To be eligible for incentives in the form of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), solar photovoltaic (PV) installations must use Clean Energy Council approved solar PV panels.
In line with our 2017 Compliance Priorities, the Clean Energy Regulator is targeting the installation of unapproved panels through activities that reach across the STC creation chain.
The Clean Energy Regulator takes fraud and deliberate non-compliance seriously and takes necessary action to ensure the integrity of the scheme. Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) participants who are involved in the installation of unapproved panels will be subject to enforcement action by the Clean Energy Regulator. We have a broad range of compliance and enforcement options, including suspension of registration and REC Registry accounts, enforceable undertakings and criminal or civil proceedings.
The Clean Energy Regulator has recently taken enforcement action against registered agent P & N NSW Pty Ltd, who improperly created STCs following the installation of unapproved solar panels.
P & N NSW Pty Ltd entered into an enforceable undertaking with the Clean Energy Regulator to address its conduct. The enforceable undertaking includes the surrender of STCs claimed and rectification of relevant systems to meet regulatory standards. View a complete list of current and previous enforceable undertakings.
The Clean Energy Regulator may accept enforceable undertakings from scheme participants in cases to prevent or address serious non-compliance. Enforceable undertakings are written statements from a person or organisation that they will do, or refrain from doing, certain things in order to resolve detected contraventions or improve compliance with the legislation.
The Clean Energy Regulator takes into consideration a number of factors before agreeing to the offer of an enforceable undertaking. These factors include participant willingness and likelihood to comply with the undertaking, previous compliance history in the SRES and the proportionality of the outcome to the conduct that has, or is likely to occur.
For more information about our monitoring and enforcement powers, please refer to our compliance, education and enforcement policy.
The Clean Energy Regulator has partnered with the solar industry and peak bodies to introduce the Solar Panel Validation Pilot. The Solar Panel Validation Pilot aims to protect the integrity of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme and the solar industry by providing a way to check that panels are approved and eligible for the government incentive, meet Australian standards and covered by warranty. Participating manufacturers will provide serial number data that will allow installers, retailers and consumers to validate panels. STCs created using validated panel data will deliver a higher level of confidence to the Clean Energy Regulator. STCs created without validated data will be examined more closely under our compliance processes and if found to be unapproved subject to enforcement action.
Contact the SRES Compliance team if you have any concerns about the integrity of the SRES at CER-SRES-Compliance@cleanenergyregulator.gov.au. Any information provided will be treated with confidentiality unless otherwise agreed.
The Clean Energy Regulator is responsible for administering the Renewable Energy Target which includes incentives for installation of solar panel systems. Eligibility for those incentives includes some requirements over and above state and territory electrical safety laws, such as the electricians being accredited by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) for solar panel installations and the panels and inverter being on a list approved by the CEC. Consumer protection concerns related to solar panel system sales should be directed to the relevant state fair trading body or the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Any concerns related to electrical safety should be directed to the relevant state or territory electrical safety body.
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