Protection for energy users

(Pixabay via Pexels)

The state government has introduced new legislation to protect Victorians, including those in Hume and Whittlesea, taking part in the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program.

Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the new legislation would “foster even stronger bill savings, emissions reductions, and professional compliance providers”.

“We have helped two million households and businesses slash their power bills through the nation-leading VEU program, subsidising energy-efficient products and creating jobs as we aim to halve emissions by 2030,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

A government statement said in 2020 to 2021, more than 300,000 households and 14,000 businesses received upgrades through the program.

“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 government said.

According to the government, 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 July 1, the Code of Conduct will be introduced for businesses working under the program, alongside legislative reforms and improving communications to consumers,” the government said.

“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.”