All Victorian Energy Upgrades program accredited providers and third parties operating on their behalf must follow the code of conduct when engaging with households and businesses about the program.
Your consumer rights in the Victorian Energy Upgrades program
Participation in the Victorian Energy Upgrades program is entirely voluntary.
Accredited providers and other industry participants are required to meet minimum standards when engaging with consumers about the program. The code of conduct, which came into effect on 1 July 2022, mandates these standards in all aspects of the program. This encompasses:
- lead generation or marketing
- entering a contract for the sale or supply of program upgrades
- undertaking any work involved with delivering program upgrades
- follow-up activities.
The consumer can take action if they feel those standards are not being met. That might be asking people to leave, requesting no further telemarketing calls, hanging up the phone and lodging complaints.
This page outlines the obligations for accredited providers and third parties operating on their behalf when they engage with the consumer.
General responsibilities for accredited providers and third parties operating on their behalf
Any representative who deals with consumers in the Victorian Energy Upgrades program must:
- ensure they always engage with an adult
- take reasonable steps to check that the consumer does not have difficulty understanding the information provided.
Lead generation and marketing
By law, accredited providers and third parties operating on their behalf must wear an identification card that shows:
- their full name and photograph
- their contact details
- information about the accredited provider or business they represent (particularly their ABN).
They can’t use high-pressure tactics, call consumers on the Do Not Call Register or doorknock if the consumer has a sign at their home clearly saying “no doorknocking”, or something similar.
Furthermore, they need to explain how the Victorian Energy Upgrades program works, what the installation will be and which accredited provider will create the certificates. They must also inform consumers about the code of conduct and explain that they do not represent or work for the Victorian Government.
Knock and call times
Accredited providers and third parties operating on their behalf are not allowed to doorknock or call consumers:
- on Sundays or public holidays
- before 9 am or after 6 pm on weekdays (after 8 pm for calls)
- before 9 am or after 5 pm on Saturdays.
Before entering a contract, the accredited provider or third party operating on their behalf must provide the consumer a statement of rights. This should explain consumer rights in relation to that contract.
Accredited providers and third parties operating on their behalf need to ensure the consumer understands the purpose of the installation, constraints and full costs. Furthermore, the consumer's consent is imperative.
Any person involved in any aspect of an installation must provide the consumer with their name and contact information. They also must inform the consumer about which accredited provider they represent, whether they’re employed by an accredited provider or a third party operating on their behalf.
Delivering upgrades under the program
The installer or accredited provider needs to notify the consumer if their home or essential services in their home will be directly affected by an upgrade. That's regardless of whether the upgrade occurs at their home or elsewhere.
If they made an appointment, they need to keep it or notify the consumer otherwise at the earliest reasonable opportunity.
Once an upgrade is finished, they must provide the consumer with:
- the contact details of the accredited provider that will create certificates
- the contact details of any installers
- information on dispute resolution
- manufacturer’s instructions and a warranty (if applicable).
Non-complying products or services
If an accredited provider finds out an upgrade did not comply with the Victorian Energy Upgrades program’s requirements at the time of installation, they need to immediately take steps to inform the consumer.
If a product needs to be replaced, it must be by another product that meets the technical requirements of the program.
Dispute resolution framework
Accredited providers need a process to resolve complaints. They, along with any lead generators, marketers or installers, need to provide the consumer with details of how to access it at various times during the upgrade.
These complaints can be about the accredited provider or any third party operating on their behalf. Accredited providers need to acknowledge any consumer complaint within five business days and take all reasonable steps to resolve it within 20 business days.
Furthermore, if the accredited provider can’t resolve a consumer complaint, they need to assist the consumer in accessing external dispute resolution processes. That includes us.
False and misleading claims
Accredited providers are businesses approved to participate in the program. They and third parties operating on their behalf must not make false or misleading claims, or engage in misleading or deceptive conduct including:
- claiming they work for the Victorian Energy Upgrades program, the Essential Services Commission or the Victorian Government
- claiming the installation is mandatory under the Victorian Energy Upgrades program
- claiming the consumer's telephone number was provided by the Victorian Government
- providing incorrect contact details
- making any other inaccurate representations that might induce the consumer to agree to an upgrade.
Got a question or a complaint?
The information on this page isn’t comprehensive. Consumers with doubts about the conduct of someone operating in the Victorian Energy Upgrades program can contact us to ask a question or register a complaint.