An investigation conducted by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) has resulted in the conviction of Mr Aaron Ware, Director of Pedley’s Electrical Services Pty Ltd. Between October 2018 and January 2020, Mr Ware received a financial benefit by falsely claiming to have installed or supervised 13 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems when in fact, he was overseas.
At the time of offending, Mr Ware was a Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited solar PV installer. The CER’s investigation found that Mr Ware submitted 13 false or misleading Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) assignment forms along with certificates of electrical safety to renewable energy certificate agents. The agents relied upon this information to improperly create 1,637 STCs for the solar PV systems. In return for the right to create these STCs, the agents paid Mr Ware in the order of $60,000.
Mr Ware pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to 13 offences of making a false or misleading statement under the Commonwealth Criminal Code.
On Friday 4 August 2023, Mr Ware was convicted and released on a 12-month good behaviour bond.
The Magistrate remarked on the serious and prevalent nature of the offending, particularly as it occurred over 14 months.
Mr Ware has had his CEC accreditation cancelled.
Piet Powell, General Manager of the CER’s Compliance Branch, said that the CER was continuing to prosecute and remove those benefiting from wilful fraud.
‘The conduct investigated and prosecuted here predates the integrity review into rooftop solar and the CER’s campaign to raise awareness about installer attendance obligations.
‘Those who now attempt to benefit from making false statements regarding STC eligibility can expect greater penalties than what Mr Ware received. We will continue to remove from the scheme those responsible for providing false and misleading information and, where appropriate, commence criminal prosecutions or civil penalty proceedings.
‘The CER expects information provided to it to be accurate and has zero tolerance for deliberate non-compliance,’ said Ms Powell.
Scheme integrity is a shared responsibility. Participants within the scheme that are aware of fraudulent activity and don’t report that activity may be subjected to further assessment of whether they are eligible to participate in our schemes.
In December 2021, amendments to the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001 passed into law. The amendments address the Australian Government’s response to the recommendations made in the CER’s Integrity Review of the Rooftop Solar PV Sector. The new regulations provide the CER additional powers to disqualify installers and designers, retailers and component manufacturers from participating in the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.
If you have any information about potential fraudulent behaviour or activities in CER administered schemes, please contact us at email@example.com or phone 1300 553 542.
See further information on compliance and enforcement.
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