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 the point of sale at participating retailers. Consumers should check with an accredited provider before purchase.

Specifications

The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Regulations 2018 commenced on 10 December 2018 and provided for deemed activities in the VEU program.

Victorian Energy Upgrades - Specifications – Version 6.0 started on 28 October 2020 and details the technical requirements for these regulations. Version 6 reinstates the greenhouse gas emissions reduction calculations for the following high-volume residential activities, which were previously suspended due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Incandescent lighting upgrades (Part 21 in the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Regulations 2018)
  • Low flow shower roses (Part 17)
  • Weather sealing (Part 15)
  • In-home display unit (Part 30).

The Guidelines for updating the Victorian Energy Upgrades Specifications – Version 1.0 outline the process that will be followed when updating or changing the Specifications.

View the specifications for the Project-based activities.

View accessible versions of the documents below:

Project-based activities

The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (Project-Based Activities) Regulations 2017 provide project-based activities in the VEU 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 2 methods for measuring energy savings for project-based activities:

  1. Measurement and Verification (M&V) method where energy savings are determined using before and after measurements of actual energy consumption
  2. 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 18 December 2020, a new version of the Specifications for the M&V commenced. This is titled:

This new version of the Specifications introduces a change to better support the generation of renewable energy by allowing projects to export renewable energy generated on-site. This version of the Specifications also includes a correction to Equation 2 which improves the accuracy of emissions abatement calculations for bioenergy and other fuel-switching projects and corrections to some internal section references.

Answers to some common questions about this important change FAQs - M&V export limit removal (DOCX)

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

How to participate

The Essential Services Commission (ESC) is the VEU program 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 https://www.esc.vic.gov.au/victorian-energy-upgrades-program.

For businesses and other organisations wishing to undertake an upgrade, accredited providers are listed on the Victorian Energy Saver website. 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 https://www.esc.vic.gov.au/victorian-energy-upgrades-program.

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.

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.

Large energy user opt-in

Historically, large energy users who participated in EPA Victoria’s Environment and Resource Efficiency Plans (EREP) program were excluded from the VEET scheme (now called ‘Victorian Energy Upgrades’) .

From 1 August 2017, these large energy users are able to opt-in to the scheme if they choose. Opting in allows sites to benefit from the scheme by creating certificates when undertaking energy efficiency upgrades. Opting in also creates a liability for their energy retailer under the scheme.

Exclusion from the Victorian Energy Upgrades program will continue for all currently excluded sites unless the site chooses to opt into the program by notifying the Essential Services Commission (ESC) of their intention to do so and creating their first certificate.

How do sites opt-in?

To opt into the Victorian Energy Upgrades program excluded sites are required to both advise the Essential Services Commission of their intention in writing and also create their first certificate. A liability for the site is not triggered until the site receives an incentive under the program - that is, when a certificate is created on behalf of the previously excluded business by an accredited provider undertaking an energy efficiency upgrade on the applicable site.

Sites, where a certificate is created, will then start to create a liability for their energy retailer from 1 January in the calendar year 2 years after the calendar year in which the certificate was registered. That is, a site that opts in in 2017 will create liability from 1 January 2019.

Once a site chooses to opt-in and creates a certificate, that site cannot opt-out from creating a liability for their energy retailer. Sites seeking to opt-in should discuss the liability with their energy retailer before opting in.

Further information regarding how excluded large energy users can opt-in can be found on the ESC website.

Page last updated: 23/02/21