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25 May 2022: Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) Project-based activities consultation

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has commenced a public consultation to review the two Project-based Activities (PBA) methods available under the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program.

The purpose of this consultation is to improve and streamline VEU PBA methods to remove unnecessary barriers and encourage greater uptake.

Stakeholders can submit feedback through the Engage Victoria website.

This consultation will close on 1 July 2022.

24 May 2022: Victorian Energy Upgrades: Consultation on use of a discount factor for Refrigerated Cabinet (Part 32) activities

On 16 February 2022, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) commenced an investigation into the Part 32 - Refrigerated Cabinet (RC) activity. This was undertaken in response to concerns from Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program stakeholders that:

  • high incentives for RC units may be inaccurate, leading to a rapid growth in the activity that does not reflect genuine greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement
  • RC units are being installed in business premises that have no pre-existing need to display or store food and/or drink
  • some RC units being installed are not fit for purpose.

DELWP’s investigation into these concerns has found that the current GHG abatement awarded for some RC product classes is inaccurate and that these upgrades are being awarded higher GHG abatement than they are likely to achieve.

Under section 19(2) of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act 2007(the Act), discount factors can be used to take into account any uncertainty associated with the reduction of GHG emissions resulting from a VEU activity.

As an interim measure to address GHG abatement concerns associated with the RC activity, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon Lily D'Ambrosio MP, has released a notice of intention to declare a discount factor under section 19(3) of the Act.

The Notice of Intention can be downloaded here.

A discount factor of 0.5 (i.e. a 50 per cent reduction in incentives) is proposed for Part 32 – Refrigerated Cabinet upgrades where the product installed is listed on the Essential Services Register as belonging to product class 1 to 11 (inclusive) under the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Refrigerated Cabinets) Determination 2020 (Cth) (‘GEMS 2020 Determination’).

Stakeholders are invited to provide their feedback on the notice of intention and proposed discount factor. Further information can be found on Engage Victoria, which includes a short consultation paper with further background to the proposed discount factor and rationale.

Please note, the consultation closes on 6 June 2022.

Stakeholders will be informed of the Minister’s final determination following the consultation period. It is anticipated a response to this consultation will be released by 30 June 2022.

DELWP is committed to a further review of the RC activity to ensure that the activity can meet the objectives of the VEU program and appropriately incentivises the upgrade and installation of RC products. This review will consider decommissioning requirements, installation limits, fit for purpose requirements, baselines and suitability of products.


Older news

The Essential Services Commission (ESC) has released an updated activity guide for stakeholders with guidance on fit for purpose refrigerated cabinet installation environments.

Installation environments considered to be fit for purpose for the refrigerated cabinet activity:

  • refrigerated display cabinets and gelato or ice-cream scooping cabinets installed under activity 32A or 32A(i) of the program should be cabinets used for display of foodstuff to be provided to consumers and/or accessed by consumers in a retail environment
  • ice cream freezer cabinets installed under activity 32A(ii) of the program should be used for display of foodstuff to be provided to the consumer and/or accessed by consumers in a retail environment
  • refrigerated storage cabinets installed under activity 32A(iii) could be installed outside of a retail environment but should only be used for the storage of chilled or frozen foodstuffs in business / non-residential premises

Installations which may not be fit for purpose for the refrigerated cabinet activity include, but are not limited to:

  • installation of refrigerated cabinet products that are not installed in the above environments and/or for above uses
  • installation of multiple refrigerated cabinet products without the current or future need for that amount of display and/or storage capacity
  • replacement of domestic refrigerators and freezers with refrigerated cabinet products where a domestic refrigerator or freezer would be better suited

All accredited persons and installers involved in delivery of this activity under the program should review the updated guidance and ensure that refrigerated cabinet installations delivered under the VEU program meet these requirements.

DELWP and the ESC are continuing to monitor the uptake of the activity under the program closely and where necessary the ESC will take the appropriate enforcement action if breaches occur.

If you have questions, concerns and suggestions on this matter, you may send them to energy.upgrades@delwp.vic.gov.au.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (the department) has committed to updating the VEU market update and work program webpage on a monthly basis in relation to the Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificate (VEEC) market, and on a quarterly basis for the progress of new and revised activities for the VEU program. Please note:

  • These two updates were provided on 8 April 2022.
  • There have been some changes to the activities workplan, with consultations for water heating, space heating, smart thermostats and large energy users due to take place in Q2 2022.
  • The Measurement and Verification (M&V) review has been renamed as the Project-based Activity (PBA) review. This reflects the breadth of the consultation which will include initial reviews of the M&V and Benchmarking methods and a discussion on the interactions with the Building Energy Management Information Systems (BEMIS) deemed activity. The PBA consultation will commence in Q2.

The department has published the Hot Pipe Lagging Response to Consultation outlining the department’s response to stakeholder feedback received in the Hot Pipe Lagging Consultation.

Nine stakeholder submissions were received through the consultation, which the department has considered in making decisions on the final approach to the hot pipe lagging activity. These decisions include:

  • Using AS 4426 (Thermal Insulation of Pipework, Ductwork and Equipment – Selection, Installation and Finish) as the standard for this activity.
  • Not introducing a minimum lagging coverage requirement for this activity.
  • Confining the activity to lagging of bare pipes.

The department will finalise the Regulations and Specifications for the hot pipe lagging activity to address stakeholder feedback from the consultation. The department proposes to publish final Regulations and Specifications in Q2 2022.

The department has also published the Gas Boiler and Water Heater Activities Response to Consultation outlining the department’s response to stakeholder feedback received in the Gas boiler and water heater activities consultation.

Six stakeholder submissions were received through the consultation which the department has considered in making decisions on the review of the gas boiler and water heater activities (Part 37 and Part 38). These decisions include:

  • Working with the Essential Services Commission (ESC) to implement the reduced requirements for BS845 via an Abridged Efficiency Testing Procedure.
  • Identifying that condensing boilers are a technology that by design meets the efficiency requirements of the activity and does not require National Association for Testing Authorities (NATA) laboratory efficiency testing. The VEU Part 37 and 38 activities will be revised to require only manufacturer product specifications for this product type.
  • Working with the ESC to clarify where NATA laboratory testing is required and specify suitable equivalents.
  • Introducing alternative requirements for products that can demonstrate compliance with European Regulation (EU) 813/2013.
  • Allowing the ESC to determine the suitability of alternative efficiency testing standards equivalent to BS845.

The department will finalise the Regulations and Specifications for the gas boiler and water heater activities (Part 37 and Part 38) to address stakeholder feedback from the consultation. The department proposes to publish final Specifications in Q2 2022.

Thanks to all those that provided feedback during the hot pipe lagging and gas boiler and water heater activities consultations.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has commenced a public consultation on the introduction of a new activity: Home Energy Rating Assessment.

The purpose of this consultation is to set out the issues paper and proposed Regulations and Specifications for the activity and to seek the views of interested stakeholders.

Stakeholders can submit feedback through the Engage Victoria website.

Feedback from submissions will be used to guide the creation and implementation of the new activity.

This consultation will close on 29th April 2022.

Following our announcement on 16 February 2022 of the investigation into the refrigerated cabinet (Part 32) activity, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Essential Services Commission (ESC) have continued to receive feedback from stakeholders about the refrigerated cabinet activity, with concerns raised that products are being installed at inappropriate business premises and in inappropriate numbers.

The ESC has released updated guidance for stakeholders to reinforce that installations of these products must meet the requirements of the VEET Act, the VEET Regulations 2018 and the VEU Specifications 2018, and be fit-for-purpose.

The ESC has included guidance for stakeholders on what installations are considered fit-for-purpose and added a new evidentiary requirement for geo-tagged photos for this activity.

The ESC has also released an updated VEEC assignment form template for this activity.

All accredited persons and installers involved in delivery of this activity under the program should review the updated activity guide and form to ensure that refrigerated cabinet installations delivered under the VEU program meet these updated requirements.

Accredited persons must ensure they collect geo-tagged photos for any installations of the refrigerated cabinet activity from 11 April 2022.

DELWP is continuing with its investigation into the refrigerated cabinet activity and is considering all options available to ensure that VEU activities meet the objectives of the program. In the meantime, DELWP and the ESC will continue to monitor the uptake of the activity under the program closely and where necessary the ESC will take the appropriate enforcement action if breaches occur.

If you have questions, concerns and suggestions on this matter, you may send them to energy.upgrades@delwp.vic.gov.au.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has received requests for policy clarification about a particular aspect of the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) Measurement and Verification (M&V) method under the Project-based Activities Regulations.

Stakeholders have proposed approaches that use concurrent baseline and operating periods for M&V projects whose effects can be suspended so that conditions prior to the upgrade can be measured. This includes installations involving solar photovoltaic systems.

DELWP has considered the proposed approaches and can confirm that under certain circumstances concurrent baseline and operating measurement periods can be used. This will allow some projects to reduce their combined baseline and operating periods from 24 to 12 months representing considerable advantages for the project. The clarification only applies to existing sites and cannot be applied to new sites (i.e. new buildings) or new operations that are unable to demonstrate prior operating conditions.

This is consistent with the current M&V Specifications V7.0. Concurrent baseline and measurement periods are also consistent with the principles of the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) and are considered a version of adjacent measurement periods.  

Projects adopting this approach should ensure:

  • Energy conservation measures (ECMs) baseline and operating consumption can be independently measured.
  • ECMs can satisfy the ‘On/Off Test method’ where it can be turned on and off easily and can be readily removed and reinstated without affecting the facility operation.
  • Measurement of site consumption excludes any effects of the ECM.

If you have questions, concerns and suggestions on this matter, you may send them to energy.upgrades@delwp.vic.gov.au.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has received concerns about the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) Refrigerated Cabinet (RC) activity.

Stakeholders have raised concerns that RCs are being installed at inappropriate business premises and in inappropriate numbers.

DELWP is taking these concerns seriously and is undertaking an investigation into the activity, including consideration of accredited provider behaviour that might impact on the integrity of the VEU program. DELWP is working closely with the Essential Services Commission (ESC) and discussing whether any actions are needed to ensure the RC activity is completed appropriately. The ESC is also monitoring the RC activity and providing regular updates to DELWP.

Inappropriate conduct for this activity may include, but is not limited to:

  • installation of RC units at businesses that have no pre-existing need to display or store food and/or drink
  • installation of multiple RC units without the need for that amount of storage capacity
  • installation of RC units that are not fit for purpose
  • replacement of domestic refrigerators and freezers with RC units where a domestic refrigerator or freezer would be better suited (e.g. breakrooms or offices).

Completing an RC activity in this manner is unlikely to result in a genuine reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, impacting on the objectives of the VEU program.

If you have questions, concerns and suggestions on this matter, you may send them to energy.upgrades@delwp.vic.gov.au.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has published the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Amendment (Commercial and Industrial Air-sourced Heat pump Water Heater) Regulations 2021 and the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) Specifications 2018 Version 12.0.

These Regulations and Specifications implement a new commercial and industrial heat pump water heater activity which can be undertaken by accredited providers to create Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs) from 1 Feb 2022. This new activity presents a significant new opportunity for commercial and industrial businesses to reduce gas usage and take steps towards electrification.

For more information on becoming accredited to deliver this new activity, please visit the Essential Services Commission website.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the commercial and industrial heat pump water heater consultation process.

Lighting changes take effect from 1 February 2022

The Specifications also introduce the following scheduled changes to lighting activities:

  1. The extension of Part 21 residential lighting activities to 31 January 2023. This change was announced by DELWP on
    27 October 2021 in response to the disruption of residential lighting activities due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  2. The removal of Part 34 J6 Building based lighting upgrades.
  3. The phase-down of Part 34 Building based lighting upgrades from 31 January 2022. A discount factor of 0.4 (currently 0.6) will be applied to High Intensity Discharge (HID) upgrades (including mercury vapour).

For more information on these changes to lighting activities in the Victorian Energy Upgrades program, please visit our Engage Victoria lighting page.

Emissions factor changes take effect from 1 February 2022

From 1 February, changes to the Electricity Emissions Factor (EEF) previously announced on 8 December 2020 will come into effect to reflect a decline in the emissions intensity of electricity due to increased renewable energy generation. The change reduces the EEF from 0.9546 to 0.8142 (t CO2-e/MWh). Deemed VEU activities will see a reduction in incentive between 0 to 22 per cent, depending on:

  • the fuel source used in the baseline and upgrade activity (e.g. electric to electric, electric to gas)
  • technical assumptions which underpin the activity
  • the rounding of Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs).

Measurement and verification changes

The Measurement and Verification in Victorian Energy Upgrades Specifications have also been updated to reflect updated emissions factors from the latest National Greenhouse Accounts.

Where to find the updated documents

The Regulations can be downloaded at our Target Regulations 2018 page.

The VEU Specifications V12.0 and M&V Specifications Version 7.0 can be downloaded at our Accredited providers page.

A VEU Code of Conduct will be introduced on 1 July 2022 that sets out minimum standards that consumers should expect across their journey with the VEU program. The Code will apply to all accredited providers and third parties under the program.

The Code will include general principles around good conduct and specific protections relating to marketing and sales, contracting and information provision, installation, after-sales processes and dispute resolution. The requirements will be consistent with similar industry codes and Australian Consumer Law. Those who do not operate in accordance with the Code will be unable to profit from the VEU program.

The Department would like to thank the more than 80 organisations and individuals who engaged in public consultation on the Code and related reforms over October and November 2021.​

The Code will be followed by legislative reforms and non-regulatory measures to further improve compliance, protections and privacy under the VEU program, and expand the Essential Services Commission’s powers. The Department is considering stakeholder feedback to its recent Compliance, Protections and Privacy consultation paper and will provide an update on this review in early 2022.

For more information, please see the Code of Conduct response to consultation document at our Engage Victoria consultation page.

The following greenhouse gas reduction rates for 2022 have been fixed under the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act 2007:

  • 0.16113 for electricity
  • 0.01078 for gas

These rates were recommended by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and published by Order of the Governor in Council in the Victoria Government Gazette (available here).

When multiplied by the amount of energy expected to be purchased by energy retailers in 2022, the rates determine the number of certificates each retailer needs to surrender to meet the 2022 Victorian Energy Efficiency Target of 6.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gas abated, while adjusting for differences between estimated and actual energy purchases in past years.

The greenhouse gas reduction rates were determined in consultation with the Essential Services Commission.

The following greenhouse gas reduction rates for 2022 have been fixed under the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act 2007:

  • 0.16113 for electricity
  • 0.01078 for gas

These rates were recommended by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and published by Order of the Governor in Council in the Victoria Government Gazette (available here).

When multiplied by the amount of energy expected to be purchased by energy retailers in 2022, the rates determine the number of certificates each retailer needs to surrender to meet the 2022 Victorian Energy Efficiency Target of 6.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gas abated, while adjusting for differences between estimated and actual energy purchases in past years.

The greenhouse gas reduction rates were determined in consultation with the Essential Services Commission.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has commenced a public consultation on the introduction of a new activity: installation of lagging on hot water pipes in commercial space heating applications.

The purpose of this consultation is to set out the issues paper and proposed Regulations and Specifications for the activity and to seek the views of interested stakeholders. Feedback has already been received from stakeholders on the potential for hot pipe lagging upgrades using a public consultation process conducted in January 2020.

Stakeholders can submit feedback through the Engage Victoria website.

Feedback from submissions will be used to guide the creation and implementation of the new activity.

This consultation will close on 21 January 2022.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has published the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) Specifications 2018 Version 11.0.

Version 11.0 of the Specifications updates the Part 32 – Refrigerated Display Cabinet activity and can be downloaded here:
https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/energy-efficiency/victorian-energy-upgrades/specifications

Key updates:

  • Part 32 – activity name change from ‘Refrigerated display cabinet’ to ‘Refrigerated cabinet’.
  • Part 32 – provides incentives for products registered to the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Refrigerated Cabinets) Determination 2020.
  • Part 32 – products registered to the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Refrigerated Display. Cabinets) Determination 2012 will be eligible to create Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs) until 30 June 2022.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the refrigerated display cabinet consultation process to inform these updates.

The Victorian Government has announced that from 6.00pm, Friday 29 October 2021 there will be a further easing of restrictions across Victoria. The Premier’s statement can be accessed here:
Nearly There: Return To Normality With 80 And 90 Vax Rates | Premier of Victoria

What this means for the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program is:

  • Regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will reunite with the same restrictions, allowing workers to travel freely in Victoria to undertake upgrades and doorknocking. Construction workers will also be able to move between sites and there will be no site limits for specialist contractors.
  • Employers must continue to ensure all authorised workers who are required to leave their place of residence for work, have met their COVID-19 vaccine dose requirements. COVIDSafe settings and additional obligations should also be met as required.
  • Due to high vaccination rates, Victoria is changing the management of contacts of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace. Businesses can now use a risk-based approach which classifies workplace contacts along a risk scale. You can visit the confirmed case in the workplace webpage for further information.

Before starting upgrade work, we recommend VEU providers confirm to the premises occupier that their VEU workers have complied with the mandatory vaccine requirements for authorised workers.  

For further information on the latest restrictions and requirements please see the Victorian roadmap page, the
construction sector guidance page and information for industry and workers required to be vaccinated.

Your COVIDSafe plan should be reviewed and updated in line with public health directions.

Face masks remain mandatory indoors both in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. It is highly recommended you continue to wear a mask outdoors where you cannot physically distance. Please ensure your staff follow the directions and keep up to date by visiting www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

For more information about vaccines, visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine

We will update you as further information becomes available. Please continue to raise issues to energy.upgrades@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Extension of residential lighting activities – clarification

We have received stakeholder questions about the extension of residential lighting activities announced on 27 October 2021. DELWP can confirm that the end date for Part 21 lighting activities will be extended to 31 January 2023. This change will be reflected in updated Specifications, to be released before 31 January 2022

We greatly appreciate your ongoing efforts to stay COVIDSafe.

The Victorian Energy Upgrades program provides subsidies for residential and business consumers to reduce their energy use by upgrading appliances, processes or buildings.

The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) Act 2007 establishes the legislative and regulatory framework for the Victorian Energy Upgrades program. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (the Department) is reviewing the legislative and regulatory structure of the program to ensure it remains fit for purpose and aligns with consumer expectations, so that consumers continue to receive high quality service and benefit from the program.

The Department has commenced consultation on proposed compliance reforms and the introduction of a Code of Conduct. As part of the public consultation process stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on issues papers which consider program compliance and enforcement, consumer protections and data privacy and a Code of Conduct for Accredited Providers.

For more information on the consultation and to have your say on proposed updates, please visit Engage Victoria:

https://engage.vic.gov.au/victorian-energy-efficiency-target-act-review

The closing date for submissions on the Code of Conduct consultation paper is 18 November 2021.

The closing date for submissions on the Compliance, Protections and Privacy consultation paper is 25 November 2021.

On Thursday, 2 September 2021, after several months of trading at $60-$68, the Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificate (VEEC) spot price increased rapidly, reaching a high of $83.75.

While the VEEC spot price has now fallen (with the price as of 12 October 2021 at $74.75) and the VEU program is on track to meet its 2021 and 2022 VEU targets despite the COVID-19 restrictions over that period (with the 2021 target of 6.5 million VEECs now met and 50 per cent of the 2022 target of 6.5 million VEECs created as at  22 October 2021), the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Essential Services Commission (ESC) have heard the concerns raised by stakeholders regarding the potential impact of high VEEC prices and uncertainty about future VEEC supply.

In response to these concerns, DELWP and the ESC are proposing a number of actions to ensure the VEU program continues to benefit all Victorians.

  1. ESC to extend the retailer surrender date from 30 April 2022 to 31 July 2022: The three-month extension is expected to provide retailers and the businesses that supply retailers with certificates more flexibility to meet commitments as restrictions are eased. See the ESC website for more detail.
  2. DELWP to extend residential lighting activities to 31 January 2023: This extension acknowledges that lighting activities have been heavily disrupted by ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and that many VEU providers who were planning to generate VEECs through residential lighting upgrades in the second half of 2021 have been unable to do so.
  3. DELWP to regularly publish information in relation to the pipeline of new VEU program activities: DELWP is fast-tracking work on several new and revised activities for the VEU program, which will increase the supply of certificates. Information will be published quarterly to the website. View the first edition of this information.
  4. DELWP to regularly publish information in relation to the VEEC market: This information will be updated monthly. View the first edition of this information.

The VEU program is the state’s largest energy efficiency program and a key measure in Victoria’s Climate Change Strategy. Encouraging investment and employment in the energy efficiency sector in an objective of the program – certainty in the program is a key to achieving this. Changes to the announced targets and shortfall penalties for 2022 to 2025 could undercut investment and should be avoided. Therefore, the targets announced by the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change on 8 December 2020 will remain unchanged. Similarly, changes to the emissions factors and the shortfall penalty prices will not be considered at this time.

However, DELWP is also seeking stakeholder feedback on further actions that could be considered.

Please see our consultation paper (DOCX, 1.8 MB) and provide any feedback by 25 November 2021.

The Victorian Government has announced that a range of restrictions will ease across Victoria from 11:59pm, Thursday
21 October 2021. The Premier’s statement can be accessed here:
www.premier.vic.gov.au/victorians-hard-work-means-hitting-target-ahead-time

What this means for the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program is:

For all of Victoria

  • Employers must ensure all authorised workers who are required to leave their usual place of residence for work, must have had their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, and will need to be fully vaccinated by Friday, 26 November. This deadline does not apply to construction workers who must have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Monday, 4 October and their second dose by Saturday, 13 November 2021.
  • From 11:59pm, Thursday, 21 October 2021, in home and indoor upgrades, construction, renovation and maintenance work can occur at occupied and unoccupied premises.
  • From 11:59pm, Thursday, 21 October 2021, doorknocking in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria as a form of lead generation or sales in the VEU program is now permitted, provided workers do not travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria to do that work.
  • For occupied premises, a maximum of five workers plus a supervisor are permitted, unless additional workers are required for safety reasons.
  • Construction workers travelling between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria to work on construction sites must meet the vaccine and test requirements specified on the construction sector guidance page.

Before starting upgrade work, we recommend VEU providers confirm to the premises occupier that their VEU workers have complied with the mandatory vaccine requirements for authorised workers.

For further information on the latest restrictions and requirements please see the Victorian roadmap page, the construction sector guidance page and information for industry and workers required to be vaccinated.

Your COVIDSafe plan should be reviewed and updated in line with public health directions.

Face masks remain mandatory indoors and outdoors both in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. Please ensure your staff follow the directions and keep up to date by visiting www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

For more information about vaccines, visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine

Business support

You can access information on support available for businesses impacted by the current restrictions by visiting: Business grants and support | Coronavirus Victoria

We will update you as further information becomes available. Please continue to raise issues to energy.upgrades@delwp.vic.gov.au.

We greatly appreciate your ongoing efforts to stay COVIDSafe.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), in conjunction with the Essential Services Commission (ESC), has commenced a public consultation on proposed changes to efficiency test requirements for gas-fired boiler and water heater activities:

  • Part 37 Activity: Replacement of a gas-fired steam boiler with a high efficiency gas-fired steam boiler
  • Part 38 Activity: Replacement of a gas-fired water boiler or water heater

DELWP and the ESC seek stakeholder feedback on an issues paper which sets out options to streamline testing requirements and reduce barriers for gas-fired boiler and water heater activities under the VEU program.

Some questions we are seeking feedback on include three critical changes:

  1. Development of a BS845-1 abridged testing procedure to support a streamlined approach to efficiency testing of gas-fired boilers and water heaters.
  2. Reviewing the requirement to complete product testing in a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory or equivalent.
  3. Consideration of utilising alternative and equivalent testing standards in lieu of BS845 to meet the testing requirement.

Stakeholders can submit feedback through the Engage Victoria website.

Feedback from submissions will be used to guide the creation and implementation of the new activity.

This consultation will close on 8 November 2021.

The Victorian Government has announced vaccination requirements and timelines for authorised workers and providers. The Premier’s statement can be accessed here:
www.premier.vic.gov.au/vaccination-required-protect-workers-and-victoria

The Premier also announced restrictions on the Victorian construction industry would ease from 11.59pm on Monday, 4 October. You can find the announcement and the Construction Sector Roadmap here:
www.premier.vic.gov.au/covidsafe-reopening-victorian-construction

A number of changes have been made to the restriction levels for specific Local Government Areas (LGAs). Currently restrictions are in place in metropolitan Melbourne, Mitchell Shire, City of Greater Shepparton, Moorabool Shire and City of Latrobe. Please ensure your staff follow the directions and keep up to date on LGA restrictions by visiting www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

What this means for the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program is:

For all of Victoria

  • From 11.59pm Thursday 14 October, all authorised workers will require their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. These workers will need to be fully vaccinated by Friday, 26 November. This deadline does not apply to workers who already have existing requirements under Chief Health Officer directions (e.g. construction workers must have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose from 11.59pm Monday, 4 October).
  • Construction workers travelling between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria to work on construction sites must meet the vaccine and test requirements specified in the Construction Restart Plan.
  • Workplace and travel restrictions for construction sites continue to apply as specified in the construction sector guidance and the Construction Restart Plan.

For metropolitan Melbourne and areas currently in lockdown

  • Upgrade activities are permitted where required for safety, emergency repairs, maintenance or continued operation of essential services.
  • Upgrade activities are permitted for solo outdoor services (including at occupied premises) where physical distancing can be maintained at all times – businesses with an ABN can conduct outdoor maintenance, repairs, cleaning and other building work, home renovations and installations. Additional workers are only permitted where required for safety reasons. Limits on movements between sites do not apply for solo outdoor services.
  • Doorknocking as a form of lead generation or sales in the VEU program is not permitted in metropolitan Melbourne and LGAs currently in lockdown.
  • All authorised workers are required to obtain and carry a permit when working and travelling for work. Permits need to be certified by an employer and are available on the coronavirus website: Authorised provider and authorised worker permit | Coronavirus Victoria.

For the rest of regional Victoria

  • Upgrade, renovation and maintenance work can occur at occupied and unoccupied premises (noting that workers from metropolitan Melbourne or other LGAs currently in lockdown are not authorised to undertake that work).
  • Authorised workers who are travelling for authorised work to metropolitan Melbourne or other LGAs currently in lockdown must obtain a permit and must follow those restrictions once there.
  • Doorknocking as a form of lead generation or sales in the VEU program is permitted in regional Victoria, although workers from metropolitan Melbourne or other LGAs currently in lockdown are not permitted to undertake this work.

For further information on the latest restrictions and requirements please see the authorised provider and authorised worker list, the construction sector guidance page and the construction restart plan.

Your COVIDSafe plan should be reviewed and updated in line with public health directions.

Face masks remain mandatory indoors and outdoors both in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. Please ensure your staff follow the directions and keep up to date by visiting www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

For more information about vaccines, visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine

Business support

A jointly-funded package of grants from the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments will support thousands of small and medium-sized businesses through the next six weeks, at which point Victoria is expected to reach 80 per cent vaccination. The Victorian Government is also supporting construction businesses most affected by lockdown restrictions with a $196.6 million package of cash grants for thousands of operators as the industry prepares to reopen.

Support is available through the Business Costs Assistance Program, the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund and the COVID-19 disaster payment.

You can access further information on support available for businesses impacted by the current restrictions by visiting: Business grants and support | Coronavirus Victoria

We will update you as further information becomes available. Please continue to raise issues to energy.upgrades@delwp.vic.gov.au.

We greatly appreciate your ongoing efforts to stay COVIDSafe.

Following the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) Commercial and Industrial Heat Pump Water Heating (C&I HPWH) Consultation, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (the department), has published the C&I HPWH - Response to Consultation outlining the department’s response to stakeholder feedback.

A total of 24 stakeholder submissions were received through the consultation. Stakeholders provided valuable feedback on the proposed activity and the department thanks those who provided input.

The department has considered stakeholder feedback and has made decisions on the proposed C&I HPWH activity. The response to consultation outlines these decisions, which include:

  • the department will progress the development and implementation of a VEU C&I HPWH activity.
  • the department will adopt TRNSYS as the simulation tool for the purposes of the activity.
  • the department will deploy measures to address barriers and potential undesired outcomes.
  • the department will adopt the ‘accurate electricity emissions factors’ for the activity, reflecting a faster reduction in electricity emissions factors to 2025.

Next steps

The department will finalise the Regulations and Specifications for C&I HPWH upgrades. This will be an eligible activity under the VEU program and accredited providers will be able to create certificates from the commencement date of the new activity, which will be set out in the revised Specifications before the end of 2021. The department will also continue to work with stakeholders to ensure fit-for-purpose uptake of this new activity through industry support and capacity building.

Subscribe to updates

To receive updates about VEU and upcoming opportunities, or to provide stakeholder feedback, please email energy.upgrades@delwp.vic.gov.au or fill in the form below.



Page last updated: 25/05/22