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Certificate surrender

05 May 2022
RET

Contents

Liable entities surrender renewable energy certificates through the REC Registry to acquit their large-scale generation certificate (LGC) and small-scale technology certificate (STC) liability under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (the Act).

Liable entities calculate the number of LGCs and STCs they are required to surrender by following the calculating certificate liability processes.

Large-scale generation certificate surrender

To acquit LGC liability for an assessment year, liable entities must surrender LGCs in the REC Registry by 14 February (See key dates). LGCs are taken to be surrendered when the energy acquisition statement is lodged.

For example, to acquit an LGC surrender liability for the 2021 assessment year (electricity acquired between 1 January and 31 December 2021), a liable entity must surrender LGCs with their 2021 energy acquisition statement by 14 February 2022.

A liable entity may also surrender LGCs in other circumstances:

  • voluntarily under section 28A of the Act
  • where a liable entity requests to amend an energy acquisition statement under section 45A of the Act, the liable entity can surrender LGCs to acquit the increased certificate liability
  • if the agency initiates an amendment to an energy acquisition statement under section 45B of the Act, the liable entity can lodge an documentasset:additional surrender notice under section 45C of the Act, or
  • during the allowable refund period in accordance with section 95 of the Act (refer to more information about the large-scale generation shortfall charge).

A liable entity is only able to surrender a LGC for an assessment year if:

  • it is the registered owner of the certificate at the relevant time, and
  • the certificate was created in the assessment year or earlier (referred to as the vintage rule).

Small-scale technology certificate surrender

To acquit STC liability, liable entities must surrender STCs in the REC Registry each quarter of an assessment year.

The reporting and surrender periods for each quarter in an assessment year are:

Quarter (calendar year)Reporting periodCertificate Surrender period
One1 Jan – 31 Mar15 Feb – 28 Apr
Two1 Apr – 30 Jun29 Apr – 28 Jul
Three1 Jul – 30 Sep29 Jul – 28 Oct
Four1 Oct – 31 Dec29 Oct – 28 Feb

Download a hi-res JPG version of the above Reporting and surrender periods table

The surrender period for each quarter of an assessment year is as follows:

  • For the first quarter covering January, February and March of the assessment year, the period from 15 February to 28 April in that year.
  • For the second quarter covering April, May and June of the assessment year, the period from 29 April to 28 July in that year.
  • For the third quarter covering July, August and September of the assessment year, the period from 29 July to 28 October in that year.
  • For the fourth quarter covering October, November and December of the assessment year, the period from 29 October in that year to 14 February in the following year.

A liable entity may also surrender STCs in other circumstances, including:

  • voluntary surrenders under section 28A of the Act
  • where a liable entity requests to amend an energy acquisition statement under section 45A of the Act, the liable entity can surrender STCs to acquit the increased certificate liability, or
  • if the agency initiates an amendment to an energy acquisition statement under section 45B of the Act, the liable entity can make an additional surrender under section 45C of the Act.

A liable entity is only able to surrender a STC for a quarter of an assessment year if it is the registered owner of the certificate at the relevant time. For quarter 4, STCs are surrendered in line with the lodgement of the energy acquisition statement.

Vintage rule

Liable entities can only surrender certificates that were created in the assessment year or earlier. This is referred to as the vintage rule. To surrender additional certificates related to an amendment of an energy acquisition statement, liable entities will need to ensure the certificates were created in the year the electricity was acquired or earlier.

Example A

If a liable entity lodges their 2021 energy acquisition statement, the LGCs and STCs they wish to surrender must have been created between 2001 and 2021. Certificates created in 2022 (between 1 January – 14 February) cannot be used to meet certificate liability for the 2021 assessment year or earlier years.

Example B

If an amendment to a liable entity’s 2020 energy acquisition statement has been requested or initiated, the LGCs and STCs the entity wishes to surrender must have been created between 2001 and 2020. Certificates made in 2021 or 2022 cannot be used to acquit certificate liability for the 2020 assessment year.

Example C

If a liable entity lodges their 2021 energy acquisition statement but is not able to source STCs with the correct vintage year, the entity can buy STCs from the STC Clearing House on the REC Registry. STCs bought from the Clearing House are not subject to the vintage rule, and so can be used for any assessment year.

Example D

A liable entity lodges their 2021 energy acquisition statement and renewable energy shortfall statement and pays a large-scale generation shortfall charge. In 2023, the entity submits a refund application and surrenders LGCs. LGCs surrendered as part of refund applications are not subject to the vintage rule and are not required to be created the year the original shortfall was incurred.

Surrender fees

Certificates surrendered to acquit LGC or STC liability incur a surrender fee of 8 cents per certificate.

Surrender fees are not incurred for:

  • LGCs surrendered to receive a refund for a paid large-scale generation shortfall charge.
  • LGCs and STCs surrendered for voluntary surrender.

Certificate surrender fee invoices are issued in the REC Registry following lodgement of an energy acquisition statement. If a liable entity surrenders certificates following an amendment to an energy acquisition statement under section 45A or 45C of the Act, the surrender fee invoice will be issued when those certificates are accepted by the agency.

The liable entity must pay any surrender fees within 28 days to avoid incurring a debt.

For LGCs surrendered to obtain a refund for a paid large-scale generation shortfall charge, an administration fee is withheld from the amount to be refunded. The calculation of the administration fee is set out in sub-regulation 28(5) of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001.

Section 45E of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 outlines fees for certificate surrender for liable entities.

Where to get certificates

Liable entities can purchase STCs from the STC Clearing House on the REC Registry. Orders should be placed in the Clearing House at least 5 days prior to quarterly surrender deadlines to avoid potential transaction delays and shortfall charges. In the STC Clearing House, certificate prices are set at $40 (GST exclusive).

LGCs and STCs can additionally purchase certificates on the open market or from aggregators. Certificate prices can vary depending on several factors, including the fuel source and supply and demand in the market. The agency is not involved in market trading of certificates. It is the responsibility of each participating party to come to an agreement.

The purchase of certificates does not automatically meet an entity's surrender obligations. A separate liability surrender must still be made in your REC Registry account.



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