focus group questions for the householders and a survey for the small businesses was used. Each of these instruments was translated by the ECC’s bilingual educators into the language of those groups chosen to be surveyed. The householder survey was translated into Greek, Italian, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, Thai, Spanish, Tamil and Hazaragi. The small business survey was translated into Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic, Tamil and Hazaragi.

Seventy eight householders were surveyed, an additional 31 householders took part in focus groups and 30 small business owners/managers were surveyed. The research took place between September 2011 and February 2012. The topics investigated were: types of energy used; choice of energy supplier and changes made; appliance types and energy use; paying for energy; reliability of supply; making energy savings and knowledge of the carbon price.

The research provides a snapshot of the experiences of householders and small business owners from CALD backgrounds and the findings (see report and summary of report) will be able to assist the ECC’s Energy Program Coordinator to better target future advocacy and program work.




Download the Research Report

Download the 2 Page Summary