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Compliance Update – 1 July to 30 September 2020

29 October 2020

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.

Enforceable undertakings

During the period 1 July to 30 September, we entered into one new enforceable undertaking with One Stop Warehouse Finance Pty Ltd. This enforceable undertaking requires inspecting and, if required, remedying 379 solar PV installations. If these installations cannot be inspected, an equivalent number of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) must be surrendered.

See all Current enforceable undertakings.

Fit and Proper Person checks support scheme integrity

We assess the eligibility of all new scheme applicants through our Fit and Proper Person (FPP) checks. In late September we refused a company’s application for registration under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (REE Act), based on findings that executive officers in the company had a history of criminal offences and non-compliance with consumer law that they failed to disclose. Be aware that applications to participate in our schemes are scrutinised and any false or misleading information provided can result in refused scheme entry. We also conduct reassessments, as needed, to ensure eligibility is being maintained.

Suspension of registered agent

In July 2020, we permanently suspended More Green Energy Pty Ltd as a registered agent and their REC Registry account on the basis that they were no longer a fit and proper person under the REE Act. They were suspended for various reasons including on the basis that they did not comply with their obligations under an enforceable undertaking they had entered into with us and made false representations concerning their surrender of certificates.

Enforceable undertakings are an opportunity for an agent to rectify previous non-compliance and ensure future compliance. Non-compliance with an undertaking is a serious matter that may result in further action including an agent’s suspension or enforcement of the undertaking through the courts.

Disclosing serious non-compliance in the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES)

We continue to target non-compliance within SRES, including the misuse of Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited installer details and the use of non-approved panels.

We made 43 disclosures in the July to September quarter. Authorised disclosures are a compliance tool available to us to share details of non-compliant scheme participants with partner agencies such as the CEC and state and territory authorities, so that they can take compliance and enforcement action for breaches of laws they administer.

Educating Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) project proponents on an update to Global Warming Potentials

ERF project proponents were advised in late August that amendments to the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Regulations, in force from 1 July 2020, include an update to Global Warming Potentials (GWPs) for methane and nitrous oxide. As most ERF methods calculate abatement according to the NGER legislation in force at the end of the reporting period, project proponents should check if their project’s method should be using the new GWPs for upcoming crediting applications.

The landfill gas calculator has also been updated to reflect the updates to the GWPs.

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) due soon

NGER reports for the 2019-20 reporting period are due for submission in the Emissions and Energy Reporting System (EERS) by 2 November 2020. To support reporters submitting on-time, accurate and complete NGER reports we have enhanced our suite of support materials.

The annual audit of select 2018-19 NGER reports has resulted in a number of reports with adverse or qualified findings. Common issues include incorrect coal energy production estimates and companies not preparing/retaining adequate records to support accurate reporting. We are engaging with relevant reporters to resolve the issues identified, and 2019-20 NGER reports for the relevant facilities will be subject to detailed assessment. Repeated non-compliance may result in actions including compulsory audits, enforceable undertakings and penalty infringement notices.

2019-20 NGER report data will be used to determine which facilities are covered by the safeguard mechanism in 2020-21. Safeguard entities have until 1 March 2021 to ensure they are not in an excess emissions situation for 2020-21. Our website has more information on the safeguard mechanism, including applying for a baseline determination or multi-year monitoring period, and surrendering Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs).

Solar Panel Validation (SPV) – saving time and reducing risk

We are increasingly requesting solar panel serial number eligibility information for STC claims that don’t use SPV. This means agents must contact manufacturers to seek assurance that solar panels in their STC claims are eligible and provide that evidence to us before their application will be processed. More and more agents are turning to SPV to save time and reduce their business risk as we now see over 61 per cent of STC applications using SPV.

REC Registry move to single sign-on

Following a major enhancement to REC Registry in mid-September, all scheme participants can now access every one of our systems through our Client Portal. The use of a single sign-on to access our systems streamlines participation and reporting across all our scheme areas. This will also enable us to consider further enhancements to manage security, including the potential implementation of multifactor authentication.

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

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