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About the Clean Energy Regulator

Our organisation

The Clean Energy Regulator is established by the Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011 and is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity for the purposes of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

The term ‘Clean Energy Regulator’ refers to:

  • the independent statutory authority, comprising the Chair and Members, which sets the strategic direction for the agency’s administration of its regulatory schemes.
  • the agency which supports the Regulator, led by the Chair in her capacity as Chief Executive Officer (‘agency head’ as defined by the Australian Public Service Act 1999).

The abbreviation ‘the Regulator’ is used when referring to the decision-maker (Chair and Members) and the term ‘the agency’ is used when referring to the organisation as a whole.

Our purpose

Our purpose statement distils our agency's reason for being.

Accelerating carbon abatement for Australia

Carbon abatement is a unifying theme that runs through everything we do. Our activities are all connected to promoting, measuring, managing, reducing or offsetting Australia's carbon emissions.

Our objectives

Our objectives describe the type of regulator we aspire to be and outline the relationships we need to build.  They provide the direction we take in our approaches to resource allocation, investment and operations.

Engaged, active and compliant clients

Participation in some parts of our schemes is voluntary. To be effective, the schemes need to attract and retain a strong base of clients who meet the requirements successfully and benefit from the schemes’ incentives. The schemes also impose obligations which must be met. We want our clients to be informed, capable and willing to comply.


Invest in knowing our clients and communicating with them in a way which meets their needs. Use client education and guidance materials to help potential clients understand how to participate in and comply with our schemes. Use targeted enforcements to act as a deterrent to non-compliance. Ensure our activities assist our clients to self-select in only if they have adequate capacity and capability to meet the requirements and achieve the 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 deregulation agenda, we continuously look for ways of doing things more efficiently for us and our clients.


Use risk-based and continuous improvement approaches to deploy agency resources to best effect. Maintain and enhance the skills and expertise of our people and encourage 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.


Build and sustain the agency’s reputation and impact through sound stakeholder relationships and partnerships. Promote the value of our assets, the quality of our results and the strength of our capabilities.

Secure and enduring 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.


Ensure our infrastructure is reliable, resilient and able to be reused in response to policy change. Protect the integrity and utility of the core elements of our schemes, including greenhouse and energy data, contracts, units and certificates.

Our schemes

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme, established by the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007, is a single, national framework under which corporations must report on greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and energy production. Corporations that meet a specified emissions threshold must register under the scheme and provide a report each year.

The data reported under the scheme are a key input to Australia's National Greenhouse Gas Inventory. These data are used in projections and reporting under the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and reporting to the International Energy Agency.

Data from the scheme informs government policy and the public, helps meet Australia’s international reporting obligations, assists with Commonwealth, state and territory government programmes and activities, and avoid duplication of similar reporting requirements.

Renewable Energy Target

The Renewable Energy Target, established by the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000, is designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the electricity sector, encourage the generation and use of renewable energy through financial incentives and ensure that at least 20 per cent of Australia's electricity supply will come from renewable sources by 2020.

The Renewable Energy Target comprises two schemes: the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. Together they provide market-based financial incentives through the creation and sale of certificates. Electricity retailers are required to offset a proportion of their electricity acquisitions by buying and surrendering certificates.

An online registry system, the Renewable Energy Certificate Registry, facilitates the creation, registration, auditing, transfer and surrender of large-scale generation certificates and small-scale technology certificates.

Emissions Reduction Fund

Through the Emissions Reduction Fund, established by the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011, the Australian Government purchases lowest cost carbon abatement (in the form of Australian carbon credit units) from a wide range of sources, providing an incentive for businesses, households and landowners to reduce their carbon emissions.

The Clean Energy Regulator is responsible for a number of administrative tasks under the Emissions Reduction Fund, including:

  • registering projects and issuing Australian carbon credit units
  • conducting auctions and managing contracts
  • ensuring compliance with the safeguard mechanism.

The safeguard mechanism of the Emissions Reduction Fund will start in 2016 and will be designed to encourage businesses not to increase emissions above historical levels. The safeguard mechanism will apply only to the largest emitters and will work through the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme framework. Businesses covered by the safeguard will be required to keep their emissions below a set baseline. They will be able to surrender Australian carbon credit units to offset any emissions over their baseline.

Australian National Registry of Emissions Units

The Australian National Registry of Emissions Units, established by the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units Act 2011, is a secure electronic registry system. Any organisation or individual that is required to or wishes to hold, transfer, cancel, surrender or relinquish units must have an Australian National Registry of Emissions Units account. The registry is designed to track accurately the location and ownership of emissions units issued under the Kyoto Protocol and Australian carbon credit units issued under the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Our values

We uphold the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct and are committed to:

  • Accountability – We serve the needs of the Australian public in a professional, responsible and accountable manner.
  • Integrity – We deal with each other, and with our clients and other stakeholders, in a fair and open manner, respecting differing views and interests.
  • Professionalism – We perform our tasks and produce our outputs to the best of our ability with optimum 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 and flexibility in our work and the quality of work life within our organisation.

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