The Clean Energy Regulator has informed us that is investigating allegations of certificates claimed for unapproved solar photovoltaic (PV) panels under the Renewable Energy Target.
Fraudulent activity, such as the provision of false or misleading information to create small-scale technology certificates (STCs) is an offence under the legislation.
Information suggests that the imported solar panels look like genuine approved solar panels, but may not meet the appropriate Australian Standards or carry genuine manufacturer's labelling, and may overstate their generation capacity. The panels have not been authorised for sale by the manufacturer in Australia.
In Green Energy Trading we are aware of our responsibility to ensure claims for small-scale technology certificates for solar systems are only for systems using compliant and eligible panels. Unapproved solar panels—even if labelled as approved panels, are non-compliant and not eligible for STCs.
For a solar PV system to be eligible for Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) it must include PV modules that are on the CEC list of approved modules.
Participants in the Renewable Energy Target who wilfully commit an act of fraud or non-compliance, such as the creation of certificates based on the installation of unapproved panels, will be subject to enforcement action by the Clean Energy Regulator, which may lead to criminal charges.
For further information regarding the Clean Energy Regulator's enforcement approach refer to the compliance and enforcement policy available online.
The CEC is working with the Clean Energy Regulator and PV module suppliers to protect Australian consumers from the risk of fake modules. Green Energy Trading supports the integrity of our industry and encourages everyone to work to reduce this risk.
What you can do to reduce the risk
Module suppliers can remove modules that are no longer imported into Australia from the CEC Approved product list. The process is simple and free of charge.
Installers and solar retailers who suspect fraud or non-compliance in the renewable energy industry contact the Clean Energy Regulator at email@example.com (and cc to firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone 1300 553 542.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The Green Energy Trading Team