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Compliance Update – 1 April to 30 June 2021

27 August 2021

Compliance Update – 1 April to 30 June 2021

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.

CEC accredited installer on-site attendance requirements

The Clean Energy Regulator (agency) continues to focus on installers accredited by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) who make false statements in relation to on-site attendance at small-scale solar PV installations. For a system to be eligible for small-scale certificates (certificates), CEC accredited installers must only sign the written statement of eligibility where they have personally installed the system or supervised the installation by others. The accredited installer who signs the paperwork must personally attend the installation site during job set up, mid-installation check-up, as well as testing and commissioning.

CEC accredited installers are expected to maintain records of completed installations that demonstrates they have met on-site attendance requirements. Information demonstrating on-site attendance may include photographic evidence of the accredited installer (with time and date metadata and geolocation data) during job set up, mid-installation check-up and testing and commissioning. This information may be requested from the installer by registered agents, the CEC or the agency.

CEC accredited installers who make false statements of certificate eligibility risk the cancellation of their CEC accreditation, the revocation of their state or territory electrical licence or civil proceedings commenced by the Clean Energy Regulator.

The making of false or misleading statements by installers may also constitute a Commonwealth fraud, and perpetrators may face criminal prosecution which can lead to custodial sentences.

Registered agents expected to check installer attendance

Registered agents are responsible for ensuring that small-scale technology certificates are eligible for creation. This includes ensuring, among other things, that the on-site requirement in the Clean Energy Council’ CEC’s guidelines have been met. This is a mandatory requirement and not merely a suggestion for best practice.

Agents who fail to adequately check information given to them by installers may be liable for criminal, civil or administrative action.

As part of the agency’s focus on those individuals and businesses profiting from solar PV systems installed by unaccredited installers, we have permanently suspended the registration and REC Registry accounts of two companies as they are no longer fit and proper persons under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.

Those two suspended companies are:

  • Protection Systems Pty Ltd and
  • Everyday Electrical Solutions Pty Ltd

We found that both companies improperly created certificates for solar PV systems where the recorded CEC installer was not on-site during the installations. As a result, neither company will be eligible to be registered or hold a REC Registry account again. This action will be taken into account in the event of any office holders attempting to enter any schemes administered by the Clean Energy Regulator.

Business as usual for Trina solar panels

The agency will resume “business as usual” processing of certificates for Trina solar panels in the SRES. Trina Solar (Australia) Pty Ltd has assured the agency, and we have independently verified, the resolution of data anomalies. For more information, see the news item for Standard STC processing resumes for Trina Solar panels.

SRES participants should continue to use SPV to verify Trina Solar panels for scheme eligibility. Certificate claims for Trina solar panels will now be treated the same as other brands of solar panels, including an expectation of additional information requests when SPV is not used to create certificates. Using SPV is still the best risk reduction tool for agents to avoid improper STC creation from ineligible solar panels and is used with over 75% of all certificate claims submitted to us. We may be unable to assess and process certificate claims where insufficient information has been provided to verify solar panel eligibility.

Three investigations commenced into NGER reporters

The agency has commenced investigation into three reporters who have failed to satisfy their National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) obligations. Participants have an obligation to submit accurate, complete and timely data, particularly where data underpins safeguard obligations. Reporters must report accurately and on time as Australia must meet its international obligations. Reporters are required to have the right due diligence processes, skills and governance arrangements to report accurately, and not rely on the Clean Energy Regulator for quality control.

Scheme Audit and Assurance – Deregistration of Category 2 Auditor

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; and
  • exercise professional competence and due care.

Auditors are an important control in the NGER and ERF 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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