Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator continues its crackdown on rooftop solar rule breakers, including through the possible disqualification of an installer from the small-scale renewable energy scheme – a first for the regulator.
In the latest quarterly update on industry compliance, the CER reports it has issued a notice of intention to declare an installer as ineligible to participate in the SRES, the national rooftop solar incentive scheme.
The unnamed installer has 28 days to respond to the notice before a final decision is made on their eligibility to participate in the SRES. Any declarations made will be published on the CER website.
The regulator says this is the first time it has exercised its powers to disqualify an SRES participant since strict new rules came into play off the back of an “Integrity Review” of the sector in mid-2020.
As One Step Off The Grid has reported, the Integrity Review of the Rooftop Solar PV Sector was commissioned by former federal energy minister Angus Taylor in mid-2020, resulting in 13 recommendations.
The recommendations included giving the CER full responsibility for determining and regulating which retailers, installers and component manufacturers were eligible to participate in the federal Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme – the federal government’s nationwide rooftop solar subsidy that will end in 2030.
Caught out and taken to court
Also this quarter, the regulator says it has begun civil proceedings against E Connect Solar & Electrical and two individuals – a current and former director of the company – for providing false information on who had installed 38 rooftop PV systems in late 2019 and early 2020.
CER says the false information was subsequently relied on by a renewable energy certificate agent to improperly create small-scale technology certificates (STCs) in the Renewable Energy Certificate Registry.
A penalty hearing took place in Brisbane in the Federal Court in March, the regulator says, with the judge reserving his decision.