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Project-based activities

Project-based activities (PBA) are methods that help businesses access incentives for large and custom projects. They are a Victorian Government initiative and are offered as part of the Victorian Energy Upgrades program.

Measurement and verification (M&V) is the first method to take effect.

Background

The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme is a Victorian Government initiative, promoted to consumers as the Victorian Energy Upgrades program. The scheme is administered by the Essential Services Commission (the commission) and is designed to help Victorians save on energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing access to discounted energy efficient products and services. Learn more about the VEET scheme.

About project-based activities

PBAs move away from the existing set of simplified energy saving calculations to providing methods for accessing incentives for large and custom projects. Learn more here. The first project-based activity method, measurement and verification (M&V) is effective from 19 June 2017. To receive updates on the introduction of future PBA methods, sign up for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's list by emailing energy.upgrades@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Please note that as at 28 September 2017 the commission has released final guidance documentation for PBA accreditation, scoping and project plan applications and project variations only. This includes the Explanatory note - project based activities - measurement and verification. part 1: activity guidance and Explanatory note - project-based activities - measurement and verification. part 2: compliance requirements. Application forms are also available for PBA accreditation, scoping plan approval, project plan approval, approved measurement and verification professionals, project variations and VEEC assignment. Further guidance on how to create VEECs from M&V projects and submission of impact reports is due to be released later in 2017. VEET account holders will be notified of these updates.

How to participate in project-based activities

Businesses are able to either work with accredited persons (APs) or become accredited themselves to achieve the incentives available through PBAs. Please refer to the Getting Accredited page for further information on how to get accredited for PBAs, and the Participants page for a list of accredited VEET businesses.

Subcontractors can also participate in PBAs by accredited businesses engaging them to undertake installations, measurements or provide other professional services on their behalf.

The commission has also released detailed guidance about how to become an 'approved measurement and verification professional' (AM&VP) to provide project impact report validation services to PBA projects.  Please refer to the Explanatory note - approved measurement and verification professionals for further information.

Do you have a question about project-based activities - M&V? Please review the Hot topics - project-based activities FAQ available in the resources box below.

Has your question not been answered in Hot topics, or do you have specific queries regarding your proposed project?
Contact the commission via veet@esc.vic.gov.au or (03) 9032 1310

Measurement and verification method

The first type of project-based activities, the measurement and verification (M&V) method is a flexible way for businesses and non-residential participants, nominally with large energy use, to access incentives and offset the cost of their energy efficiency improvement projects.

The M&V method allows businesses to claim incentives by calculating the grid electricity or gas saved from a specific or range of energy efficiency improvement projects using industry-standard measurement and verification techniques. In the M&V method, grid electricity or gas savings are calculated by creating a baseline energy model, which characterises energy use prior to the project, and compares this with their energy consumption after the project in order to calculate savings.

The measurement and verification administrative process

The steps for participating in M&V are outlined below. For detailed information, download the following resource documents.

Resources

Download M&V process map

Download PBA M&V overview

Hot topics - PBA FAQ (last updated 28 September 2017)

View all PBA documentation

Accreditation

A person or organisation must be accredited specifically for project-based activities by the commission before they can submit PBA projects for approval and create VEECs from these types of activities.

Further information on PBA accreditation can be found on the Getting Accredited page of the VEET website.

Scoping and project plan

The scoping plan provides the commission with an understanding of the PBA M&V project.

The project plan is key to the commission's assessment of a project's eligibility to create and register VEECs. The project plan allows the accredited person (AP) to define their activity so the commission can determine its eligibility.

The scoping and project plans can be submitted to the commission in two ways:

  1. submit the scoping plan, receive conditional approval, then submit the project plan and receive approval
  2. submit the scoping and project plan together and receive approval.

These two options allow APs flexibility in how and when they obtain project approval, depending on their risk appetite and timing constraints.

To download the scoping application click here.

To download the project plan application click here.

Measure baseline, undertake work and measure impact

For the vast majority of projects, the baseline must be measured to establish the energy use before any works are undertaken on site. Then, so long as the scoping has been approved and the project plan received by the commission, the physical site works can be undertaken.

Once the activities have been completed and commissioned, the impact of the change can be measured. Please note that depending on the nature of the project, these measurements may require some time to complete (up to 24 months, where twelve months is not uncommon).

Report

The impact report contains a detailed description of the methodology and data modelling used to determine the energy savings calculated from measuring the baseline and the impact. It also includes the VEEC calculations resulting from these energy savings.

For each activity, the project proponent must nominate a single person to validate the approach taken in the project plan, the approach taken in the impact report and check and report that the project plan and impact report are consistent. This person is referred to as the 'approved measurement and verification professional', and they must be approved by the commission as having suitable qualifications and experience and cannot be directly employed by the site owner or AP.

The approved measurement and verification professional's report is submitted together with the impact report to the commission.

Create VEECs

The impact report is then assessed in detail by the commission. Once approved, VEECs can be created and are validated by the commission. The project may also be audited by the commission.

There are three methods for calculating and creating VEECs for PBA M&V projects:

  1. forward creation method using normal year energy savings
  2. annual creation method using measured annual energy savings
  3. forward creation with 'top up' method, which uses forward creation, followed by the annual creation method.

Each project must select only one of these methods of creation as part of the project plan. The process described above applies to the first VEEC creation for any PBA M&V project (noting that VEECs may be created on an annual basis).

Once these steps are successfully completed (and the appropriate VEEC registration fee has been paid), the final step in the process is that the VEECs are registered.

After the first year VEEC creation and registration, subsequent VEEC creations for annual or 'top up' creation do not require the baseline measurement to be repeated.

To download the VEEC assignment form - PBA M&V click here.

 
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