Victorian Energy Upgrades overview
The Victorian Energy Upgrades program helps Victorians cut power bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by giving households and businesses access to discounted energy-efficient products and services.
The program works by setting a state-wide target for energy savings that results in a range of energy-efficient products and services being made available to homes and businesses at a discount.
Accredited providers that deliver these financial incentives can generate Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs). The number of certificates generated is based on the greenhouse gas savings associated with the product or service. The incentive or discount received by households and businesses varies depending on the market activity and certificate price.
An approved provider must professionally install products. Incentives for the purchase of some appliances may be available at point of sale at participating retailers. Consumers should check with an accredited provider before purchase.
The Victorian Energy Upgrades program is a market-based program. Since it is a free market, the value of certificates can fluctuate due to consumer supply and demand rates, just like any other type of market. Consequently, the availability of products and services can also vary over time.
The Victorian Energy Upgrades program (previously the ‘VEET scheme’) is established under the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act 2007, the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Regulations 2008 and the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (Project-Based Activities) Regulations 2017.
This legislative framework places a legal requirement on energy retailer companies to meet an annual greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by surrendering Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates.
The program is administered by the Essential Services Commission (ESC), the independent regulator of the retail energy industry in Victoria. Their role is to oversee compliance and performance reporting by energy businesses and accredit businesses and the products and services eligible under the program. More information about the administration of the program can be found on the ESC website.
Energy efficiency targets
The Victorian Government announced that the targets for 2016-2025 are:
Amount of Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs)
Targets tonnes CO2 -e
GreenHouse Gas abatement
*2021 target will be given effect through greenhouse gas reduction rates.
For information on new targets and program expansion, download our factsheet.
Frequently asked questions
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.
$17 million was allocated to support delivery of an expanded VEU program over the next four years, in the 2020/21 State Budget. This will support new and revised incentives and create more opportunities for households and businesses to save energy and money.
A separate $9 million initiative will provide grants to support small and medium sized businesses, including those impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to participate in the VEU program. These grants will be available from 2021.
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.
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.
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).
By law, accredited providers, and third parties operating on their behalf, must tell you:
- their name
- the name and address (not a PO Box) of the accredited provider they represent
- the purpose of the call or visit.
Knock and call times
- They are not allowed to doorknock or call you:
- on Sundays or public holidays
- before 9 am or after 6 pm on weekdays (after 8 pm for calls)
- before 9 am or after 5 pm on Saturdays.
They must leave the premises if asked by you and not return for 30 days. They must not approach any premises with a ‘do not knock’ sign.
Accredited providers, and third parties operating on their behalf, must:
- tell you how they got your telephone number (if asked)
- stay on the line and answer any questions you have about the provider they represent
- not use recorded messages or ‘robo’ phone tactics designed to alarm
- tell you which accredited provider will be undertaking the installation
- ensure their calling line identification is enabled
- at your request, hang up immediately and not call back for at least 30 days.
To stop receiving all telemarketing calls, you can register your number with the Do Not Call Register managed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
For further information, to lodge a complaint, or register your number, please visit www.donotcall.gov.au or phone 1300 792 958.
False and misleading claims
Accredited providers are businesses approved to participate in the program. They and third parties operating on their behalf must not make false or misleading claims, or engage in misleading or deceptive conduct including:
- claiming they work for the Victorian Energy Upgrades program, the Essential Services Commission or the Victorian Government
- claiming the installation is mandatory under the Victorian Energy Upgrades program
- claiming your telephone number was provided by the Victorian Government
- providing incorrect contact details
- making any other inaccurate representations that might induce you to agree to an upgrade.
A full list of accredited providers can be found at the registry of accredited providers
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Page last updated: 10/11/21