Did I Get Scammed in 2018? Victoria Energy LED Scheme

Hi all, first post, long time lurker.

I bought a house in Victoria in 2018, first home purchase and I was brand new to the property market, and a "fresh" owner. Soon after I had an electrician come over to install new oven etc. He asked if I wanted to change over the existing lights in the house to LEDs. I thought "why not?". He mentioned there was a Victorian Government Scheme that does this for free, but he mentioned he wasn't sure if I was eligible for it. He quoted me $1100 to change all the downlights from whatever they were (not LED) to LED ones. I agreed.

Fast forward, I am now thinking that I shouldn't have agreed, and should have changed them for free through the scheme. I paid $1100 when I didn't need to. My question is now, I am not sure how the Government scheme works, is there a chance the Electrician could have claimed back something from the Government scheme without my knowledge? In effect, he's gotten paid by the Scheme, and also taken the cash from me? Or if not, either way, is there any way I can get anything back from the scheme now? Can I ask the Electrician to claim that money from the Scheme and get some rebate for me? Or should I just move on?

Thanks for your assistance.


  • +3


  • +14

    You been thinking about this for 3 years, and have signed up to a bargain forum just to ask this question, 3 years on?

    • I only thought of this recently, when I learnt more about the Scheme, from the pop up shops in the Shopping malls. That got me thinking.

      • +13

        Unless you are planning to somehow rig up all your led fixtures into a makeshift time machine, I suggest you stop worrying about it, and move on with your life. The time to question it was 3 years ago, now it's time to enjoy your energy saving light bulbs.

        • Good tip, you are right, thanks. It's just a niggling feeling knowing I might have gotten ripped off, but all good.

          • @koolade: If you were happy with the price at the time, and the lights are working well for you, carry on 👍

  • +1

    Not scammed. But sounds like you overpaid.

    I suspect the supplier is not on the last page of this list, so he may not be getting anything extra either:



    Households with a Victorian electricity account, and a Pension Concession, JobSeeker, Austudy, Abstudy, or Youth Allowance recipient, can get a one-off $250 Power Saving Bonus until 31 January 2022.

    I did not know this (although can't claim it either).

    • I just checked that link, the supplier is not on there. Thanks for that. Feel a little better now. And good tip on the one-off payment, I will look into that now.

  • How many lights? Did he replace the drivers? What wattage/lumens did you receive? How high are your ceilings? Did you have dimmers installed?

    By answering the above I can tell you if you've been ripped off.

    • 26 lights. He took off the old lights, and installed sockets at each point inside the ceiling, so the LED lights could be plugged in. Not sure exactly on the LED lumens. Ceilings are fairly standard high, about 9-10ft I am guessing. There is a dimmer for the entire living room, which he left on. It works, with the LEDs too. It took him and 2 more guys about 90 mins to get it all done. I am guessing I overpaid, though my question was more around if he (electrician) claimed the money from the Govt through the scheme as well, without me knowing.

  • +2

    1 LED lightbulb costs $10. Changing 1 lightbulb takes around 5 minutes. Assuming $100/hour pay rate for the electrician, changing 1 lightbulb costs $18.3. 1100÷18.3 = 60 light bulbs. So if they changed less than 60 light bulbs, you got ripped off.

    Anyway, through the scheme, the electrician is meant to change the lights for you for free and claim all of it back through the scheme afterwards. You were not meant to pay anything.

    • Thank you, yes I have overpaid. There were 26 lights. That was my concern, if the electrician got the Govt rebate without me knowing.

    • +1

      OP said it was the electrician and 2 offsiders which isn’t in your maths

      And downlights can also be more difficult than just screw old bulb out, screw new bulb in (and often require more parts = more $)

      Probably still a bit on the high side… not sure it’s “ripped off” level though

    • +1

      There is no way an electrician is charging per hour, they would charge you just to show up, then per light fixture. $100 p/h is a low estimation.

  • +1

    Last time I had a friend ask me on replacing my house's LED bulbs, I told him I dont need it I got 9.5 W smart LED light bulbs. (Branded light bulbs LIFX/Philips hue)
    That stupid person still insisted on asking me again about changing to 9W LED bulbs.
    After that conversation never talked to that idiot again (who thinks I'd like to get free $5 RRP bulbs for replacing mine $60+ RRP Bulbs)

  • +1

    Think of it as a lesson…investigate before agreeing to 'add ons' etc.

  • Think of it as a lesson learned…investigate before agreeing to 'add ons' etc.

  • +3

    Not a scam.

    The dude told you the situation … you may or may not be eligible … and you agreed to his quote of $1,100 to do the work and therefore you effectively assumed you were not eligible for the scheme.

    Whether you were or weren't eligible is now moot.

    Equally, whether old mate got some rebate elsewhere is moot.

    You agreed to something without investigating all your options.

    Did you get a dud deal for yourself? Maybe, but that boat sailed three years ago.

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