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The Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program code of conduct sets out minimum standards consumers should expect from people and businesses delivering products and services through the program.

From 1 May 2024, the Code of Conduct will ban accredited providers and scheme participants from using telemarketing to market energy efficient products and services in the VEU program. A further ban on doorknocking methods will take effect on 1 August 2024.  For further information, visit the webpage Telemarketing and door knocking under the VEU program and our Engage Victoria page.

Participation in the VEU program is entirely voluntary.

The VEU code of conduct protects all consumers with the following:

  • lead generation or marketing
  • harmful and unwanted telephone calls
  • entering a contract for the sale or supply of program upgrades
  • any work involving delivering program upgrades
  • follow-up activities.

Actions you can take if someone does not meet their obligations under the code of conduct

If you feel that a provider is not meeting their obligations under the code of conduct, you can take the following actions:

  • ask the person to leave
  • request no further telemarketing calls
  • hang up the phone
  • make a complaint.

How a provider must behave if they contact or market to you

New requirements for how a provider must behave if they contact you are as follows:

  • From 1 May 2024, an accredited provider or scheme participant cannot call you by telephone, except where you have previously provided consent to being called.
  • From 1 August 2024, an accredited provider or scheme participant cannot doorknock your premises, except in certain circumstances where you have provided express consent to being doorknocked.

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

  • not call you without your prior consent
  • tell you about the code of conduct and, on request, give you a copy of the code
  • 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 that 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
  • not use high-pressure tactics to sell or market products or services
  • provide accurate information about the goods or services being provided and their quality
  • comply with spam laws if sending marketing emails or SMS, including getting consent, making it easy to unsubscribe and identifying the provider or business in the message
  • not say things that are false or deceptive – this includes:
    • saying they work for the VEU program, the Essential Services Commission or the Victorian Government
    • telling you that the Victorian Government gave your telephone number
    • giving you incorrect contact details
    • making any other inaccurate representations that encourage you to agree to an upgrade

It is a requirement for lead generators to always wear an identification card that includes the following:

  • their photo
  • full name
  • contact details
  • ABN
  • main contractor details.

Before you enter a contract

Before entering a contract, the provider or scheme participant operating on their behalf must give you a statement of rights. The statement explains your rights and obligations concerning the contract.

Other things a provider or scheme participant must do before entering a contract:

  • 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 starts
  • give you information about your rights and obligations under the VEU program, the upgrade they are offering and a contract. The contract should detail the following:
    • the product/service
    • a quote and any additional fees
    • decommissioning procedures
    • the scheduling and completion of the work
    • cooling-off periods
  • tell you who is installing the upgrade if you choose to go ahead with a product or service
  • provide a phone number to contact the person or company installing the upgrade.

When a provider undertakes upgrade work

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

  • only start work once you have given your consent
  • only begin work if they have notified you about the job details. This might include:
    • the time and date
    • the product/service to be installed
    • information of the person undertaking the activity, such as their accredited provider and contact details
  • only talk to someone who is 18 years or older
  • tell you if an upgrade affects your home or an essential service
  • once the job has been completed, give you their contact details, so you can contact them if required
  • provide you with dispute resolution information, instructions and warranty information for the product/services installed.

What happens if the product or service does not comply with the program requirements?

An accredited provider must take steps to tell you if an upgrade did not comply with the VEU program's requirements. In addition, any replacement product must meet the program's technical requirements.

If you have a dispute with a provider

Accredited providers need to have in place a process to resolve complaints. In addition, the accredited provider needs to give you information on how to access the process during the upgrade.

You can make complaints about the following:

  • the accredited provider
  • any scheme participant operating on their behalf
  • a third party operating on behalf of the accredited provider.

If you make a complaint, an accredited provider needs to:

  • acknowledge your complaint within 5 business days
  • take all reasonable steps to resolve the complaint within 20 business days.

If there is no resolution to a complaint, the provider must help you access an external dispute resolution process.

Contact us

Please contact the Essential Services Commission by calling (03) 9032 1310 or emailing veu@esc.vic.gov.au for your queries and VEU-related complaints, including banned telemarketing practices.

If you have other general questions relating to the VEU program, please contact the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action VEU team at energy.upgrades@deeca.vic.gov.au.

Where else to go for assistance with your rights as a consumer? Please contact Consumer Affairs Victoria. Visit Consumer Affairs Victoria or call 131 450.

Download the factsheet

Translations

We have translated the Victorian Energy Upgrades consumer rights factsheet into various languages.

Page last updated: 18/07/24