Lighting upgrades raise Vic’s electricity prices

Tuesday, 14 July, 2020

Lighting upgrades raise Vic’s electricity prices

The cost of a lighting upgrade scheme has seen Victorian consumers paying increased rates for their electricity.

The Victorian Energy Upgrades Scheme (VEU) provides financial assistance for home and building owners to improve their energy efficiency.

The scheme costs around $200 million per year to run and those costs are passed on to all electricity users as higher prices.

Lighting Council Australia is calling for the Victorian Government to put an end to what it believes is an unnecessary lighting assistance program that is costing Victorians hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Lighting upgrades have accounted for more than 90% of the scheme over the last 10 years. That may have made sense when LED prices were relatively high. However, LEDs now dominate the market, prices are comparable and it simply makes no sense to keep lighting in the scheme,” said Brodie Easton, Lighting Council Australia Public Affairs & Environmental Manager.

“This scheme is raising electricity prices, facilitating poor lighting outcomes, paying for upgrades that would have occurred regardless and providing assistance for unsustainable jobs and business models.

“VEU claims it supports over 2200 local jobs. However, some of those are attracted by the lure of an easy dollar and are rorting the system.

“Also, VEU practitioners would not be disadvantaged by a free market approach. Hundreds of Victorian jobs within reputable lighting businesses have already been lost directly due to VEU.

“Supporters of the scheme claim that it is helping all Victorian households save on their energy bills. The problem is that in 2018 only around 4% of Victorian homes participated in the scheme, meaning that households are now funding commercial and industrial property upgrades.”

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