Calculating your subsidy

Posted by 21st September, 2017 in


Often prospective clients will ask how much subsidy they will receive through Victorian Energy Upgrades (formerly VEET scheme) or the ESS prior to us assessing their site. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as a client providing a light count over the phone and us providing savings and costs. The light count itself is highly complex and the type of site and its usage can greatly affect how much subsidy you will receive.

Both Victorian Energy Upgrades and ESS aim to reduce carbon emissions, with the higher subsidies reflecting the greater amount of CO2 omitted. It’s important to note that the pre-exiting lamps and retrofitted LEDs have to be scheme accredited and you can’t claim a subsidy if neither is accredited. For peace of mind you can check the full list of accredited products on the VEET product register.

This blog aims to educate and simplify how the subsidies are calculated.

What product are you replacing?

The first and most obvious element in calculating your subsidy is the wattage change between the current lights that you have and their recommended high-efficiency product replacement. In general terms, the higher the wattage change, the bigger the subsidy. Other factors that can affect your subsidy:


We often come across sites that have too much light output for their requirements or they never turn on all their lights. In these circumstances, we can actually delamp (remove lights), which will result in a substantial subsidy to the point that it may be free or, you will be paid a component of the upgrade.

Adding lights

When the light levels cannot meet the Australian lighting standards (AS1680)  with a direct one-for-one replacement, new light fittings may have to be added. In this instance, the subsidy will most likely be reduced.

Light efficiency

While a lower wattage light will give you a higher subsidy, it may not give you the light levels that you require as the lumen output is too low. The most important factor when choosing between LED providers is the efficiency of their products and evidence such as lighting designs that their light will meet AS1680 standards. If the lights do not meet AS1680 standards then you will not receive a subsidy, forcing you to add more or higher wattage alternatives. See our blog on the importance of lighting design in LED upgrades.

Lighting control devices

Another factor to consider in the calculation are lighting control devices such as motion sensors. These will result in less energy use and therefore if added to the circuit as part of the upgrade (either built in to the light or as a stand-alone sensor), will result in greater subsidies.  Where a sensor is pre-existing, this will be considered as an already efficient fitting, so therefore will generate a lower subsidy.

What type of space are you in?

A less obvious factor in calculating your subsidy is the space type in which your business resides. This differs between buildings such as libraries, schools, hospitals and shopping centres and between space types like carparks, storage areas and offices . Those space types that are deemed by the scheme administrator to generally have longer operating hours are allocated more certificates. For example, a manufacturing facility is seen to have its lights turned on for longer hours per day than an office and therefore will generate more subsidies.

Do you have any air conditioning?

The final factor in calculating your subsidy is whether your space type has working air conditioning or not. The reason for this is the fact halogens, metal halides and fluorescents run at significantly higher temperatures than LED, heating up your office and most likely resulting in higher air conditioning use. The introduction of LEDs will lower the air temperature and should get people to turn the air conditioning down, resulting in even fewer CO2 emissions.

Want to know more? We have our own in-house compliance team who will help answer any questions regarding subsidy and certificate creation .