Energy users will be better protected as they save money on bills and further reduce their emissions under new legislation being introduced today in our nation-leading energy efficiency program.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today introduced the legislation to protect Victorians taking advantage of the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program.
Since 2009, more than two million households across Victoria have saved on their energy bills thanks to the VEU program, helping Victorians cut power bills and reduce emissions through discounted energy-efficient products and services.
On average, households save $110 a year on energy bills, with average businesses saving $3,700. Savings can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for larger businesses.
In 2020 to 2021, more than 300,000 households and 14,000 businesses received upgrades through the program. All Victorians benefit from lower energy prices thanks to these energy efficiencies.
Amendments to the VEU program covered by the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Amendment Bill 2022 introduce new requirements for accredited providers and scheme participants and stronger regulations for their conduct.
The new requirements will boost bill savings, energy efficiency, and emissions reductions, as well as improve compliance and enforcement rules.
These improvements build off the existing compliance and enforcement activities of the Essential Services Commission and give the regulator more tools and powers to protect Victorians.
From 1 July, the Code of Conduct will be introduced for businesses working under the program, alongside legislative reforms and improving communications to consumers.
The Code includes protections for Victorians when it comes to marketing and sales, contracts, communication, installation, after sale follow-up and customer dispute resolution. These protections are in step with industry codes and Australian Consumer Law.
For example, minimum standards for marketing will prohibit aggressive sales tactics, prevent the distribution of misleading and false information, and require the provision of a standardised, government-approved factsheet.
For more information, please see the Code of Conduct consultation response at Engage Victoria: https://engage.vic.gov.au/victorian-energy-efficiency-target-act-reviewExternal Link.
As stated by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“We have helped two million households and businesses slash their power bills through the nation-leading Victorian Energy Upgrades program, subsidising energy-efficient products and creating jobs as we aim to halve emissions by 2030.”
“This new VEU legislation will foster even stronger bill savings, emissions reductions, and professional compliance by providers.”