Frequently asked questions

Here you will find additional information on our corporate operations.

What is the Clean Energy Regulator?

On 10 July 2011, the Australian Government announced the Clean Energy Future plan for Australia. The plan put a price on carbon pollution, promoted the innovation and investment in renewable energy, provide incentives for improvement in energy efficiency and created opportunities in the land sector to cut pollution.

The plan also included the establishment of the Clean Energy Regulator as a new authority to administer the:

  • carbon pricing mechanism
  • National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERS)
  • Renewable Energy Target (RET), and
  • Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI).

The Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011 established the Clean Energy Regulator as a statutory authority that administers the carbon pricing mechanism and the other schemes referred to above.

The Clean Energy Regulator is also responsible for the functions previously held by the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator, the Carbon Farming Initiative Administrator and the Greenhouse and Energy Data Officer.

For more details about the Clean Energy Regulator's functions, see our work.

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There were already regulatory bodies in place for some of the Clean Energy Regulator's functions, why did we need a new agency?

The Clean Energy Regulator was established because no single existing regulator had the capabilities needed to administer the range of functions required under climate change laws.

A single regulatory body means:

  • improved regulatory outcomes, including reduced risk of conflicts or gaps emerging between regulators with separate functions
  • streamlined procedures for reporting and surrender of emissions units and renewable energy certificates by those who are liable under the mechanism
  • a reduced burden for businesses that would otherwise need to deal with two or three regulators
  • economies of scale in the administration of legislation, and
  • consistency with current Australian Government policy on the governance arrangements for Australian Government bodies.

For more details about the Clean Energy Regulator's functions, see our work.

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How does the Clean Energy Regulator operate as a stand-alone authority?

The Clean Energy Regulator does not sit within a government department. As a statutory authority, we operate in accordance with the legislation, and the ability for Ministers to guide or influence the way that we work is strictly limited to the power to give directions on general matters only.

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Who is the Clean Energy Regulator and how are its Members chosen?

The Clean Energy Regulator is a body corporate established under the Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011. The membership of the Clean Energy Regulator consists of a Chair and up to two and four other Members.

Each Member is appointed by the Minister by written instrument.

The Chair and Members have been selected for their substantial experience or knowledge and significant standing in their field of expertise including in economics, industry, energy production and supply, energy measurement and reporting, greenhouse gas emissions measurement and reporting, greenhouse gas abatement measures, financial markets, trading of environmental instruments, land resource management and public administration.

The Chair holds office on a full-time basis. A Member (other than the Chair) may hold office on either a full-time or a part-time basis.

For more details, see governance, accountability and reporting.

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Who works at the Clean Energy Regulator?

The Clean Energy Regulator refers to both the body corporate and the public service agency that supports it:

  • The body corporate has a membership comprising Ms Chloe Munro as the Chair and four Members. The Members set the direction for the Clean Energy Regulator to administer the regulatory schemes for which it is responsible.
  • The public service agency comprises the Chair and staff of the Clean Energy Regulator and is established as a statutory agency for the purposes of the Public Service Act 1999. Ms Chloe Munro as the Chair of the Clean Energy Regulator is the head of the Agency. The Agency supports the Clean Energy Regulator in the performance of its responsibilities.

The Clean Energy Regulator can employ people under the Public Service Act 1999 on behalf of the Commonwealth.

Staff who transferred to the Clean Energy Regulator from the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator are employed under the same terms and conditions as their previous employment (until the start of a new enterprise agreement between the Chair and the staff of the Clean Energy Regulator).

The Clean Energy Regulator also engages staff from other departments and the private sector, as well as consultants with suitable qualifications and experience, and may be assisted by officers and employees from other Commonwealth agencies and authorities and, state and territory governments, whose services are made available to the Clean Energy Regulator.

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Who does the Clean Energy Regulator report to? What reporting functions does the Clean Energy Regulator use?

The Clean Energy Regulator is accountable to the Minister of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and to the Parliament.

For more details, see governance, accountability and reporting.

The Clean Energy Regulator must prepare a corporate plan at least once in each three year period. This corporate plan will set out the objectives of the Clean Energy Regulator, and the strategies and policies that are to be followed to achieve those objectives. There is no requirement for the Minister to approve the corporate plan.

The Clean Energy Regulator is also required to prepare an annual report for each financial year, for presentation by the Minister to Parliament.

Information obtained by the Clean Energy Regulator may in some cases be commercially sensitive. The Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011 includes provisions to ensure information obtained by the Clean Energy Regulator is not inappropriately disclosed. Personal information collected is subject to the Privacy Act 1988.‚Äč

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