ST Vincent de Paul in Orange has been inundated with people seeking help to pay bills.
The charity has handed out 1060 electricity vouchers in the last three months. They ran out three weeks ago.
St Vincent de Paul St Joseph’s conference president Marie Wilkins said there would not be any more vouchers until mid October. She said she had to turn people away.
“I tell them to go back to their company and say you’ve been here and we’ll get it to you as soon as we can,” she said.
Mrs Wilkins said she was shocked at how high electricity bills have become. She said she noticed the increase in demand for help about 12 months ago.
“Some bills are phenomenal,” she said.
“We’re getting people in for electricity who have never been to see us before.”
Mrs Wilkins said the demographic seeking help had changed. She said she sees at least 10 new faces every month.
“We’re seeing a lot more middle income people,” she said.
“Some people that are working are finding it hard which we never used to get.”
She said she was nervous about the future. She said the cost of living is going up at a rate that is unsustainable.
“I don’t know where it’s all going to end,” she said.
“Everything’s built up and is coming up.”
St Vincent de Paul central council administrative officer Gail Gilbert said she wasn’t surprised the charity had run out of electricity vouchers.
She said there had also been an increase in people asking for food hampers.
“Our region covers here, Blayney, Cowra, Canowindra, Molong but the highest demand is here in Orange.”
Each electricity voucher is worth $30. A person will receive a voucher for every $100 on their electricity bill however they must prove they have a regular payment plan set up with their provider.