VEU Government Rebate – Upgrading to Electric Heating and Cooling

May 20th, 2024
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The Victorian Energy Upgrade or ‘VEU’ Program is a statewide initiative designed to help home and business owners make the switch from gas to electric. In case you haven’t heard, a nationwide push is underway to gradually reduce our reliance on gas, as well as invest in more energy efficient forms of heating and cooling. 

Although a gas ban has been introduced for new builds, the VEU Government rebate is in place to ease the financial burden for anyone that needs to replace their existing systems. However, like any rebate, there are key conditions and stipulations that you need to know. 

Throughout this article, we’ll explain the VEU program in detail, how to know if you’re eligible, the benefits of this upgrade, and why it is worth switching to electric.

What is the Victorian Energy Upgrades Program?

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The Victorian Energy Upgrades program is a government-led initiative that allows households and businesses to receive rebates or discounts on ‘energy-saving’ products. In turn, this aims to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower utility bills for each participant.

Each upgrade allows participants of the businesses under this Victorian Energy Upgrades program to generate Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs). These VEECs, each represent one tonne of greenhouse gas reduction. Accredited providers can then sell these certificates to energy retailers.

Overall, the program also helps to encourage investment, innovation, and employment in industries that supply energy-efficient products and services.

Energy retailers use the certification to meet annual emissions targets set by the state government, and this incentive for households and businesses depends on market activity and certificate price. If you want to know more, the Essential Service Commission regulates and administers this program, including accredited people approving the products.

How does it benefit Victorians?

Although transitioning from gas to electric or solar is an excellent long-term investment, it can still come with significant upfront costs. This is where rebate programs help to ease the burden.
By lowering prices for all Victorians, energy savings from the program are expected to reduce energy consumption by 7% in 2025 and steer from $3.8 billion in system energy costs.

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Reduce energy bills

As the products installed under the Victorian Upgrades Program are energy-efficient, this removes energy demand and infrastructure, making energy prices cheaper for everyone. Even Victorians who don’t participate in this rebate will save on bills.

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions

With emission-reduction targets, the program aims to achieve  28 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emission savings by 2025. For reference, this figure is the equivalent of removing roughly 8.5 million cars off our roads for an entire year!

Program expansion

The VEU program constantly expands, including new and revised activities and incentives for households to carry out upgrades that save energy and slash bills. These new incentives offer further support for homes to replace gas appliances with efficient electric alternatives, install smarter appliances, and receive home energy rating systems.

Eligibility criteria for receiving rebates

How do you know if you’re eligible for a rebate or discount? The great news is that every Victorian household can get involved in the program! Everyone can access discounted energy-efficient products and services, and your participation is voluntary.

If you live in a rental property, you are also eligible to receive a discount on a heating and cooling system, and it is recommended that landlords or tenants work together when doing upgrades to a rental property.

By participating in this initiative, households can save between $120 and $1,100 a year on energy costs, and businesses can save between $500 and $74,000 annually.

The Victorian Government Rebate program also respects your rights under a Code of Conduct, including banning telemarketing and door knocking, clearly stating the business contract, and only undertaking work with your consent.

Accredited providers of energy-efficient products

Accredited persons can create VEECs and are responsible for carrying out activities under the program’s rules. An accredited provider will explain the steps to take part in the program, the product types you can install to get a discount, and the necessary qualifications of the tradesperson installing your new system. You must work with this provider to get a discount on an installed appliance through the VEU program.

On 1 July 2023, changes to the Victorian Energy Upgrades included new accreditation processes and standards, new program fees, and strengthened powers for the commission. All persons must apply to the commission to renew it and remain accredited.

From November 1 2023, people who transfer, hold, or surrender VEECs must obtain a VEET Scheme Registry Account, including accredited persons, relevant entities, and other parties that hold or transfer VEECs. However, if you held a certificate on 1 November 2023, you have until 1 November 2024 to obtain a registry account.

There has also been an accreditation transition period from 15 October 2023 to 14 October 2024, where all accredited persons have been assigned a date before their accreditation expires.

Replacing Old Heating and Cooling

With the help of this program, you can replace your old heating and cooling system with a new, more energy-efficient one. For example, you can install:

>Any Victorian Energy Upgrades approved product.

>A range of ducted (whole-of-home) and non-ducted (room) reverse-cycle air conditioners.

>A high-efficiency reverse cycle air conditioner capable of both heating and cooling!

An accredited provider or installer may also need to decommission your existing heating system to be eligible for the discount. Here is a list of the following systems that can be upgraded to more energy-efficient reverse-cycle air conditioners:

  • A hard-wired resistance electric room heater, a central electric resistance ducted heater, a hard-wired slab heater, a refrigerated air conditioner, and a non-ducted reverse cycle air conditioner.

Choosing the right heating and cooling system for your home is important, and Aust Climate can help you choose the most appropriate system. Providing heating and cooling services in Blackburn, Malvern, Burwood, and across Melbourne, you’ll be in good hands from start to finish.

Steps When Organising VEU Installation

If you want a discount or rebate for your household or business, there are things to remember before installing your heating and cooling system.

Install an approved product. Research products for suitability, quality, and products approved for installation under the VEU. Not all heating and cooling products are the same in quality or suitable for your environment. Speak to a heating and cooling professional if you need clarification.

Work with an accredited provider. It’s always a good idea to get quotes from several providers. Accredited providers offer different heating and cooling products, services, expertise, and costs. You can look through this registry of certified persons, including companies.

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VEU Incentive – How Much Can You Get?

Curious about the potential incentives? Let’s explore a brief overview of the potential amounts on offer for the average household.

Installing an efficient room-reverse cycle air conditioner

  • > If your current system is a ducted whole-of-house gas heater, you can upgrade your system size to four split systems installed. You can install one 8kW and three 3kW systems, with an indicative discount of up to $2520. You can also install one 10kW multi-split system as an outdoor unit, saving your home up to $2,800.

  • > If your current system is a non-ducted reverse cycle air conditioner, upgrade your system size from 3kW to 9kW; your indicative discount can be $210 to $490.

  • > If your system is a non-ducted (room) gas heater, upgrade to a 3kW or 9Kw system with an indicative discount of $560 to $1400 yearly.

  • > If your system is a non-ducted reverse cycle air conditioner, you can upgrade your system to a 3kW to 9kW with an indicative discount of up to $490 a year.

  • > If your system isn’t a commissioned product, you can upgrade your current system to 3kW or 9kW with a discount of up to $280.

Want to apply for a government rebate? Aust Climate can help you find an option for your home or business. Providing air conditioning services to Glen Iris, Caulfield, Kew, Bulleen, and across Melbourne, we are masters of heating and cooling.

Installing an efficient ducted reverse-cycle air conditioner

  • > If your current system is a central electric resistance ducted heater, you can upgrade your system size to 10kW or 22kW, with an indicative discount of $5,040 to $7,700 annually. 

  • > If your current system is a ducted gas heater, you can upgrade your system size to 10kW, 15kW, or 22kW, with an annual discount of up to $5,180 annually.

  • > If your system is a ducted reverse cycle air conditioner, you can upgrade your system size to 10kW, 15kW, or 22kW, with an annual discount of up to $1680 annually.

  • > If your system isn’t a commissioned product, you can upgrade your system size from 10kW to 22Kw with a discount of up to $700.

It is important to note that there is no minimum system size requirement to obtain a discount or an upgrade for a reverse-cycle air conditioner. The appliance’s final installed price- (including the discount)is up to the accredited provider and will depend on the certificate price, location, installation costs, and the accredited provider’s administration costs. For more information on the certificate price, see the Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs).

Australian Climate Systems – A Reliable Heating and Cooling Service

Want to get involved in the Victorian Energy Upgrades Program and save energy in your home or workplace? From split systems to electric heating and cooling, our fully qualified and trained technicians have 25 years of experience and a 6-year workmanship guarantee!

Whether you’ve been searching for an accredited provider or advice on a heating or cooling product that works best for you, Aust Climate understands gas heating rebates, supporting you with sales and installation, warranty repairs, and service repair and maintenance. Contact us today for a quote, or visit us in Chirnside Park for heating solutions for the entire family.

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