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.
Under the agency's risk-based approach, we engage auditors to undertake audits as part of our annual Audit Program to target compliance areas. In the 2021-22 program, 9 of 14 audits that were commissioned as part of the Audit Program returned an adverse or qualified result. The agency responds to the findings in each audit report with a targeted response to ensure the scheme participant addresses the adverse or qualified finding, in accordance with our compliance priorities. This could include requirements to provide further information, improve record keeping, and correct data errors. Further compliance actions such as seeking enforceable undertakings or finding a person no longer fit and proper may follow if audit findings are not addressed to the agency's satisfaction.
In March 2022, the agency served 3 electricity retailers with statutory demand notices under section 459E of the
Corporations Act 2001 for outstanding shortfall charge debts that arose under the Renewable Energy Target (RET) for not fully acquitting Renewable Energy Target liability for the 2021 assessment year. All 3 entities discharged the shortfall debt in full within the timeframe required by the statutory demand notice.
On 9 June 2022, the agency refused an application for an agency
accredited small generation unit inspector appointment. The installer signed off as the electrician and Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited installer on Small-Scale Technology Certificate (STC) forms for a significant number of systems that they did not install or supervise. The applicant has been identified as demonstrating frequent non-compliant behaviour as an installer and has not managed necessary administration tasks to an acceptable standard.
The agency requires its appointed inspectors to be persons of good repute and of sufficient maturity to properly exercise the powers of an inspector.
Following an extended investigation, the agency has executed a search warrant on 3 Perth addresses connected to a company responsible for solar panel retail and installation.
The search warrants aimed to uncover evidence of suspected fraudulent activity and of false information being provided to the agency resulting in the improper creation of STCs. Approximately $1.7 million in STCs have been created for these installations.
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As part of the agency's focus on installers accredited by the CEC who make false statements in relation to on-site attendance at solar PV installations, a solar retail company has been convicted in the ACT Magistrates Court and an installer has been charged. Both matters relate to the provision of STC assignment forms that record false installer written statements.
On 14 July 2022, B and J Finnigan Pty Ltd (trading as A1 Electrical) has been convicted and received a $9,000 fine, after previously pleading guilty to providing false or misleading documents. The conviction is the result of an agency investigation that found B and J Finnigan Pty Ltd provided STC assignment forms that contained false information relating to the identity of the installer to an agent who relied upon them to create STCs.
The prosecution was managed by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
In 2020, the agency accepted an Enforceable Undertaking for Space Solar Service Pty Ltd. The undertaking was the result of an agency investigation that found Space Solar Service had provided false or misleading information in claiming solar PV systems had been designed and installed by a CEC accredited installer when, in fact, that person did not design or install the systems.
Space Solar Service has completed all commitments within its undertaking.
In addition, Space Solar Service has been found to no longer be a fit and proper person and will no longer participate as a registered person within the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). If any officeholders attempt to re-enter the scheme through different companies, the agency will take prior suspensions into account and may refuse registration.
Completed Enforceable Undertakings.
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