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Our roles and functions

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

Our purpose is to accelerate carbon abatement for Australia.

We administer the following schemes to measure, manage, reduce or offset Australia's carbon emissions.

Emissions Reduction Fund: This 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. Through the Climate Solutions Fund, the Emissions Reduction Fund continues to develop new and innovative ways to reduce emissions, secure abatement, drive market participation and increase the supply of Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs). For details, see Emissions Reduction Fund.

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.

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 also provides a framework for facilities covered by the Safeguard Mechanism to report and manage their emissions. For details, see National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting .

We also operate the following registries and systems to enable market participants to securely and conveniently report, receive entitlements, acquit liabilities and trade:

  • the Emissions and Energy Reporting System
  • the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units, and
  • the Renewable Energy Certificate Registry (REC Registry).

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 objectives

Our Corporate Plan 2019–23 is our primary strategic planning document. It articulates four objectives we need to realise to achieve our purpose of accelerating carbon abatement for Australia (Figure 1). We update and publish our corporate plan annually.

Our plan includes a key performance indicator (KPI) framework that provides the basis for measuring our Portfolio Budget Statement 2019–20 performance criteria against our objectives and purpose, in accordance with paragraph 35(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).

Figure 1: Our objectives and rationale



A trusted, relevant and expert institution

The Clean Energy Regulator publishes relevant, accurate and timely data and other information to promote and enhance a well-functioning and liquid carbon market and to inform future policy development. In doing so, the agency relies on and supports productive and collaborative relationships across governments, states and territories, and industry and stakeholder bodies.

Efficient and effective administration

The agency administers its schemes in an efficient and effective way to encourage participation and compliance, reduce costs and meet the objectives of the legislation to accelerate carbon abatement.

Engaged, active and compliant participants

The best outcomes are achieved when the entities we regulate can successfully engage with us to participate in the abatement schemes we administer and meet their obligations, and willingly contribute to the agency’s information gathering.

Secure and enduring regulatory infrastructure

The Clean Energy Regulator’s processes, systems and infrastructure must be reliable and resilient and able to respond flexibly to policy and/or operational changes. They must also be supported by capable, expert and adaptable people to ensure that the agency can respond quickly to new policy demands, technological changes and participant expectations.

Our performance against our Portfolio Budget Statement 2019–20 and Corporate Plan 2019–23 is detailed in Part two – Annual performance statement, as required under section 39 of the PGPA Act.

Outcomes and programs

Our outcome and program structure is detailed in the Environment and Energy Portfolio Budget Statement 2019–20 and summarised below.

See Part two – Annual performance statement for results achieved against our purpose, objectives and KPIs.

Figure 2: Summary of our outcome and program structure for 2019-20

Outcome 1

Contribute to a reduction in Australia’s net greenhouse gas emissions, including through the administration of market-based mechanisms that incentivise reduction in emissions and the promotion of additional renewable electricity generation.

Program 1.1

Effective and efficient regulation of greenhouse and energy reporting and market-based schemes that contribute to a reduction in Australia’s net greenhouse gas emissions and promote investment in renewable energy.


We deliver Program 1.1 by:

  • collecting, analysing, assessing and publishing emissions and energy data, to inform government policy and the Australian public, to meet international reporting obligations and to support Australia’s emissions and energy data needs
  • operating the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units and the REC Registry for market participants
  • monitoring, facilitating and enforcing compliance by our clients for the schemes we administer
  • issuing Australian carbon credit units to organisations and individuals for approved projects that reduce greenhouse gas emission
  • conducting auctions and managing contracts
  • accrediting greenhouse and energy auditors to undertake audit activities under our schemes
  • working with other Commonwealth, state and territory law enforcement and regulatory bodies, and
  • providing education and information to current and potential scheme participants on the schemes we administer and how they work.

Performance criteria


Proportion of contracted abatement delivered

≥ 80% of contracted abatement is delivered on time

Compliance levels by regulated and liable entities

≥ 95% of regulated entities are materially compliant with their statutory obligations

Our values

Our work is underpinned by the Australian Public Service Values of impartiality, commitment to service, accountability, respect and ethical behaviour.

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.


The Clean Energy Regulator was established on 2 April 2012 as an independent statutory authority under the Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011 and is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity for the purposes of the PGPA Act.

We administer the following legislation:

  • Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011
  • National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007
  • Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000
  • Australian National Registry of Emissions Units Act 2011, and
  • Clean Energy Act 2011 (insofar as it is kept in force by the Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Act 2014).