Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (or VEECs) are electronic certificates, which represent 1 tonne of (CO2 equivalent) greenhouse gases that are saved by the uptake of energy saving activities by households and businesses.
VEECs are part of the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program which started in 2009.
The program aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – from energy consumption – by incentivising energy efficiency.
All energy-saving products to be installed under the VEU program need to be listed in the program Register of Products which involves a product application and approval process.
Installations and project-based activities must be undertaken by an accredited person or provider to create VEECs.
Some of the most common ways to create VEECs include energy efficiency project activities such as: upgrading lighting in commercial buildings, water and space heating and cooling activities, upgrading to high-efficiency appliances (for example refrigeration, pool pumps, clothes dryers), space conditioning such as insulation and low flow shower roses.
While lighting activities have been the dominant source of VEEC creation to date, many of these product options have recently been revoked from the Register of Products, meaning more certificates will need to be created from other activities.
Energy retailers have a liability under this scheme if they sell gas and/or electricity to Victorian consumers over the given thresholds.
A liable entity must have either a minimum of 5000 customers, or have sold at least 30,000 MWh of power, or 350,000 GJ of gas.
For a given compliance year, the number of certificates a retailer must surrender to the registry is dependent on how much energy they have sold to their Victorian customers what the program’s overall target is for the year, and any sites that are exempt under the scheme.
Surrenders for the previous year take place in the current year between January 1st and April 30th.
Any retailers who “short-surrender”, that is they fail to surrender enough certificates to meet their liability, must pay a penalty for each certificate they are short.
In summary, the VEECs form an integral part in the VEU to incentivise activities which increase energy efficiency in Victoria.
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