All registered owners of certificates can choose to make voluntary certificate surrender offers for any reason under Section 28A of the Act.
As one example, individuals or companies may choose to make voluntary surrender certificate offers to encourage additional generation of electricity from renewable energy sources and to meet GreenPower obligations.1 If offers are made for this, or similar reasons, they are considered to be voluntary surrender offers.
As another example, individuals or companies may choose to make voluntary surrender certificate offers. Offers may be made in order to offset the impacts of improper creation of certificates under the civil penalties and other remedies provisions of the legislation, or to enforceable undertaking obligations under Section 154Q of the Act. If offers are made for these reasons they are considered to be non-compliance surrender offers.
Any certificate accepted for voluntary surrender is permanently removed from the market and cannot be transferred to another party or be used to discharge a mandatory surrender liability under the Act. Once certificates are accepted by the Clean Energy Regulator they are marked as 'invalid due to voluntary surrender’ in the REC Registry.
As at 31 December 2012 a total of 11,914,413 certificates, representing 803 offers, had been accepted for voluntary surrender in the REC Registry. Table 7 confirms the number of certificates accepted for voluntary surrender. Graph 9 represents the number of voluntary surrender offers made per month in the REC Registry between 2011 and 2012 calendar years.
Table 7: Certificates accepted for voluntary surrender from 2007 to 31 December 2012
Graph 9: Number of voluntary surrender certificates accepted by month in 2011 and 2012
1 For more information on GreenPower see the GreenPower website.
2 STCs were first created from 1 January 2011.
3 The busiest month for voluntary surrender was March, with 1,626,274 LGCs offered, representing 89 offers. One of the driving factors that increases the number of certificates surrendered annually is GreenPower participants’ voluntary surrender of certificates to meet their annual obligations by 31 March for the previous year. Voluntary surrender for GreenPower purposes represents approximately 80.5 per cent for 2012 and 91.7 per cent for 2011.
4 On 28 June 2010 civil penalty and other remedies, including enforceable undertaking provisions, were introduced into the legislation. The busiest month in 2012 for non-compliance surrender was October with 15,562 certificates offered, representing 11 offers, closely followed by May with 15,193, representing 16 offers.
5 This total assumes that LGCs and STCs offered at 31 December 2012 with a status of pending voluntary surrender will be accepted for voluntary surrender in early 2013.
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