"We believe that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions, and stable electricity prices, are having an effect on our case numbers."
Case numbers rose in the July-September quarter of 2021, up 9% compared to the previous quarter but down when compared to the same time last year. We typically see a rise in billing cases in the third quarter of the year, coinciding with the time when customers usually receive their winter bills. Billing cases still accounted for 49% of our cases received in the July-September quarter but overall billing cases were down 25% when compared with the same time last year. We believe that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions, and stable electricity prices, are having an effect on our case numbers. Our cases have been trending down since the 2017-18 financial year but the steepest declines have taken place in the COVID years of 2019-20 and 2020-21.
Speaking of the financial year, we released our Annual Report on 28 September 2021, looking back on a full year of COVID-19 and the significant effects this has had on the Victorian community. We reported that case numbers were 18% lower in the 2020-21 financial year compared with the previous year but a closer look suggests that there are significant issues in the Victorian community, particularly around affordability, and many of these issues are evident in our case studies. I encourage you to visit our dedicated Annual Report 2021 page, featuring interactive data visualisations, where you can access more information and read the full report.