Frequently Asked Questions

What is Victorian Energy Upgrades?

The Victorian Energy Upgrades program helps Victorian households and businesses to cut their power bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It does this by providing access to discounted energy-efficient products and services that provide savings on energy bills.

The program works by setting a Victorian target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions which provides discounts on a range of energy-efficient products and services being made available to homes and businesses.

These products and services are delivered through providers accredited by the Essential Services Commission (ESC). The ESC oversees compliance with the program regulations and approves the products and services.

How does Victorian Energy Upgrades work?

The Victorian Energy Upgrades program is part of the Victorian Government's commitment to increasing accessibility to energy-efficient products and services.

The program provides Victorian households and businesses with access to discounted products and appliances that cut energy bills.

These discounts are granted through yearly greenhouse gas reduction targets that the Victorian Government has set for our energy retailers.

Energy retailers are required to buy sufficient Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates to match the target for that year. One certificate equals one tonne of greenhouse gas.

The targets are:

Year

Amount of Victorian Energy Efficiency  Certificates (VEECs)

Target in tonnes CO2-e  GHG abatement

2017

5.9 million

5.9 million

2018

6.1 million

6.1 million

2019

6.3 million

6.3 million

2020

6.5 million

6.5 million

To create a certificate, accredited Victorian businesses sell (or install) Victorian Energy Upgrades-approved products or services to households and businesses.

These approved products or services are all awarded a greenhouse gas reduction score.  The more greenhouse gasses avoided, the more certificates that can be created.

Accredited businesses are then able to sell these certificates in a free market, where energy retailers purchase certificates to meet their targets.

Since it is a free market, the value of certificates can fluctuate due to changes in supply and demand, just like any other type of marketplace.

But all you need to know is that if you're looking to save on your energy bills, the Victorian Government is providing financial incentives that make it easier and cheaper for you to make smarter product choices for your home or business.

Why and how was it developed?

The Victorian Energy Upgrades program was created to make energy efficiency improvements more affordable, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, encourage investment and jobs and to develop innovation in energy-efficient technology in Victoria.

It sought to do this by introducing a third party – certificate creators – that incentivise Victorians to improve their energy efficiency.

The program was introduced in 2009 through the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act 2007 (the 'Act'). For the first few years, the program was only available to households but it was expanded in 2012 to include small to medium businesses. In 2017, the regulations were changed to allow large businesses to opt in to the program.

The Act sets an annual target of avoided greenhouse gas emissions which are achieved through improvements to households and businesses' energy efficiency.

Who can participate and how?

All Victorian households and businesses are able to participate through an accredited provider.

To see a list of these providers and the services and products offered in your area, head to our products page.

What are the benefits of the program?

The program provides a number of benefits for all Victorians, these include:

For households:

  • Helping to keep energy costs down
  • Discounts on energy-efficient products and services
  • On average, an annual saving of $150 per year on energy bills
  • Improved health benefits by making homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

For businesses:

  • Helping to keep energy costs down
  • Discounts on energy-efficient products and services
  • For small to medium businesses, an average annual saving of $670 on energy bills
  • Improved productivity through upgraded facilities and lower energy costs.

For the community:

  • Securing our energy supply by reducing the burden that is placed on the energy system when our community's energy demands rise
  • Reducing the amount of greenhouse gas that is entering the earth's atmosphere and helping to tackle climate change
  • Transitioning Victorians to a low emissions economy by reducing our reliance on energy-intensive, high-emissions technology.

How can I participate?

All Victorian households and businesses are able to participate through an accredited provider.

First, go to our products available page to find the product or service you are interested in. Then, on the same page, you can find a participating provider in your area.

How do I get the best deal on products and appliances?

As the Victorian Energy Upgrades program operates in a free market, prices and offerings will differ between accredited providers. That's why it's important that you shop around and find out the different products and associated benefits and costs.

First, go to our products available page to find the product or service you are interested in. Then, on the same page, you can find a participating provider in your area.

If someone knocks at my door, offering free energy-efficient upgrades, does that mean they're from the Victorian Government?

A common way for accredited providers to market their energy saving products is to use door knockers who will approach households to take part in energy saving upgrades like LED light upgrades or shower head replacements.

Accredited providers are privately owned businesses. They are not from the Government but they must be accredited by the Essential Services Commission (ESC). 

If a business contacts you, you can check the ESC website and see if they are on the Register of Participants. This register means that they have been accredited by the ESC.

If an accredited provider contacts you at your house or business, ask to see their identification which should feature their name, the name of the accredited business they work for and, the business address.

Please remember, that you do not have to let anyone into your house or business if you do not wish for them to enter.

I had someone call me saying they were from the Victorian Government and that I had to upgrade my lights to LED lights. Is the Victorian Government making it compulsory to change our lights?

The Victorian Government is committed to providing the Victorian community with the opportunity to access energy-efficient products and appliances.

The Victorian Government does not require households or businesses to upgrade lights or other fittings.

Participation in the Victorian Energy Upgrades program is voluntary and, like any other type of consumer decision-making, Victorians should shop around to ensure that they are receiving the right type of product or upgrade at a competitive price.

A doorknocker was quite insistent that I take part in free lighting upgrades being offered by the Victorian Government, but they made me uncomfortable. Do I need to allow them into my home because this is a Victorian Government initiative?

No, you do not need to allow anyone into your home if you are uncomfortable.

The Australian Consumer Law (Victoria) (ACL) covers door-to-door sales and states:

Door-to-door sales are only permitted between:

9:00 am and 6:00 pm Monday to Friday

9:00 am and 5:00 pm Saturday.

They are prohibited on Sundays and public holidays.

However, a supplier or agent may visit a consumer at any time if the appointment has been made with the consumer's consent.

Other things to note are that door-to-door salespeople need to:

  • give a 10-day cooling-off period
  • disclose their purpose and identity, and
  • cease to negotiate on request and inform consumers of their termination rights

If you have had an aggressive doorknocker, there are a number of ways you can make a complaint.

Firstly, you can contact the business directly and advise them about the behaviour you have experienced. If you are still unsatisfied, contact Victorian Energy Upgrades support on (03) 9032 1310 or Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 558 181.

Is Victorian Energy Upgrades being delivered by the Victorian Government?

While Victorian Energy Upgrades is a Victorian Government initiative, the delivery of the program is through private businesses known as accredited providers.

As accredited providers operate within a free market, service and product offerings will differ from provider to provider. You should shop around to ensure that you are getting the best deals on products or services you want to upgrade.

The role of the Victorian Government is to accredit providers, set targets and provide the governance framework for the program through the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act and the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Regulations.

Is Victorian Energy Upgrades a scam?

No, the Victorian Energy Upgrades program is not a scam.

It is a Victorian Government initiative that was set up to provide households and businesses with discounts on energy-efficient products and appliances and savings on energy bills, as well as reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

The discounts are delivered through private businesses which operate in a free market, meaning that prices will differ from provider to provider.

That means you should shop around amongst accredited providers to ensure that you are getting the best deals on the products or appliances you want to upgrade.

I recently had an upgrade and the accredited provider said it was free, but then I was charged unexpectedly. Why would this happen?

Accredited providers operate in a free market and prices will differ from provider to provider. The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target legislation does not stipulate the costs for products and services.

However, accredited providers are subject to Australian and Victorian consumer laws, like any other business operating in Victoria.

There could be a number of reasons why unexpected charges have occurred and this should be discussed with the accredited provider.

Consumers are encouraged to know their rights, especially if they believe the total costs of products and services have been misrepresented. Please visit Consumer Affairs Victoria to find out more information or contact the Victorian Energy Upgrades program team.

I live in regional Victoria and can't find an accredited provider for discounted energy efficiency products. How can I access the Victorian Energy Upgrades program?

The Victorian Government is committed to providing access to the scheme for Victorian households and businesses across the state.

While Victorian Energy Upgrades is a Victorian Government initiative, the program is delivered through accredited providers. As the accredited providers operate within a free market economy, their products and services will differ from each other.

Consequently, as demand for one type of product increases, this may mean that accredited providers no longer provide other products. Accredited providers may also decide to change which regions they focus on in response to greater demand in other areas.

If you would like to find out who is available in your area please visit our products available page.

You can also contact Victorian Energy Upgrades support by calling (03) 9032 1310 or by emailing energy.upgrades@delwp.vic.gov.au.