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VEU SCHEME

Victorian Energy Upgrade (VEU)

Victorian Energy Upgrades access to discount energy-saving product and services.

Upgrading from inefficient appliances can help Victorian homes and businesses cope better with cold weather in winter and warm summer temperature. It is also an ideal way to take control of your energy bills.

On average, households can save $110 a year on energy bills while the average business can save $3700. For larger businesses, dollar savings can run into the hundreds of thousands, depending on their upgrades.

Sources: https://www.victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/save-energy-and-money/victorian-energy-upgrades

About the Victorian Energy Upgrade (VEU)

The Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program helps Victorians reduce their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions by providing access to discounted
energy efficient product and services.

The program also encourages investment, employment and innovation in industries that supply these products and services.

Large energy retailers are required to acquire and surrender Victorian energy efficiency certificates (VEECs) to meet annual target set in Victorian legislation.

'Accredited persons' that carry out upgrade activities by installing energy-efficient products in residential or non-residential premises can create VEECs.

The greenhouse gas savings associated with the installation of an energy efficient product and/or decommissioning of an inefficient product determines the number of VEECs that can be created. The level of incentive or discount received by households and businesses varies depending on the market activity and certificate price.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning develop the program's act and regulations. We are responsible for regulating the program
participants and administering the program.

Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECS)

The Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program helps Victorians reduce their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions by providing access to discounted
energy efficient product and services.

The program also encourages investment, employment and innovation in industries that supply these products and services.

Large energy retailers are required to acquire and surrender Victorian energy efficiency certificates (VEECs) to meet annual target set in Victorian legislation.

'Accredited persons' that carry out upgrade activities by installing energy-efficient products in residential or non-residential premises can create VEECs.

The greenhouse gas savings associated with the installation of an energy efficient product and/or decommissioning of an inefficient product determines the number of VEECs that can be created. The level of incentive or discount received by households and businesses varies depending on the market activity and certificate price.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning develop the program's act and regulations. We are responsible for regulating the program
participants and administering the program.

How does Victorian Energy Upgrades works?

Victorian Energy Upgrades is a Victorian government energy efficiency program that gives every Victorian household and business the opportunity to receive rebates or discounts on energy saving products.

Every upgrade allows businesses accredited under the program called Accredited Providers to generate Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates.

Each certificate represents one tonne of greenhouse gas that has been prevented from entering our atmosphere.

Accredited providers then sell these certificates to energy retailers.

The Victorian Government sets annual greenhouse gas reduction targets that require energy retailers to buy a certain number of certificates.

In 2021, energy retailers will help reduce Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions by 6.5 million tonnes through energy efficiency.

The target increases each year and will be 6.7 million tonnes in 2022. For information on new targets and program expansion, download our factsheet.

Victorian Energy Upgrades is making it easier and cheaper for you to make energy-efficient upgrades for your home and business.

Your rights under the VEU program

The VEU program code of conduct sets out minimum standards of behaviour aimed at protecting consumers. The code applies to everyone involved in delivering or marketing upgrades.

Code of conduct consumer information

The code of conduct protects all consumers under the Victorian Energy Upgrades program.

Marketing Activities

If an accredited provider or third party operating on their behalf contacts you about the VEU program, they must:

  • only market or sell VEU program upgrades to you if you are over 18 years and able to understand the information provided
  • explain that the program is voluntary and you do not have to take part
  • explain how they got your address and why they are visiting your house or business
  • tell you what business they work for
  • always wear an identification card that includes a photo, their full name, contact details, ABN, and main contractor details
  • not use high-pressure tactics to sell or market products or services
  • provide accurate information about the goods or services being provided and their quantity
  • not say things that are false or deceptive – this includes that they work for the Victorian Government or the Essential Services Commission or that the Victorian Government provides private contact information (such as phone numbers) for the purposes of marketing.

Contracts

If you are working with an accredited provider or a third party operating on their behalf, they must:

  • only enter into a contract with someone who is 18 years or older
  • make sure they tell you about any work to be done, and you understand this before the work is started
  • give you information about your rights and obligations under VEU program, as well as the upgrade they are offering and a contract. The contract should detail the product/service, a quote and any additional fees, decommissioning procedures, and cooling-off periods
  • tell you about and make sure you understand any work to be done before it is started
  • tell you who is installing the upgrade if you choose to go ahead with a product or service
  • provide a phone number for you to contact the person or company installing the upgrade.

Undertaking work

If you are working with an accredited provider or a third party operating on their behalf, they must:

  • only start work once you have given your consent
  • not start any work if they haven’t notified you about the details of the job. This might include the time and date, product/service to be installed, and information of the person undertaking the activity, such as their accredited provider and contact details
  • only talk to someone who is over 18 years
  • give you, once the job has been completed, their contact details so you can contact them if required
  • give you dispute resolution information and any instructions and warranty information for product/services installed.
How the program benefits all Victorians

Victorian Energy Upgrades reduce emissions and lower energy prices for all Victorians.

Energy savings from the program are expected to reduce Victorian electricity consumption by 7% in 2025 and avoid $3.8 billion in energy system costs.

Reduces energy bills

Energy-efficient products installed under the Victorian Energy Upgrades program reduce energy demand and the need to build new energy infrastructure. This, in turn, lowers energy prices for everyone more than the program’s cost.

While those that undertake upgrades through the program will save more, even those who do not participate will save on their bills. Average households are estimated to save $150 over the next 10 years.

Reduces greenhouse gas emissions

Under new emission reduction targets, the program will lock in 28 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions savings for Victoria between 2022 and 2025. That’s equivalent to taking more than 8.5 million cars off the road for a year.

Program Expansion

The program is expanding to include new and revised activities and incentives for households to carry out upgrades that save energy and lower bills.

New incentives will support Victorian households to:

  • replace gas appliances with efficient electric alternatives
  • install smart appliances
  • receive home energy rating systems.

Download the factsheet

Frequently Asked Questions: New targets and program expansion

What is the Victorian Energy Upgrades program?

The Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program is a Victorian Government program that provides households with discounted energy efficient products and services. Victorian households and businesses can access program activities and discounts through accredited providers who operate across the state.

Accredited providers generate Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates, which are sold to energy retailers. The Victorian Government sets annual emissions targets that require energy retailers to buy certificates.

The VEU program currently provides a range of low and no-cost energy-saving options such as low-flow showerheads, draught sealing and lighting. It also provides subsidies for replacing major appliances such as hot water systems and heating.

Since 2009, the program has supported over 1.8 million households and over 100,000 businesses to upgrade appliances and equipment.

What is the VEU Code of Conduct?

The Code commenced 1 July 2022 and applies to everyone involved in delivering upgrades under the VEU program. This includes:

  • accredited providers or their contractors
  • installers
  • companies doing lead generation and marketing
  • any other third party involved in delivering upgrades under the VEU program.

The Code sets minimum standards of behaviour aimed at protecting consumers and strengthening public confidence in the VEU program.  The Code covers the full range of the consumer’s VEU journey, including:

  • marketing
  • sales
  • contracting
  • installation
  • after-sales processes
  • dispute resolution.

Any part of delivering an upgrade (including sales and marketing) that does not meet the requirements of the Code may result in the upgrade not being eligible for VEU incentives or to create certificates.

Requirements of the Code are consistent with Australian Consumer Law and current best practice.

How does the VEU program reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

VEU supports households and businesses to install energy efficient equipment or switch to appliances that create less emissions. Since the program was established in 2009, it has reduced Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions by over 60 million tonnes.

Under new emission reduction targets announced for the program, VEU will lock in 28 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions savings for Victoria between 2022 and 2025 – equivalent to taking more than 8.5 million cards off the road for a year.

Who can access discounted products and services through VEU?

Every household and business can participate in the program and be eligible for incentives for energy efficient products and services.

Victoria’s largest energy users, approximately 100 businesses, are exempt from the VEU program and have to opt-in to access incentives.

VEU accredited providers are located across Victoria and will discuss upgrade options and arrange installation. You can find your nearest accredited provider at www.victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au.

What new incentives and activities will be available for households and businesses?

The program expansion will include new incentives to support consumers to replace gas appliances with efficient electric alternatives, maximise self-consumption of their rooftop solar energy, and install smart appliances including home energy management systems.

The program will also provide subsidies targeted to businesses, including replacing inefficient gas boilers with efficient electric alternatives.

Work will be undertaken to increase access to the program by increasing incentives and options for households and businesses that can particularly benefit from energy efficiency measures, such as low-income households and small businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

The costs of the VEU program are passed on by energy retailers to consumers in their energy bills. Will the program expansion increase bills for consumers, particularly those who don’t participate?

The energy saving equipment installed under the VEU program reduces energy demand and the need to build new energy infrastructure, which in turn lowers energy prices for everyone by more than the cost of the program.

This means that even those who do not participate will save on their bills, with average households estimated to save $150 and businesses to save $870 over the next 10 years.

Between 2010 and 2020, the program reduced electricity retail prices by 2.2 per cent for households and at least 2.8 per cent for businesses. This reduction in energy prices and the consequent energy bill savings outweighs the VEU program costs.

How much can a household save on energy bills by participating in VEU?

The average household currently saves $110 per year by participating in VEU. These savings are expected to increase to between $120 and $1,100 a year under new under new emission reduction targets for the program for 2022-25.

How much can a business save on energy bills by participating in VEU?

The average business currently saves $3,700 per year by participating in VEU. These savings are estimated to increase under new emission reduction targets for the program for 2022-25 ­– businesses will save between $500 and $74,000 a year depending on the size of the business.

New targets for the program were recently announced. What are they and what does this mean for Victorians?

The Victorian Government’s annual emissions saving targets for the VEU program for 2022 to 2025 are the most ambitious targets ever set for the program and ensure that VEU continues to be the largest energy efficiency scheme in Australia.

The new 2022-2025 targets will increase each year, with energy efficiency upgrades made under the program locking in 6.7 million tonnes of emissions reductions in 2022, building to 7.3 million tonnes in 2025. These savings are equivalent to taking 8.5 million cars off the road.

The targets will reduce Victoria’s energy consumption 2025 by seven per cent and deliver bigger savings on energy bills.

What are the changes to the existing VEU incentives?

There will be an increase in the number of incentives available and refreshed requirements to access existing subsidies. This will expand access to proven energy saving technologies including energy efficient shower roses, space heating, water heating and pool pumps and building shell upgrades such as weather sealing installation and double glazing of windows.

How will VEU and the new targets support electrification?

As part of the expanded VEU program, new incentives will be introduced for consumers to replace gas appliances with efficient electric alternatives. This includes subsidies to electrify water heating and space heating for households and replace commercial and industrial boilers with efficient heat pumps.

This will save consumers on their energy bills, reduce emissions and help Victoria avoid potential gas shortfalls.

How does VEU impact demand pressures for electricity and gas in Victoria?

Energy savings delivered by the VEU program are expected to reduce the Victorian electricity consumption by seven per cent in 2025 and avoid $3.8 billion in energy system costs.

The program also offers subsidies for several gas efficiency and fuel switching upgrades. Due to these, gas consumption in Victoria is expected to be reduced by nine per cent in 2025. This will help alleviate future demand pressures.

The reduction in energy demand enabled by the VEU program will provide significant decreases in wholesale energy prices and deliver savings for all Victorians.