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Compliance Update - 1 October to 31 December 2021

28 April 2022

Corporate

Our Compliance Update keeps you informed of activities related to our Compliance and Enforcement Priorities and other important information to help you comply with our schemes.

Two registered agents suspended

We have suspended the registration and REC Registry accounts of two Agents, finding them no longer fit and proper under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.

The suspended Agents are:

  • ECA Energy Solutions Pty Ltd (suspended for 12 months from 1 October 2021), and
  • Super Chief Pty Ltd (permanently suspended).

The Clean Energy Regulator (the agency) found that ECA Energy had provided false and misleading information to other registered persons who relied on that information to create STCs.

Super Chief was suspended as it was found to have created STCs that it was not entitled to create, and its officers were previously involved in other companies that had been suspended from the scheme due to improper conduct.

In the event that office holders of either ECA Energy or Super Chief attempt to re-enter the scheme through different companies we will take these suspensions into account and may refuse registration.

Registered agents are responsible for ensuring that STCs are eligible for creation, including that the on-site requirements in the Clean Energy Council (CEC) guidelines have been met. This is a mandatory requirement and not merely a suggestion for best practice. Agents who fail to adequately ensure that STCs are eligible for creation or are party to the provision of false and misleading information, may face criminal, civil or administrative action.

Changes to the deeming period for Small Generation Units (SGUs) and Solar Water Heaters (SWH)

The deeming period for solar PV and solar water heater systems will decrease by one year to a maximum of 9 years, changing the number of STCs that may be created. Any system installed after 31 December 2021 will fall under the new 9-year deeming period, regardless of when the system was sold.

The agency will be focusing on the installation dates of systems to ensure they fit within the required timeframe for claims. Agents who fail to adequately ensure that STCs are eligible for creation or are party to the provision of false and misleading information, may face criminal, civil or administrative action

LGC/STC surrender and energy acquisition statement deadline

Liable entities are required to lodge an energy acquisition statement (EAS) and surrender large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) and STCs on or before 14 February 2022.

A non-tax effective shortfall charge of $65 per certificate not surrendered on time will be imposed.

The Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 does not provide the agency with any discretion to vary the statutory surrender deadline or the calculation of shortfall or the shortfall charges that are incurred.

For LGCs, liable entities may carry forward less than 10% of their liability without incurring a shortfall charge. However, you should fully consider the guidance before doing so.

EITE 2022 exemption certificate application deadline

Prescribed Persons who conduct emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) activities must lodge a 2022 exemption certificate application under the Renewable Energy Target (RET) on or before 30 March 2022.

We strongly encourage participants to submit their application as early as possible to avoid inadvertently missing the deadline. The agency has no legislative discretion to accept late applications for the 2022 year and beyond.

Visit the emissions-intensive trade-exposed activity information for companies for more information.

High rates of compliance with the NGER reporting deadline continue

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) reports for the 2020–21 reporting period were due by 1 November 2021. Only 12 reporters (one percent) failed to report on time. All but one reporter have since submitted their reports.

Most late reporters had dropped below the NGER thresholds in 2020-21. Companies should remember that if they remain on the National Greenhouse and Energy Register by the reporting deadline, they are required to submit an NGER report, even if they are below threshold.

We will check the accuracy of these late reporters’ NGER reports, and they may face statutory sanctions if there are material errors in their reports or if they report late again.

We are now assessing 2020–21 NGER reports in line with our compliance priorities. Reporters with ongoing compliance issues may face actions including compulsory audits, enforceable undertakings and penalty infringement notices. See below for details of enforceable undertakings accepted for two NGER reporters.

Enforceable Undertakings

Peabody Australia Holdco Pty Ltd & Diamond Offshore General Company LLC

In line with our compliance priorities, we have entered into enforceable undertakings with 2 NGER reporters, to improve the quality of their NGER reports:

Trina Solar (Australia) Pty Ltd

In May 2020, we entered into an enforceable undertaking with Trina Solar (Australia) Pty Ltd to address any ineligible solar panel serial numbers that were uploaded into the Solar Panel Validation Service.

Trina and the agency have recently agreed to vary the enforceable undertaking (variation to Trina Solar (Australia) Pty Ltd EU), to the effect that Trina will undertake a Compliance Testing Program. There are no known safety or quality issues with the ineligible panels that have been installed; however, the Compliance Testing Program will provide assurance to the agency and consumers as to the safety and quality of the solar panels that do not meet the Clean Energy Council approved photovoltaic (PV) module listing requirements.

GB Environmental Trading Pty Ltd

GB Environmental have completed all commitments within their enforceable undertaking. GB Environmental is no longer subject to any compliance action by the agency.

See all Current and Completed Enforceable Undertakings.

Scheme Audit and Assurance – Deregistration of Category 2 Auditor

As published in the 2021-22 Compliance and Enforcement Priorities the agency will deregister or suspend auditors who are non-compliant or performing poorly.

A registered greenhouse and energy auditor was deregistered as a Category 2 auditor for not meeting legislative requirements for conducting Part 6 audits. The auditor failed to:

  • obtain sufficient evidence to support the conclusion of an assurance engagement,
  • exercise sufficient professional judgement and professional scepticism,
  • exercise professional competence and due care,
  • consider the risk of fraud, and
  • meet the requirements of mandated audit standards.

Auditors are an important control in the NGER and Emissions Reduction Fund schemes. We expect them to carry out their work diligently to meet their legislative requirements.

If you have information on potential fraudulent or non-compliant behaviour, report it today.



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