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About us

​​Our purpose

Our purpose–accelerating carbon abatement for Australia–is derived from our statutory responsibilities.

Our role

We achieve our purpose by administering schemes for measuring, managing, reducing or offsetting Australia’s carbon emissions. In 2017–18 we administered the following schemes:

  • Emissions Reduction Fund. This voluntary scheme provides incentives for organisations and individuals to use new practices and technologies to reduce emissions or store carbon. The aim is to help Australia meet its emission reduction targets. The associated safeguard mechanism is designed to ensure emissions reductions are not offset by significant emissions increases above business-as-usual levels in other sectors of the economy. For details, see Emissions Reduction Fund.
  • National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme. This scheme provides a national framework for reporting and disseminating company information about greenhouse gas emissions, energy production and energy consumption. It provides a central point for energy and emissions data for governments, to inform policy formulation and the Australian public, meet Australia’s international reporting obligations, assist development of Commonwealth, state and territory programs and activities, and avoid the duplication of similar reporting requirements in the states and territories. The scheme also provides a framework for facilities covered by the safeguard mechanism to report and manage their emissions. For details, see National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme.
  • Renewable Energy Target. This scheme encourages additional electricity generation from renewable sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. It provides an incentive for investment in renewable energy power stations and smaller systems, such as household solar, while ensuring the energy sources are ecologically sustainable. For details, see the feature in Renewable Energy Target.

We also maintain online registries and systems that enable participation in our schemes. This includes the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units (ANREU), Emissions and Energy Reporting System (EERS), and Renewable Energy Certificate Registry (REC Registry). In addition, our Client Portal provides online forms and resources for scheme participants, and we publish comprehensive information and guidance on our website. For details, see Online registries and systems.

Our responsibilities

We are responsible for:

  • providing education, information and guidance on the schemes we administer
  • assessing and crediting scheme participants
  • monitoring, facilitating and enforcing scheme compliance
  • collecting, analysing, assessing, and publishing scheme data
  • accrediting auditors for schemes we administer, and
  • working with other law enforcement and regulatory bodies to maintain scheme integrity.

Our values

We uphold the Australian Public Service values of impartiality, commitment to service, accountability, respect and ethical behaviour.

We also value:

  • Integrity—We deal with each other, with our clients and other stakeholders on the basis of trust, understanding and respect for differing views and interests. We undertake to perform our duties in a fair and open manner.
  • Professionalism—We perform our tasks and produce our outputs to the best of our ability with effective and efficient use of resources and with a focus on continuously improving quality, productivity and professional development.
  • Responsiveness—We endeavour to provide high quality information and services to our clients within reasonable timeframes.
  • Empowerment—Our staff have the training, information and resources required to respond to client needs. We value initiative, cooperation, innovation, communication, flexibility in our work and a good balance of work and life within our organisation.

These value sets are complementary and underpin how we work with each other, as well as with clients, partners and stakeholders across government and industry.

Our structure

The Clean Energy Regulator is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity for the purposes of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

We have a unique structure, with the term Clean Energy Regulator having two meanings:

  • The Regulator Board—The independent statutory authority comprising the Chair and Members, the Regulator Board sets the strategic direction for our work administering the schemes we are responsible for.
  • The agency—Our agency supports the Regulator Board, and is led by the Chair in his capacity as agency head (as defined by the Public Service Act 1999). Our agency has three divisions as well as offices for the Chair and General Counsel.

See more details about the Members of the Regulator Board, our executive staff and agency in Corporate governnance.

Figure 1: Our hig​h-level structure as at 30 June 2018
Figure: Chart showing our high-level structure as at 30 June 2018.

Our clients, partners and stakeholders

To achieve our purpose, we work closely with our clients to support their actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest in generation of renewable energy, and comply with our schemes. We take fraud and non-compliance seriously, and take necessary action to ensure scheme integrity.

We also maintain strong relationships with our partners and stakeholders, to work collaboratively towards our purpose.

Figure 2: Clients, partners and stakeholders
Figure: Diagram showing clients, partners and stakeholders.

Click image to enlarge.


Our clients are the organisations and individuals who participate in our schemes and their professional advisers, including:

  • businesses, landowners, state and local governments, community organisations and individuals participating in the Emissions Reduction Fund
  • corporations that meet emissions thresholds for reporting on greenhouse gas emissions, energy production and consumption under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme and safeguard mechanism, and
  • liable entities (mainly electricity retailers) with obligations under the Renewable Energy Target, along with accredited renewable energy power stations, businesses and households with small-scale systems and others involved in the market for renewable energy certificates.

We invest in knowing our clients and developing strong relationships of trust, including through client education and guidance materials to help them understand how to participate in and comply with our schemes. In 2017–18 we had a focus on consulting and collaborating with our clients to develop policies, procedures and practices to facilitate participation, ensure compliance and promote scheme integrity.


Our partners include the Department of the Environment and Energy, Commonwealth, state and territory regulatory bodies, and law enforcement agencies. We work with our regulatory partners to share information to ensure the integrity of the schemes we administer. We also provide information to assist other Commonwealth, state and territory government organisations to discharge their responsibilities under relevant legislation.

A range of formal agreements, lawful disclosure arrangements and staff secondments underpin our partnerships with other agencies to cooperate and exchange information to assist each agency to fulfil its regulatory responsibilities. This includes sharing relevant information, gathering intelligence and referring matters to the appropriate body, including Commonwealth, state and territory agencies for law enforcement purposes (see examples of building relationships with our partners in Our operating environment).

We also work closely with scheme auditors and inspectors (see Scheme compliance).


Our stakeholders include the Minister and Assistant Minister for the Environment and Energy, other Commonwealth departments and agencies, independent experts, service providers, industry associations and other bodies, investors in renewable energy, and the Australian public. We regularly engage and consult with our stakeholders on policies, procedures and practices in support of our objectives and purpose. In 2017–18 we also engaged in co-design with industry. For detail see the Chair’s review.

Our objectives

Our Corporate Plan 2017–2021 articulates four objectives we need to realise to achieve our purpose of accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.

As shown in Figure 3, our objectives describe the type of regulator we aspire to be, the relationships we need to build, and our approaches to allocating resources, investment and operations.

Figure 3: Our objectives and strategies for achieving them as at 30 June 2018
ObjectiveRationale and strategies for achieving our objective
Engaged, active and compliant clients

We want our clients to be informed, capable and willing to comply. To be effective, we need to attract and retain clients that meet the requirements of our voluntary schemes and can benefit from our schemes’ incentives. We also need to encourage compliance by assisting clients that have mandatory obligations under the schemes.

Our strategies to achieve this objective include investing in knowing our clients and communicating with them in ways that meet their needs, helping them understand how to participate and comply through client education and guidance, using targeted enforcement to deter non-compliance, and assisting clients to self-select if they determine they have the ability to meet requirements and achieve anticipated results.

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 regulatory reform agenda, we continuously look for ways to do things more efficiently for us and our clients.

Our strategies to achieve this objective include using risk-based and continuous improvement approaches to make best use of our resources, maintaining and enhancing the skills and expertise of our people and encouraging innovation.

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 objective include building and sustaining our reputation and impact through sound relationships and partnerships, and promoting our value and the importance of our data.

Secure and enduring regulatory 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 objective include ensuring our regulatory infrastructure is reliable, resilient and can be reused in response to policy change, and protecting the integrity and utility of our schemes.


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