More than half a million Victorian households and businesses accessed energy saving upgrades in 2022
19 September 2023
Over 535,000 Victorian households and businesses benefitted from energy efficient upgrades through the Victorian Energy Upgrades program in 2022, which is expected to save over 7.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Victorian Energy Upgrades program is the largest energy efficiency program in Australia, providing Victorians access to discounted energy-saving products and activities.
over 818,000 energy efficient upgrades were delivered across more than 535,000 Victorian households and business premises in 2022
energy efficient upgrades delivered in 2022 are expected to generate 10.7 gigawatt hours of energy savings
over 7.8 million Victorian energy efficiency certificates were registered in 2022, which is expected to save more than 7.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions
consumer demand for the program is growing with 25 per cent more upgrade activities delivered through the program than in the previous year
69 per cent of upgrade activities were undertaken in metropolitan Melbourne; 31 per cent in regional Victoria.
“With cost-of-living pressures adding up, consumers are looking for trusted, effective and sustainable solutions to manage their energy usage and energy bills,” commissioner and chairperson, Kate Symons, said.
“Households and businesses who participated in the Victorian Energy Upgrades program in 2022 can expect estimated average annual savings of $100 and $2,117 respectively on their bills.”
Since the program was established in 2009, more than two million households and 150,000 Victorian businesses have accessed energy efficient upgrades through the program to reduce their energy usage and save on their energy bills.
“This equates to around 78.5 million tonnes of expected greenhouse gas emission savings and valuable savings off participating consumers’ energy bills,” Commissioner Symons said.
The program also encourages investment, employment and innovation in industries that supply energy efficient products and services.
In 2022, the most common household upgrades were in-home display unit installations and weather sealing products. More businesses sought large or bespoke upgrades involving a range of energy saving technologies in 2022, with retail and manufacturing businesses leading the way.
Oak Park Primary School Principal Michael Gill has praised the program, with his school one of the many premises to benefit from upgrades in 2022, replacing 256 inefficient fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps, and metal halide lamps with energy efficient LED lamps.
“The Victorian Energy Upgrades program has enabled the school to upgrade our lighting at virtually no cost and has the potential to save us thousands of dollars,” Principal Michael Gill said.
“I would encourage other schools to participate.” The report also outlines the commission’s compliance and enforcement actions in 2022 to address alleged behaviours, conduct and outcomes that harm the program.
1,020 audits and 20 investigations
compliance and investigation activities resulted in the surrender (that is return to the program for no payment) of 13,020 certificates by accredited persons due to alleged non-compliance – equivalent to over $900,000 worth of certificates
two accredited persons suspended, and accreditation of one accredited person revoked
over $1.5 million in shortfall penalties was paid by seven energy retailers.
New laws and program requirements were introduced in 2022 to strengthen the program in the long-term interest of Victorian consumers, including the enforceable code of conduct applicable to all participants operating under the program.
The reforms also include stronger compliance and enforcement powers for the commission, including introducing penalties for contraventions of certain rules for all accredited persons providing services under the program. The commission can now take direct enforcement action against scheme participants, such as installers who do not comply with the code of conduct.
“These reforms reflect the growing value of the program to consumers and its critical contribution to Victoria’s climate action plan,” Commissioner Symons said.
“As the program administrator and regulator, the commission is committed to upholding the program rules and implementing reforms to build a stronger program for Victorian consumers.”