The Future is Green

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A Homeowner’s Guide to Victoria's Latest Green Initiatives

01 May 2024

Victoria is taking action towards a sustainable future with the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program, a government initiative designed to significantly reduce carbon emissions and promote energy efficiency across the state. This program offers a suite of energy-saving products and services, some at no cost, for both households and businesses, offering a crucial step towards environmental conservation and energy sustainability. 

Through the program, businesses generate Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs) for each tonne of greenhouse gas prevented, which are sold to energy retailers to fulfil emissions targets. The value of incentives or discounts depends on market activity and certificate prices. 

No-Cost Upgrades Under the VEU Program

Heat Pump Hot Water Systems: The VEU program now offers free replacement of electric hot water systems over 10 years old with new, more efficient heat pumps. This initiative not only promises reduced energy consumption but also substantial savings on electricity bills. 

LED Lighting Upgrade: The shift from non-LED double-fitted fluorescent tube lights to new LEDs is another cornerstone of the program, available at no additional cost. This upgrade is crucial for reducing energy usage and enhancing the quality of lighting in our homes and workplaces. 

Water-Saving Shower Heads: The replacement of outdated shower heads with new, water-efficient models is a simple way to conserve water, offered completely free of charge. 

Rinse Sprays Installation: The installation of rinse sprays, provided at no cost, represents a step forward in water conservation efforts, particularly in commercial settings. 

Subsidised Upgrades 

Beyond the cost-free services, the Victorian Government has also introduced subsidies for upgrades that require a financial contribution, aimed at modernising our heating and cooling systems with more sustainable alternatives: 

Efficient Room-Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner Upgrades: Those considering upgrading from older heating systems to more efficient room-reverse cycle air conditioners can anticipate savings ranging from $70 to $2,800. The exact discount depends on the current system in place, with the government offering support for moving away from ducted gas heaters and older reverse cycle models. 

Efficient Ducted Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner Upgrades: For larger scale heating solutions, replacing central electric resistance ducted heaters or updating existing reverse cycle systems could see discounts between $210 and $7,700.  

Solar Panel Installations: 

Amid these incentives, the Victorian government continues to champion solar energy, providing rebates and financial incentives for solar panel installations. This initiative highlights the broader goal of facilitating the transition to renewable energy sources, making solar more accessible and affordable for all Victorians. 

Benefits for Victorians: 

The VEU program benefits all Victorians by reducing energy use by an expected 7% by 2025 and cutting $3.8 billion in energy costs, lessening the need for new infrastructure and thus lowering overall energy prices. The program's expansion introduces new incentives for replacing gas appliances with electric ones, installing smart appliances, and using home energy rating systems, aiming to save 28 million tonnes of emissions by 2025, equivalent to taking 8.5 million cars off the road for a year. 

Your Next Steps: 

For those interested in taking advantage of these initiatives, the first step is an on-site visit and evaluation to determine the most suitable upgrades for your specific needs. Whether it's enhancing your home's energy efficiency, transitioning to renewable energy sources, or simply adopting more sustainable practices, these government-backed programs offer a pathway towards a greener, more sustainable Victoria. 

As we embrace these changes, let us reflect on the broader impact of our choices — not just on our immediate environment but on the global ecosystem. Together, through informed decisions and the support of government initiatives like the VEU program, we can make a significant contribution to the health of our planet. 

Image credit: Mattone