WA's leading welfare group has called on the State Government to introduce a lower electricity tariff for disadvantaged households, saying current concessions are not enough.

In a submission for next year's Budget, the WA Council of Social Service said electricity prices for people "experiencing utility hardship" should be set 15 per cent below retail tariffs.

The council said a separate tariff was needed because existing relief measures, including the $200 a year cost of living allowance, were not keeping up with electricity price rises.

Since the Barnett Government came to power in 2008, average household electricity charges have risen 62 per cent, taking a typical bill to $1465 a year.

The council said the increases hit poorer households harder and there should be a dedicated tariff for them as well as new targeted energy efficiency programs.

Energy Minister Peter Collier said the Government had no plans to introduce a low-income tariff despite having looked at the proposal.

He said the Government was doing all it could to help the "small percentage" of households unable to cope with price rises.

Shadow energy minister Bill Johnston was lukewarm on the proposal, saying while Labor supported a low-income tariff in principle, it would be difficult and costly to administer.

"There's merit in the idea of providing means-tested support to low-income earners," he said.

"The problem for State governments is that we don't always have access to the information that's usually required for a means test and so it becomes inordinately expensive to administer."

The West Australian

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