High Voltage Customer Assistance Program

Up to $10M is available from High Voltage Customer Assistance Program (HCAP) to help certain Victorian businesses make their electrical equipment REFCL ready.


High Voltage Customer Assistance Program (HCAP)

The Victorian Government recognises that HVCs may incur a substantial cost to become REFCL ready. Commercial enterprises that are subject to the pressures of a competitive market for their goods and services may find it particularly difficult to absorb the costs of making their electrical assets REFCL-ready. To relieve some of the burden on such HV Customers, the Government has committed $10 million to a High Voltage Customer Assistance Program (HCAP) designed to assist HVCs with part of the costs associated with the REFCL works. Depending on the solution selected by the HV Customer and such things as the type, age, condition, etc of its electrical assets, grants from the HCAP will be capped and may cover up to 50% of an HVC’s REFCL-readiness costs.



The HCAP will provide financial assistance to private sector HVCs in the form of grants. These funds will be capped and contribute up to 50% towards the actual cost of works for an HVC’s chosen solution. The capped amount will be determined by how many HVCs successfully apply for funding but is expected to be in the range of $220,000 to $250,000 per customer site (some HVCs operate more than one site or have more than one connection to the DB’s high-voltage supply network).


Eligible Projects

The HCAP will only fund an HV Customer’s actual costs (material, labour, etc) of implementing its REFCL-ready solution – this includes procurement of equipment, system design, and compliance works.

Grants from the HCAP will not cover any costs associated with the following:

  • Initial assessment and audit of electrical equipment to determine if it is REFCL ready
  • Any costs associated with determining what the REFCL-ready solution will be (other than costs related to solution design)
  • Any other preparation works not directly related to the implementation of the REFCL-ready solution
  • Consultancy fees associated with the foregoing activities
  • The purchase of land
  • Routine or ongoing maintenance activities
  • Recurrent operating costs, for example rent and utility costs, and/or activities establishing expectations of ongoing funding
  • Any downtime or loss of production time resulting from the testing or implementation of the REFCL-ready solution, or
  • Any asset upgrades or network changes not required for REFCL-readiness.


Eligible Applicants

An HVC that is eligible for a grant from the Government’s HCAP scheme is:

  • a sole trader, private or publicly listed company (ie. not Government owned) or trust
  • that operates a business directly connected to high voltage powerlines from a substation required to be equipped with a REFCL by the deadlines for tranche 2 (30 April 2021 deadline) or tranche 3 (30 April 2023 deadline)



Applications close 20 February 2019.


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