The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (Project-Based Activities) Regulations 2017 provide for project-based activities in the scheme.

The majority of methods used for calculating Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs) for a given upgrade have been deemed – based on average values for that activity across Victoria. Some situations need a more customised approach. Project-based activities are tailored for a particular site and the level of incentives is based on the measured energy savings achieved at that site. 

Project-based activities involve the measurement of energy consumption before and after an upgrade. There are two methods for measuring energy savings for project-based activities:  

  • Measurement and Verification (M&V) method where energy savings are determined using before and after measurements of actual energy consumption 
  • Benchmark rating method where energy savings are determined using before and after NABERS (which stands for the National Australian Built Environment Rating System) ratings.

Benchmark rating method

A benchmark rating is a measure of the energy performance of a building compared with that of other buildings of a similar size and usage, for example a NABERS rating.   

Incentives are based on energy savings measured using before and after benchmark rating. 

The incentives are available for upgrades at the following types of buildings:  

  • Common areas of apartment buildings 
  • Data centres 
  • Hospitals 
  • Hotels 
  • Offices 
  • Shopping Centres

Details of the technical requirements for using the benchmark rating method are contained in the publication, Benchmark rating in Victorian Energy Upgrades. (PDF, 232.9 KB)

Benchmark rating in Victorian Energy Upgrades (DOCX, 167.4 KB)

Measurement and Verification method

The M&V method is a flexible way to access incentives and offset the cost of energy upgrades. It allows businesses and other non-residential premises to claim incentives by calculating the energy saved from a specific upgrade using industry-standard measurement and verification techniques.

The M&V method is contained in the Regulations, with details of the methods and variables for the M&V method set out in the Specifications. On 12 September 2019, a new version of the Specifications for the M&V commenced. This is titled:

Measurement and Verification in the Victorian Energy Upgrades – Specifications – Version 3.0 (PDF)

Measurement and Verification in the Victorian Energy Upgrades – Specifications – Version 3.0 (DOCX)

Historical versions of the M&V Specifications are still available for download:

Measurement and Verification in the Victorian Energy Upgrades – Specifications – Version 2.0 (DOCX, 169.2 KB)

Measurement and Verification in the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Scheme – Methods and Variables (DOCX, 148.9 KB).

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning undertook stakeholder consultation on draft regulations for project-based activities in June 2016. The department’s response to consultation has now been published on our consultation page.

How to participate

The Essential Services Commission (ESC) is the scheme administrator and is responsible for accrediting providers and assessors.

Organisations wishing to become accredited persons for the M&V method should refer to the ESC’s website at from 19 June 2017.

For businesses and other organisations wishing to undertake an upgrade, accredited providers will be listed on the Victorian Energy Saver website once they are available. In the interim, we suggest you discuss your project with an M&V specialist at the earliest opportunity. You may also choose to become accredited to deliver projects at your own sites.

Persons interested in becoming Approved M&V Professionals to provide third-party reviews of M&V projects should refer to the ESC’s website at from 19 June 2017.

Supporting uptake of the M&V method

M&V is a relatively new area of expertise in energy efficiency and is a major change for the Victorian Energy Upgrades program. The department is supporting uptake and participation by:

  • Convening a stakeholder engagement panel for industry to provide the department with advice and feedback on the M&V method;
  • Developing training materials tailored to the Victorian Energy Upgrades program; and
  • Supporting industry to undertake M&V activities through Custom Upgrades Grants.

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There are already a few options for training and recognition – through the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC), people can take the Certified Measurement and Verification Professional training course and experienced practitioners can be recognised through the EEC’s accreditation for energy efficiency specialists and leaders.

M&V training manual and workbook

The department has developed guidance material for stakeholders interested in understanding the practical implementation of the M&V method.

* Calculating Savings using Measurement and Verification – PDF. This non-mandatory manual introduces key concepts to apply the M&V method in the Victorian Energy Upgrades program.

* Measurement and Verification Workbook (Beta) – XLSX. This workbook calculates greenhouse gas savings for Victorian Energy Upgrades projects using the M&V method.

Note: These resources are intended as guidance material only, and are not a substitute for the regulatory and compliance systems of the Victorian Energy Upgrades program managed by the Essential Services Commission (ESC). For more information on the administrative details of the program, visit the ESC website.

The workbook has been published as a beta, making it suitable for user testing and to support reading the manual. It is provided for information purposes only. No warranty is made in respect of the material, including (but not limited to) in relation to the accuracy or currency of the material at any time or its suitability for other purposes.

Custom Upgrades Grants

Custom upgrades are new in the Victorian Energy Upgrades program. They help businesses invest in large, complex energy saving projects where "off the shelf" activities are not appropriate. To support their uptake, the Victorian Government provided funding to support eligible businesses to participate.

The grants of up to $25,000 will assist businesses to collect baseline (i.e. “business-as-usual”) data and prepare a business case for a significant energy efficiency upgrade. The funding will be used to engage an experienced consultant, install monitoring equipment and software and collect data.

The business case and baseline data will enable the businesses to participate in the M&V method. The businesses will share the completed analysis in a case study.

The grant application process closed in July 2018 and seven businesses have been offered funding.

Custom Upgrades Grant Recipients

AIRAHRetrofitting triple glazed windows$25,000
Bega CheeseEnergy management system (2 sites)$25,000
CompositeControl systems and insulation$25,000
Grill'dEnergy sub-meters (6 sites)$24,650
Kayotic (trading as IGA Rutherglen)Refrigeration monitoring and control$12,500
A.F. GasonMonitoring and controls in paint lines$25,000
Visy Beverage CansCompressed air efficiency$25,000

Other project-based activities

The Benchmark Rating and Treatment and Control method are currently under development.

Benchmark Rating uses energy rating schemes to create certificates, and is based on the NABERS Metered Baseline method from the New South Wales (NSW) Energy Savings Scheme (ESS). It is designed to facilitate whole-building or whole-tenancy retrofits to commercial buildings.

Treatment and Control uses statistical analysis to calculate the impact of an energy efficiency intervention by comparing change in a treatment group to that of a control group. It is designed to incentivise energy efficiency programs delivered to large groups of similar energy consumers, such as households. It is based on the Aggregated Metered Baseline method from the NSW ESS.

Page last updated: 24/06/20