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Our role

Established on 2 April 2012 by the Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011, the Clean Energy Regulator is an independent statutory authority responsible for administering legislation that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and increases the use of renewable energy. The agency is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity for the purposes of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

The Clean Energy Regulator comprises the government appointed Regulator Board, with a Chair and four Members, who set the strategic direction for the agency and are accountable for its regulatory decisions, and agency staff, who carry out day-to-day operations. In addition to his regulatory accountabilities, the Chair serves as the agency head under the Public Service Act 1999 and is the accountable authority under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

As part of the Environment and Energy portfolio, the Clean Energy Regulator delivers one outcome to government:

Contribute to a reduction in Australia’s net greenhouse gas emissions, including through the administration of market-based mechanisms that incentivise reduction in emissions and the promotion of additional renewable electricity generation.

Our purpose statement distils the statutory duties of the Clean Energy Regulator under the legislation that it administers:

Accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.

We achieve our purpose by administering a range of government schemes to measure, manage, reduce or offset Australia’s carbon emissions and encourage investment in renewable energy. Our role in administering the schemes is distinct from the Department of the Environment and Energy’s role.

The Clean Energy Regulator is responsible for administering the following schemes:

  • Emissions Reduction Fund—Established by the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011, provides incentives for Australian businesses, farmers, landholders and others to adopt new practices and technologies to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. The government’s recently announced Climate Solutions Fund will build on the Emissions Reduction Fund framework.
  • Renewable Energy Target—Established under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000, is designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the electricity sector and encourage the additional generation of electricity from sustainable and renewable sources.
  • National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme—Established under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007, provides a single national framework for reporting and disseminating company information on greenhouse gas emissions, energy production and energy consumption. The Safeguard Mechanism complements the Emissions Reduction Fund by providing a framework for Australia’s largest emitters to measure, report and manage their emissions and meet set baselines (or emissions limits).

We deliver our schemes by:

  • collecting, analysing, assessing, providing and publishing emissions and energy data, to inform the Renewable Energy Target small-scale and large-scale schemes, government policy and the Australian public, to meet international reporting obligations and to support Australia’s emissions and energy data needs
  • operating the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units and the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Registry for market participants
  • monitoring, facilitating and enforcing compliance by participants
  • issuing Australian carbon credit units under the Emissions Reduction Fund and Climate Solutions Fund to organisations and individuals for approved projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • conducting Emissions Reduction Fund and Climate Solutions Fund auctions for the delivery of Australian carbon credit units and managing contracts
  • accrediting greenhouse and energy auditors to undertake audit activities
  • working with other Commonwealth, state and territory law enforcement and regulatory bodies, and
  • providing education and information to current and potential scheme participants.

We operate registries and systems to enable our participants to securely and conveniently report, receive entitlements, acquit liabilities and trade. They include:

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