South-west residents are struggling to cope with the rising cost of living, a new survey reveals.
The Standard readers were asked a range of questions about whether they were struggling to make ends meet.
More than 85 per cent of respondents said their grocery bill had increased.
One person wrote their bill had "nearly doubled".
"Increased by $150 to $200 a fortnight," wrote another.
Another respondent admitted they went without certain items "so there's more for my kids".
Prices have gone through the roof in all areas, another respondent wrote.
More than 60 per cent of survey respondents said they had reduced travel due to the rising cost of fuel.
"I would like to but I can't," wrote one respondent.
"My fuel bill has increased by $100 a fortnight."
More than 65 per cent of respondents said their electricity bills had increased and unfortunately more rises are predicted.
Australian Electricity, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis lead research analyst Johanna Bowyer said Australia was seeing astronomical energy prices due to high international coal and gas prices driven by sanctions on Russia, outages at Australian coal fired power plants, and Australian coal supply issues.
"Some solutions to this situation include, increasing the energy efficiency of households - including introducing minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties, accelerating the build out of renewable energy, storage and transmission, facilitating an orderly exit of increasingly unreliable coal generators, and protecting domestic gas users from being exposed to high international gas prices by redirecting a small proportion of exports to the domestic market," Ms Bowyer said.
Almost half of the respondents said their rent or mortgage had increased, while 55 per cent said they were worried about their ability to pay upcoming bills.
"Aged pensions just don't stretch far," one respondent wrote.
More than 20 per cent of respondents said they had been forced to ask for an extension to pay a bill, while almost 30 per cent said they had asked for assistance from family, a friend or a support agency.
"Unfortunately I've been having to get assistance from Vinnies just to help with food and cleaning products," wrote one respondent.
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