The benchmark rating method for project-based activities uses a building’s energy performance rating before and after the upgrade to determine energy savings.
Benchmark rating method
The project-based activities, benchmark rating method allows Victorian energy efficiency certificates (VEECs) to be created based on improvements in a building's energy performance.
The number of VEECs created is determined by the difference in the energy performance rating before and after the energy improvement project, which can include a range of technologies. It has been designed to use National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) ratings to calculate abatement in eligible buildings.
The steps for participating in the benchmark rating method are outlined below, and in the benchmark rating process map.
See the resources tab on this page for a detailed activity guide for the project-based activities benchmark rating method, together with supporting documentation which must be completed for this activity.
Ensure your project is eligible
To be eligible, the project must:
- take place in Victoria on a business or non-residential premises (unless it meets eligibility criteria for residential premises)
- not be undertaken in a new building
- not required by law (including energy efficiency activities required by the building code)
- not also claiming benefits under a prescribed greenhouse gas scheme
- not underway prior to scoping plan submission.
Energy generated by solar panels may be exported beyond the measurement boundary for benchmark rating projects. However, any energy exported beyond the measurement boundary will not be used to calculate VEECs for a project.
Submit scoping and project plans
The scoping plan and project plan can be submitted at the same time using the Scoping and Project Plan Approval Form. Alternatively, they can be submitted separately which allows you to get conditional, approval in-principle for the scoping plan before proceeding to collect the information required for the project plan..
The scoping plan covers project ownership and purpose. Once accredited, you can submit a scoping plan to provide us with a basic understanding of the project.
You must submit the scoping plan before you start work on the project.
The project plan builds on the description of the scoping plan.
You must submit the project plan before you complete the project works.
Obtain a baseline rating
Before starting work, you must obtain a baseline rating report for the baseline period. The baseline measurement period is defined by the benchmark administrator, but is usually the twelve month period before the upgrade.
To obtain a benchmark rating report specific to your building type, contact an approved benchmark administrator from the list of the approved benchmark administrators. This list is available in the benchmark rating specifications. Currently, the only approved benchmark administrator is the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS).
Physical site work can begin once we have received the scoping plan.
You may start work on procurement, off-site work, or even some types of on-site work before submitting a scoping plan application as long as that is not in-situ and it does not affect any other equipment within the measurement boundary in any way.
Obtain a reporting rating
Once work is complete, you will need to obtain a rating report for the reporting period. The reporting measurement period is defined by the benchmark administrator, but is usually the twelve month period following the upgrade.
To obtain a benchmark rating report specific to your building type, contact an approved benchmark administrator from the list of the approved benchmark administrators This list is available in the benchmark rating specifications.
Submit an impact report
The impact assessment determines the abatement that has been achieved by the project and, therefore, how many VEECs can be created.
Once the project has been implemented and savings have been determined, you can lodge an impact report with us using the Impact Report Approval Form.
The process for project-based activities VEEC creation and registration is outlined on the Victorian energy efficiency certificates page.
See the Benchmark Rating Activity Guide (PDF) for the equations used to calculate VEECs.
For benchmark rating projects, VEECs can be claimed annually for a maximum of eight years.
All relevant legislation relating to the VEU program can be found on the VEU program legislation page.