Clean Energy Regulator investigation into $1.5 million WA solar panel fraud underway

A Perth-based group of solar companies is being investigated by the clean energy regulator over concerns that they have falsified information relating to nearly 500 solar panel installations that have created approximately 1.5 million dollars in small-scale technology certificates.

The government oversight body confirmed Friday that it had carried out search warrants on several residential and commercial addresses linked to the group, which sells and installs solar systems and operates as an agent of small-scale renewable energy programs. ladder.

Although CER did not identify the company or the time period during which the installations took place, it said the execution of the search warrants comes after a long period of investigation.

CER’s Piet Powell said the search warrants aimed at uncovering evidence of false information provided to the regulator, resulting in the improper creation of STC.

Solar panels are the way of the future.  Photo: Getty Images / EyeEm.  Photo taken in Australia
Camera icon“Agents, installers and resellers who fail to adequately guarantee that STCs are fit to create or are involved in providing false and misleading information may be subject to criminal, civil or administrative prosecution.” Credit: Regis Martin / EyeEm/Getty Images / EyeEm

“The execution of these warrants advances the recent investigative work of the clean energy regulator in Perth, with separate and independent search warrants executed in September 2021 and May 2022, which investigate further potentially fraudulent activities in the solar sector,” he said. affirmed.

“The clean energy regulator requires the highest standards of compliance and integrity within its small-scale renewable energy program for the financial incentives granted. SRES eligibility requirements include meeting state and territorial electrical regulatory requirements. “

Although Ms Powell said CER had no direct evidence to suggest the facilities were unsafe or substandard, she was working closely with her Perth regulator to investigate the allegations and would notify the owners if they were. revealed concerns about the quality of the installation.

“Agents, installers and resellers who fail to adequately ensure that STCs are eligible to create or participate in the provision of false and misleading information may be subject to criminal, civil or administrative prosecution,” he said.

In December 2021, the amendments to the 2001 Regulation on renewable energy (electricity) were issued.

The amendments respond to the Australian government’s response to the recommendations made in the Clean Energy Regulator’s Rooftop Solar PV Sector Integrity Review and, more importantly, give the Clean Energy Regulator additional powers to prevent installers and designers, dealers and components from participating in SRES.

If you have information on potentially fraudulent behavior or activity, please contact, call 1300 553 542 or use the online reporting tool.

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