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About us

The Clean Energy Regulator is an independent statutory authority responsible for administering schemes legislated by the Australian Government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy.

Our purpose

Our purpose describes our reason for being: Accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.

Our role

We achieve our purpose by administering the following schemes for measuring, managing, reducing or offsetting Australia’s carbon emissions.

  • Emissions Reduction Fund—This voluntary scheme provides incentives for organisations and individuals to use new practices and technologies to reduce emissions or store carbon. The aim is to help Australia meet its emission reduction targets. For details, see Emissions Reduction Fund.
  • National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme—This scheme provides a national framework for reporting and disseminating company information about greenhouse gas emissions, energy production and energy consumption. It provides a central point for energy and emissions data for governments, to inform policy formulation and the Australian public, meet Australia’s international reporting obligations, assist development of Commonwealth, state and territory programs and activities, and avoid the duplication of similar reporting requirements in the states and territories. The scheme also provides a framework for facilities covered by the Safeguard Mechanism to report and manage their emissions. The Safeguard Mechanism is designed to ensure emissions reductions are not offset by significant emissions increases above business-as-usual levels in other sectors of the economy. For details, see National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme.
  • Renewable Energy Target—This scheme encourages additional electricity generation from renewable sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. It provides an incentive for investment in renewable energy power stations and smaller systems, such as household solar. For details, see Renewable Energy Target.

We also maintain online registries and systems that enable participation in our schemes. This includes the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units (ANREU), Emissions and Energy Reporting System (EERS), and Renewable Energy Certificate Registry (REC Registry). In addition, our Client Portal provides online forms and resources for scheme participants, and we publish comprehensive information and guidance on our website. For details, see Online registries and systems.

Our responsibilities

We are responsible for:

  • providing education, information and guidance on the schemes we administer
  • assessing and crediting scheme participants
  • monitoring, facilitating and enforcing compliance to ensure scheme integrity
  • collecting, analysing, assessing, providing and publishing scheme data
  • accrediting auditors for schemes we administer, and
  • working with other law enforcement agencies, regulatory bodies and partners.

Our values

We uphold the Australian Public Service values of impartiality, commitment to service, accountability, respect and ethical behaviour.

In addition, we are committed to:

  • delivering outcomes—our people care about delivering agency objectives because our purpose matters
  • trust and accountability—our people trust each other because we are all accountable for our actions
  • role clarity—our people know who does what because role clarity is vital for productive collaboration, and
  • active development—our people actively develop themselves and others because lifting capability makes a difference.

Our structure

The Clean Energy Regulator was established by the Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011, and is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity for the purposes of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

The term Clean Energy Regulator means:

  • The Regulator Board—this is the government appointed Regulator, comprising the Chair and Members, which sets the strategic direction for our agency and is accountable for our regulatory decisions.
  • The agency—our agency supports the Regulator Board to perform its responsibilities, and is led by the Chair in his capacity as agency head.

See more details about the Members of the Regulator Board, our executive staff and agency in Part 4 – Management and accountability.

Figure 1: Our high level structure as at 30 June 2019Figure showing our high-level structure as at 30 June 2019. At the top of the chart is the Chair and the regulator board. Reporting to the Chair is the Office of the General Counsel; Scheme Operations Division; Scheme Support Division; and Agency Support Division.

Our scheme participants, partners and stakeholders

To achieve our purpose, we work closely with our participants to support their actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase economically sustainable generation of renewable energy, and comply with our schemes. We also maintain strong relationships with our partners and stakeholders, to work collaboratively towards our purpose.

Figure 2: Participants, partners and stakeholdersA venn diagram showing the relationship between the Clean Energy Regulator and our clients, partners and stakeholders. Participants include organisations and individuals who participate in our schemes, and their professional advisers. Partners include Department of the Environment and Energy, state and territory regulators, and law enforcement, scheme auditors and inspectors. Stakeholder include Ministers, other Commonwealth departments and agencies, expert service providers, industry representatives, investors, Australian public.

Participants1

Our participants are the organisations and individuals who participate in our schemes, and their professional advisers, including:

  • businesses, landowners, state and local governments, community organisations and individuals participating in the Emissions Reduction Fund
  • corporations that meet emissions thresholds for reporting on greenhouse gas emissions, energy production and consumption under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme and Safeguard Mechanism, and
  • liable entities (mainly electricity retailers) with obligations under the Renewable Energy Target, along with accredited renewable energy power stations, businesses and households with small-scale systems and others involved in the market for renewable energy certificates.

We invest in knowing our participants and developing strong relationships of trust, including through participant education and guidance materials to help them understand how to participate in and comply with our schemes.

We take fraud and non-compliance seriously, and take necessary action to ensure scheme integrity.

Partners

Our partners include the Department of the Environment and Energy, Commonwealth, state and territory regulatory bodies, and law enforcement agencies. We work with our regulatory partners to share information to ensure the integrity of the schemes we administer. We also provide information to assist other Commonwealth, state and territory government organisations to discharge their responsibilities under relevant legislation.

A range of formal agreements, lawful disclosure arrangements and staff secondments underpin our partnerships with other agencies to cooperate and exchange information to assist each agency to fulfill its regulatory responsibilities. This includes sharing relevant information, gathering intelligence and referring matters to the appropriate body, including Commonwealth, state and territory agencies for law enforcement purposes (find out more about building Strong relationships with partners).

We also work closely with scheme auditors and inspectors. For more information see Scheme compliance.

Stakeholders

Our stakeholders include the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, the Minister for the Environment, other Commonwealth departments and agencies, independent experts, service providers, industry associations and other bodies, investors in renewable energy, and the Australian public.

We regularly engage and consult with our stakeholders on policies, procedures and practices in support of our objectives and purpose.

Our objectives

Our Corporate Plan 2018–22 articulates four objectives we need to realise to achieve our purpose of accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.

As shown in Figure 3, our objectives describe the type of regulator we aspire to be, the relationships we need to build, and our approaches to allocating resources, investment and operations.

Figure 3: Our objectives and strategies for achieving them as at 30 June 2019

Objective

Rationale and strategies for achieving our objective

Engaged, active and compliant clients

We want our clients to be informed, capable and willing to comply. To be effective, we need to attract and retain clients that meet the requirements of our voluntary schemes and can benefit from our schemes’ incentives. We also need to encourage compliance by assisting clients that have mandatory obligations under the schemes.

  • Our strategies to achieve this objective include investing in knowing our clients and communicating with them in ways that meet their needs, helping them understand how to participate and comply through client education and guidance, assisting clients to self-select if they determine they have the ability to meet requirements and achieve anticipated results, and using targeted enforcement to deter non-compliance.

Efficient and effective administration

As an agency operating for the public good, we have an obligation to be efficient and effective. In response to the government’s regulatory reform agenda, we continuously look for ways to do things more efficiently for us and our clients.

  • Our strategies to achieve this objective include using risk-based and continuous improvement approaches to make best use of our resources, maintaining and enhancing the skills and expertise of our people and encouraging innovation.

A trusted, relevant and expert institution

To effectively carry out our role in relation to the challenge of reducing carbon emissions, we need to operate as a capable, trusted agency relied upon to make sound decisions based on excellent knowledge and reliable data. We need to be agile and responsive to changes to our environment and work with industry, expert groups and associations to drive compliance in the sector.

  • Our strategies to achieve this objective include building and sustaining our agency’s reputation and impact through sound relationships and partnerships, promoting the value of our assets, the quality of our results and the strength of our capabilities, using the data we hold to generate insights and make decisions, and sharing the data we hold for the public good.

Secure and enduring regulatory infrastructure

Our changing policy environment and client base, and the need to operate efficiently, mean that we need resilient and adaptable long-term processes and systems, as well as reliable data.

  • Our strategies to achieve this objective include ensuring our regulatory infrastructure is reliable, resilient and flexible enough to be reused in response to policy or operational change, and protecting the integrity and utility of the core elements of our schemes.

Footnotes

  1. In this report, clients are referred to as ‘participants’ except on page 8 and in Part 2: Annual Performance Statement, where we continue to use the term ‘client’ for consistency with our Corporate Plan 2018–22.