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The Clean Energy Regulator administers the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). The framework for the LRET and SRES is established by the:
The Clean Energy Regulator implements the requirements of the legislative framework by:
Further detail is provided below.
Under Section 135 of the Act, the Clean Energy Regulator must maintain a register of registered persons, accredited power stations, certificates and applications for accredited power stations. These registers are maintained and accessible through the REC Registry. Under the Act certain information from these registers is required to be made publicly available on the REC Registry.
Individuals and companies must be registered before they can seek accreditation of renewable energy power stations, create LGCs above the renewable energy power station’s baseline or create STCs for eligible small-scale systems such as solar hot water, heat pump, solar panel, wind or hydro systems. Each registered person is allocated a unique registration number, which is accessible from the register of registered persons.
Renewable energy power stations must apply for accreditation in order to participate in the LRET. Nominated persons of accredited renewable energy power stations may be eligible to create LGCs in respect of the eligible generation above the baseline.
The accreditation process includes:
Certificates must be created by registered persons, pass validation checks conducted by the Clean Energy Regulator and have a registration fee paid by the registered person in order to become registered certificates. There are three types of registered persons:
Registered certificates can be transferred to other persons voluntarily surrendered under Section 28A of the Act or surrendered to discharge a mandatory liability under Sections 29, 44, 44A, 45, 45C, 45D and 95 of the Act. Certificates surrendered to discharge a mandatory liability incur a fee per certificate surrendered.
All participants of the LRET and SRES must comply with relevant sections of the Act, Charge Acts and Regulations for the creation of certificates, reporting and other requirements.
The Clean Energy Regulator uses intelligence analysis and risk assessment to make strategic decisions about compliance activities undertaken, with the intent to maximise the number of stakeholders who voluntarily comply with their obligations under the Act.
Monitoring and compliance activities involve:
Audits not only help liable entities and eligible parties understand the application of the RET, LRET and SRES to their circumstances, but also provide feedback to the Clean Energy Regulator on areas where systems might need some improvement. The field audits undertaken in 2012 confirmed that audited parties were consistently reporting in accordance with the legislation. It was found that a small number of parties could improve the internal procedures that related to reporting of relevant acquisitions.
Eligible prescribed persons, typically entities that carry on emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) activities, may apply for a Partial Exemption Certificate (PEC) each calendar year by completing the Application for a Partial Exemption Certificate form. For 2012 and future years, the application is typically due before 31 March of the year to which it relates.
All applications received are assessed by the Clean Energy Regulator for compliance with legislative requirements for the making of PEC applications.
If an application is approved, the Clean Energy Regulator will issue the prescribed person with a PEC stating the amount of megawatt hours of electricity for which exemption can be provided to the liable entity named on the PEC (usually the retail electricity supplier) for electricity used in the EITE activity in the year mentioned on the PEC.
Information about partial exemptions (including details of PECs that have been issued) is published on the Clean Energy Regulator website in accordance with Section 38C of the Act and 22E of the Regulations.
The Act and Regulations require that the Clean Energy Regulator publishes a range of information.
The Clean Energy Regulator:
Together the Act and the Regulations refer to documents used by LRET and SRES participants to comply with the legislation for eligibility purposes. Subsequently the Clean Energy Regulator is required to publish and maintain documentation used by manufacturers of solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters to calculate the eligible amount of STCs for individual solar water heater and heat pump water heater models. Documentation for this purpose includes:
The Register of solar water heaters (Section 23AA and Regulation 19C) lists models that are determined eligible under the applicable Australian and New Zealand standards together with the Act and Regulations.
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The Clean Energy Regulator is a Government body responsible for accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.