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Our agency

The Clean Energy Regulator is an independent statutory authority responsible for administering legislation that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy. It was established on 2 April 2012 by the Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011.

The term ‘Clean Energy Regulator' refers to:

  • the independent statutory authority, comprising the Chair and Members, which sets the strategic direction for the agency's administration of its regulatory schemes, and
  • the agency which supports the Regulator, led by the Chair in her capacity as Chief Executive Officer (‘agency head' as defined by the Public Service Act 1999).

The abbreviation ‘the Regulator' is used when referring to the decision-maker (Chair and Members) and the term ‘the agency' is used when referring to the organisation as a whole.

The operations of the Regulator are carried out under delegation by staff of the agency, led by a small executive team. In addition to her regulatory accountabilities, the Chair of the Clean Energy Regulator serves as the agency head (Chief Executive Officer) under the Public Service Act 1999 and is the accountable authority under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The agency is classed as a non-corporate Commonwealth entity for the purposes of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

The Clean Energy Regulator's outcome to Government is to:

Contribute to a reduction in Australia's net greenhouse gas emissions, including through the administration of market-based mechanisms that incentivise reduction in emissions and the promotion of additional renewable electricity generation.

Legislative responsibilities

The Clean Energy Regulator administers the Emissions Reduction Fund, the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme and the Renewable Energy Target according to the following legislation:

  • Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011
  • Australian National Registry of Emissions Units Act 2011
  • National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007, and
  • Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.

As the agency matures over the life of this Corporate Plan, our strategic approach will focus on:

  • taking a more informed, risk-based approach to administration of our schemes to maximise their efficiency, reduce client burden and increase compliance
  • improving understanding of opportunities to increase carbon abatement or renewable energy under our schemes, and
  • ensuring we are ready to deliver any changes to our schemes to support Australia's international commitments.

Purpose

Our purpose is:

Accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.

Objectives

We have established four objectives that describe the type of regulator we aspire to be and outline the relationships we need to build.

  • Engaged, active and compliant clients.
  • Efficient and effective administration.
  • A trusted, relevant and expert institution.
  • Secure and enduring infrastructure.

Our objectives inform the direction we take in determining our regulatory posture, investment, operations and resource allocation.

Accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.

Engaged, active and compliant clients

Participation in some of our schemes is voluntary. To be effective, the schemes need to attract and retain a strong base of clients who meet the requirements successfully and benefit from the schemes' incentives. The schemes also impose obligations which must be met. We want our clients to be informed, capable and willing to comply.

Our strategies to achieve this are:

  • investing in knowing our clients and communicating with them in a way which meets their needs
  • using client education and guidance materials to help potential clients understand how to participate in and comply with our schemes
  • using targeted enforcement to act as a deterrent to non-compliance, and
  • ensuring our activities assist our clients to decide whether to participate if they have adequate capacity and capability to meet the requirements and achieve the anticipated results.

2016 | 2017 Our priorities are to:

  • mature our relationships with existing clients and stakeholders
  • embed a more proactive, risk based compliance approach, and
  • enhance and streamline our online client experience.

2017 | 2018 Our priorities are to:

  • better understand how sectoral drivers impact on client behaviour and market activity, and
  • enable clients to self-assess and participate in our schemes online.

2018 | 2020 Our priorities are to:

  • provide consistent, informed and timely communications to our clients and the market on new opportunities or obligations in our schemes.

To measure our performance we will consider our engagement, guidance and communications activities and activities related to the collection of information for registration and accreditation, and report annually against the following key performance indicators:

  • level of client satisfaction with the engagement and guidance provided
  • proportion of client contacts resolved at first interaction
  • volume of Australian carbon credit units issued
  • volume of renewable energy certificates registered, and
  • proportion of applications processed within statutory timeframes.

Efficient and effective administration

As an agency operating for the public good, we have an obligation to be efficient and effective. In response to the government's deregulation agenda, we continuously look for ways of doing things more efficiently for us and our clients.

Our strategies to achieve this are:

  • using risk-based and continuous improvement approaches to deploy agency resources to best effect, and
  • maintaining and enhancing the skills and expertise of our people and encouraging innovation.

2016 | 2017 Our priorities are to:

  • assess risk controls in end-to-end processes across agency schemes
  • enhance our contract management and compliance monitoring capabilities
  • continue to invest in our people to enhance our regulatory capability
  • contribute to whole of Government initiatives for streamlining processes and services
  • digitise business processes to support reduced client burden, and
  • actively contribute to the reviews of our schemes.

2017 | 2018 Our priorities are to:

  • enhance data governance and management
  • realise efficiencies from scheme refinements and process improvements
  • strengthen real-time monitoring of client compliance, and
  • ensure any proposed scheme design changes are workable.

2018 | 2020 Our priorities are to:

  • re-evaluate risk appetite as climate change policy transitions to 2030 commitments and a new international framework, and
  • continue to update systems, processes and posture to reflect any changed policy settings and risk appetite.

To measure our performance we will consider our business operations, people services, investigations and enforcement and report annually against the following key performance indicators:

  • positive assessments of the agency's performance under the Regulator Performance Framework
  • no significant breaches of government administrative, legal and policy requirements
  • level of client satisfaction with staff interactions
  • proportion of successful court actions, and
  • proportion of enforceable undertakings completed on time.

A trusted, relevant and expert institution

To address the challenge of reducing carbon emissions, the Clean Energy Regulator will need to operate for many years as a capable trusted agency, relied upon to make sound decisions based on excellent knowledge and data.

Our strategies to achieve this are:

  • building and sustaining the agency's reputation and impact through sound stakeholder relationships and partnerships and authoritative data, and
  • promoting the value of our assets, the quality of our results and the strength of our capabilities.

2016 | 2017 Our priorities are to:

  • enhance users' ability to report, access and analyse scheme data
  • promote the external use of the agency's energy and emissions data
  • strengthen assurance of auditors and audit controls, and
  • champion the use of available data to promote the digitisation of processes and reduce the opportunity for fraud.

2017 | 2018 Our priorities are to:

  • enhance the suite of value-added data products
  • anticipate, assess and respond to client and consumer preferences that impact on our schemes, and
  • understand the impact of emerging technologies and business models on our schemes.

2018 | 2020 Our priorities are to:

  • increase traceability of scheme outcomes in reporting capability for national and international obligations
  • maintain our capability to implement new programs, and
  • improved spatial representation of agency data.

To measure our performance, we will consider activities related to monitoring and encouraging compliance and the provision of market services, and report annually against the following key performance indicators:

  • proportion of contracted abatement delivered
  • compliance levels by regulated entities
  • integrity and level of usage of National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme data, and
  • level of client satisfaction with registries and reporting systems.

Secure and enduring infrastructure

Our changing policy environment and client base and the need to operate efficiently mean that we need resilient and adaptable long term processes and systems as well as reliable data.

Our strategies to achieve this are:

  • ensuring our infrastructure is reliable, resilient and able to be reused in response to policy change, and
  • protecting the integrity and utility of the core elements of our schemes, including greenhouse and energy data, contracts, units and certificates.

2016 | 2017 Our priorities are to:

  • continue to identify and implement improvements to current practices and processes, and
  • establish standardised platforms that facilitate data and information sharing with our partners.

2017 | 2018 Our priorities are to:

  • increase our data analytics capability to better understand market behaviour and target compliance activities, and
  • position the agency's emissions and energy data holdings to inform energy market reform.

2018 | 2020 Our priorities are to:

  • ensure our systems allow the flexibility to embrace any future policy variations.

To measure our performance we will consider activities related to the provision of ICT services, and report annually against the following key performance indicators:

  • availability of online systems, and
  • online systems are compliant with Australian Government standards.

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