The Victorian Energy Upgrades program offers discounted products to help make homes and businesses more energy efficient, including in-home display units, lighting, showerheads, heating and cooling, and hot water systems. This helps households and businesses save on energy costs and reduces Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions.
From 1 July 2022, every business and person involved in engaging with customers or responsible for creating energy efficiency certificates under the Victorian Energy Upgrades program must follow the code of conduct.
The code puts consumer welfare and customer service at the centre of how participants deliver the program to Victorians. It requires accredited persons and scheme participants who carry out activities under the Victorian Energy Upgrades program to:
act in a professional and ethical manner
protect consumers’ interests and promote confidence in the Victorian Energy Upgrades program
meet high standards of conduct in their dealings with consumers
the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act
the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Regulations
the Victorian Energy Upgrades Specifications
the Australian Consumer Law (Victoria).
The code promotes good conduct and specific consumer protections. Though many of the obligations described in the code are not new to participants, they define a minimum standard of service consumers can expect from people and businesses engaging with them through the Victorian Energy Upgrades program.
The code will help to boost bill savings, energy efficiency, and emissions reductions, as well as improve compliance and enforcement rules. From 1 July 2022, if accredited persons or their service providers breach the code at any stage, they will not be eligible for program incentives or to create Victorian energy efficiency certificates. Registered certificates will become invalid.
We urge program participants to review their business activities, practices and behaviours to ensure they follow the code. Accredited persons and scheme participants are encouraged to read the code and the guideline to understand their obligations under the code. We welcome feedback from industry on how to best use the guideline to improve their ability to comply with the code.
We will be hosting a series of forums and workshops to assist industry to implement the code. The first session will be held as part of the annual Victorian Energy Upgrades Program bi-annual forum on 14 July 2022. For information on this event, email the Victorian Energy Upgrades at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (03) 9032 1310 during business hours, noting VEU account holders will be directly emailed next week.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the code of conduct guideline?
The guideline is a document that accompanies the Victorian Energy Upgrades program code of conduct to assist accredited persons and scheme participants to understand the code, and the commission’s expectations regarding compliance with the code.
In helping to assist stakeholders to understand the commission’s expectations regarding compliance with the code, the guideline may be updated from time to time. Updates may include additional information on how the commission expects accredited persons and scheme participants to comply with the code and advice on common queries from the industry about the code.
How does the guideline relate to the code of conduct?
The guideline should be read alongside the code. While the guideline does not create any additional obligations and covers all aspects of the code, the code spells out exactly what industry needs to do to comply.
When and how does the guideline apply?
The code of conduct that the guideline supports is effective from 1 July 2022. All accredited persons and scheme participants are expected to comply with the code from this point.
The commission takes non-compliance with the code very seriously and will actively investigate complaints associated with non-compliance.
From 1 July 2022, certificates cannot be created in the Victorian Energy Upgrades program if accredited persons and scheme participants have not complied with the code at any stage of their engagement with the customer.
What else is the commission doing to support industry to be compliant with the code?
The commission is planning series of workshops following the introduction of the code for different stakeholder groups. These workshops will give industry an opportunity to ask questions about their obligations under the code.