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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.

For information on the current processing time of PBA project applications, please see the bottom of this page.

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.

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 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 (M&V) method

The first type of project-based activities, the 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 16 February 2018)

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 site works have been completed and commissioned, the impact of the change can be determined. 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.

To download the impact report application click here.

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 - project-based activities - measurement and verification click here.

Processing times

The timescales indicated in Table 1 below are the average, maximum and minimum length of time in business days that the commission has taken to assess scoping plan, project plan and impact report applications.

For each application type, there are two different metrics used: time to decision and end-to-end.

The time to decision figures represent the time that the commission has taken to complete an assessment from the moment we receive it, to the moment we make a decision - this number only includes the time the application is with the commission and therefore does not include any time that the applicant has taken to respond to any request for further information (RFI).

The end-to-end figures represent the time taken from the moment the AP submits an application to the commission until final approval. This number therefore includes the time it takes for an applicant to respond to any RFI made by the commission, noting that there may be more than one RFI made per application.

Table 1 - Assessment times in business days as at 26 September 2018


Time to decision
(days)
End-to-end
(days)

Average
Minimum
Maximum
Average
Minimum
Maximum
Scoping plan
0.60.0
3.2
3.80.3
17.6
Project plan
1.70.1
9.0
27.5
11.2
70.1
Impact report
7.41.119.2*
*
*
* Not enough data

Please note that these timeframes are the current processing times achieved by the commission to assess existing projects. The achieved times are provided as information to APs and may not be a reliable indicator of future processing times. Projects can vary greatly in scale and complexity and hence each individual project is likely to have unique assessment requirements and so may vary greatly from the above figures. As a general rule of thumb though, the more complex a project is, the more it will tend toward (or exceed) the maximum values indicated, whereas the simpler the project, the more it will tend toward the minimum.


 
3.65-0502