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Compliance

 

Deliverable: Compliance inspections and annual audited compliance statements.

Snapshot

To enable it to pursue compliance with the schemes it administers, the Clean Energy Regulator has:

  • monitoring powers, including to conduct independent audits, gather information and perform inspections
  • enforcement powers, including to suspend or revoke various permissions, accept enforceable undertakings from a scheme participant, issue infringement notices, or pursue legal action for breaches of civil penalty provisions or criminal sanctions.

The Clean Energy Regulator encourages scheme participants to voluntarily comply with legislated requirements, including by engaging with participants and providing education and information to assist them.

In 2012–13, the Clean Energy Regulator used a combination of education, monitoring and enforcement to effectively ensure high levels of compliance.

Carbon pricing mechanism

The Clean Energy Regulator used engagement and education to enable liable entities to comply with their obligations under the carbon pricing mechanism in relation to reporting and the surrender of units in June 2013. This contributed to very high levels of compliance during the first progressive surrender period: 100 per cent of liable entities that were expected to report did so, and 99.74 per cent of reported liability was acquitted on time.

The Clean Energy Regulator reviewed the interim emissions numbers submitted by liable entities and is pursuing debt recovery for the very small number of entities that did not acquit their liability on time.

Carbon Farming Initiative

The Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 equips the Clean Energy Regulator with a range of compliance monitoring and enforcement powers, including powers to conduct inspections, request information from scheme participants, and perform audits. During 2012–13, the Clean Energy Regulator undertook a number of visits to Carbon Farming Initiative project sites; sought information from stakeholders in relation to potentially misleading claims about the Carbon Farming Initiative; and undertook a range of educational activities, including workshops and presentations, to support compliant participation in the scheme.

Renewable Energy Target

During 2012–13, the Clean Energy Regulator investigated incidences of alleged intentional non-compliance under the Renewable Energy Target. As a result of these investigations, nine enforceable undertakings were accepted and seven were finalised, and the REC Registry accounts of five agents were suspended. Education and compliance monitoring and enforcement activities conducted to support the Renewable Energy Target during 2012–13 are shown in Table 3.10.

Table 3.10: Renewable Energy Target education and compliance monitoring activities
Compliance activity Number conducted
Site visits to installation sites and power stations to confirm details provided by applicants 16
Compliance visits to meet with persons regarding specific compliance concerns 66
Industry liaison with stakeholder and industry groups to provide educational seminars and presentations 15
Data matching of information relating to the creation of small-scale certificates to identify ineligible certificate claims 30,861,156
Validation checks requiring applicants to provide documents or other forms of evidence to support their claims 83,043
Enforceable undertakings accepted 9

The Clean Energy Regulator executed four warrants to access premises and obtain copies of documents related to certificate claims. Investigations undertaken by the Clean Energy Regulator led to one criminal prosecution and one civil proceeding, resulting in a conviction and pecuniary penalties respectively.

Any information relating to annual compliance statements which are prepared and submitted by Renewable Energy Target liable entities to report acquisitions of electricity may be audited by the Clean Energy Regulator, to substantiate the information and to determine compliance. During 2012–13, the Clean Energy Regulator completed two field audits relating to the 2011 liability assessment year.

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme

Under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme, 833 controlling corporations and reporting transfer certificate holders were required to submit reports of emissions and energy in relation to the 2011–12 reporting year by 31 October 2012. The Clean Energy Regulator received 95 per cent of reports by the legislated deadline, demonstrating the effectiveness of engagement and education. The remaining reports were submitted, mostly during November, with the exception of two that were not submitted because the corporations were in receivership.

As noted above, interim emissions reporting in June 2013 also achieved an excellent response.

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme audit program is outlined in Section 3.4 of this annual report. As a result of compliance monitoring activities, including report assessments and a review of audit reports, one enforceable undertaking was accepted by a registered corporation and a number of corporations resubmitted their reports. The enforceable undertaking was published on the Clean Energy Regulator website.

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