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Our operating context

 

Our purpose of accelerating carbon abatement supports the Australian Government’s Plan for a Cleaner Environment. The Clean Energy Regulator is responsible for:

  • collecting, analysing and assessing emissions and energy data, which underpins the reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions and supports Australia’s emissions and energy data needs
  • operating the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units and the Renewable Energy Certificate Registry
  • monitoring, facilitating and enforcing compliance with the schemes it administers
  • issuing Australian carbon credit units to projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • accrediting greenhouse and energy auditors who are engaged to undertake audit activities under the schemes it administers
  • working with Commonwealth, state and territory law enforcement and regulatory bodies,
  • providing education and information, and promoting the schemes it administers.

Australian Government regulatory reform agenda

The Clean Energy Regulator supports the Australian Government’s reform agenda to reduce costs, improve transparency and enhance efficiency in administering regulations.

The Government aims to reduce the overall net cost burden for its clients by a minimum of $1 billion per year from 2014 to 2017. The Clean Energy Regulator contributes to the cost-reduction target for the Environment portfolio.

The Australian Government’s Regulator Performance Framework establishes the following key measures for assessing the performance of regulators:

  1. Regulators do not unnecessarily impede the efficient operation of regulated entities.

  2. Communication with regulated entities is clear, targeted and effective.

  3. Actions undertaken by regulators are proportionate to the regulatory risk being managed.

  4. Compliance and monitoring are streamlined and coordinated.

  5. Regulators are open and transparent in their dealings with regulated entities.

  6. Regulators actively contribute to the continuous improvement of regulatory frameworks.

The Clean Energy Regulator will assess its performance annually against these measures, providing evidence as required by the Environment Portfolio Deregulation Ministerial Advisory Committee. The committee will review the Clean Energy Regulator’s self-assessment report and provide its views to the Clean Energy Regulator and the responsible minister. The report and the review will be published in the Clean Energy Regulator’s annual report.

Council of Australian Governments’ streamlining agenda

The Clean Energy Regulator also supports the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) reform agenda for streamlining reporting. The Clean Energy Regulator’s activities to streamline the reporting of National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme data have provided practical input to the Environment portfolio’s COAG reporting including:

  • providing advice on legislative changes designed to reduce the reporting burden on business
  • enhancing opportunities for state and territory governments to streamline their data reporting through memorandums of understanding
  • working with the Department of the Environment and the Australian Bureau of Statistics to identify streamlining opportunities.

Information-sharing arrangements with government agencies

The Clean Energy Regulator shares information reported under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme and improves the information-sharing processes to assist Commonwealth, state and territory government programmes and activities.

The Clean Energy Regulator facilitates high levels of engagement with Australian Government agencies and has successfully strengthened data-sharing arrangements through the Clean Energy Regulator Commonwealth Information Sharing Network. The network supports the Clean Energy Regulator Strategic Information Framework in reducing regulatory burdens by sharing data more effectively and efficiently between Australian Government bodies.

Partnerships with Commonwealth regulatory agencies

The Clean Energy Regulator works in close partnership with other regulatory agencies to share information, gather intelligence, and refer relevant matters as appropriate. Partner agencies include the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Taxation Office and the Attorney-General’s Department. The agency also undertakes informal information gathering and sharing with other relevant bodies and agencies, including state and territory bodies that oversee energy safety and consumer protection.

To help address fraud and non-compliance specific to the Renewable Energy Target, the Clean Energy Regulator has well-established links with two renewable energy sector associations. In particular, these links assist the Regulator to identify possible non-compliance by participants, including ineligible claims for small-scale technology certificates, and to resolve various compliance issues.

The Regulator also uses relevant information and intelligence gathered from its strategic partnerships to strengthen the Clean Energy Regulator’s own compliance and enforcement initiatives. Examples include education and guidance resources for scheme participants, internal intelligence data, risk assessments and controls, and policies and procedures.

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