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Compliance update – 1 October to 31 December 2019

14 July 2022

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

Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) seeing a lower rate of errors where Solar Panel Validation is used

During this period, 330,023 small-scale technology certificates (STCs) in 2,266 separate claims were incorrectly created by registered agents and subsequently failed. This number is down from 3,791 incorrect STCs for the period July to September 2019. All STCs failed are published on the Register of small-scale technology certificates.

In part this decrease may be due to the rise in the number of claims now using Solar Panel Validation (SPV). We are seeing a lower rate of errors (25% less) in STC claims for solar systems where SPV is used compared to non-SPV claims. Agents are benefiting from significant savings, reduced effort and streamlined processes from using SPV with their certificate claims.

Manufacturer participation in SPV has reached a new record; approximately 95% of solar PV panels associated with STC claims under the SRES can be verified using SPV. There are currently 35 brands of solar PV panels participating in the SPV Initiative and many more interested manufacturers are seeking to join.

There are two new app providers and one new verification service who have signed up to the SPV Initiative.

Investigations into the misuse of accredited installer details

We have established that several installers have falsely claimed to have conducted solar installations that they were not present at. We are in the process of disclosing this and other information obtained from our investigations to the Clean Energy Council (CEC) and the relevant state and territory electrical safety regulators and fair-trading bodies. We have enhanced our data matching program and are widening our investigations to a larger group of accredited CEC installers who have been involved in this at-risk behaviour.

We have zero tolerance for fraudulently created STCs. We will work with our partner agencies to take strong enforcement action against installers that do the wrong thing. This may include suspension or loss of CEC accreditation and electrical licenses and where warranted, civil action and criminal prosecutions.

REC Registry Accounts suspended

We continue to target non-compliance and fraud within SRES, including the misuse of CEC accredited installer details and use of non-approved panels. Over the quarter we suspended the following REC Registry accounts:

  • Community Energy Group Pty Ltd
  • Space Solar Service Pty Ltd
  • P and N NSW Pty Ltd

Agents are expected to conduct due diligence in knowing their customers, including verifying that installations were completed by the CEC accredited installer listed on the STC assignment forms. If you haven’t already done so, you should complete SRES Smart.

Large-Scale Generation Certificates eligibility — notify us of any changes and check your data

In the period October through December 2019, 16,194,463 LGCs across 121 separate claims were failed. We have seen an increase in failed LGCs due to data entry errors. Nominated persons must have appropriate processes and systems to ensure generation data is being calculated and entered correctly.

Nominated persons are reminded that they are required to notify us of any changes to their power station’s MLFs within the year, as this will affect LGC eligibility. We have seen cases where LGCs have been improperly created due to a failure to notify the Regulator during LGC creation.

All LGCs failed due to audit are published on the Register of large-scale generation certificates.

Recent prosecutions and court decisions

On 10 December 2019, following an investigation by the Clean Energy Regulator, a solar installer was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 18 months good behaviour, fined $5000 and required to pay reparation of $2,507. The CEC also cancelled the installers accreditation.

Enforceable undertakings

See all Current Enforceable Undertakings.

Annual Audit Program

Each year, we select a number of scheme participants for audit as part of our risk-based approach to compliance monitoring in each scheme. If selected, you are obliged to provide all reasonable facilities and assistance to the audit team.

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

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