The Role of the REC Agent

    Agents must be registered with the Office of the Clean Energy Regulator (CER).

    The agent’s role is to:

    • Assist owners in the purchase and installation of their small-scale (solar water heaters (SWHs), heat pumps or small-scale generation units (SGUs) including solar PV panel systems, small scale wind systems and small scale hydro systems by offering a financial benefit. This may be a discount off the up front cost of the system in exchange for being assigned the right to create the small-scale technology certificates (STCs) applicable to the installed system.
    • Create STCs in the REC Registry that is maintained by the Clean Energy Regulator.
    • Sell the STCs in the open STC market or through the STC Clearing House maintained by the CER.
    • Comply with the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 and supporting Regulations.

    For technical information about creating STCs, calculating Out-of-Pocket Expenses and other publications, visit the Agent Publications page of the Clean Energy Regulator website.

    What does adhering to the Code of Conduct Mean?

    RAA developed the Code of Conduct to ensure businesses in the industry adhered to high operating standards, and to help build credibility and trust in the industry. All RAA members must adhere to the Code of Conduct.

    As an Agent, adhering to the Code of Conduct means:

    • You will deal honestly and openly with your clients, such as ensuring your clients understand the financial benefit you are offering them and what they must supply to you as an agent in return.
    • You deal transparently with your clients. This includes providing particulars of all relevant fees and charges, payment terms, and their recourse for your failure to pay.
    • You will act ethically at all times, such as passing on money owed to your clients in a reasonable timeframe.
    • Providing good customer service at all times, and striving to improve customer service.
    • Ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.
    • That should a breach of the regulations occur, you notify RAA and the relevant authorities.
    • Helping to promote the Code of Conduct, by displaying it prominently in correspondence, on your website and in your offices/branches.
    • That you will ensure you and your staff stay abreast of current legislative and regulatory requirements.
    • You will handle any complaints honestly and expediently. This includes promptly supplying any documentation required by RAA or the regulator to undertake an investigation after a complaint, and ceasing to create RECs if the regulator requests an investigation, or a suspension of trade.
    • You must maintain all relevant insurances.
    • You are willing to have your business name displayed on the REC website, including details of your membership, whether current, pending or cancelled.
    • You will not misrepresent your level of accreditation with RAA.

    Why should agents adhere to the Code of Conduct?

    Adhering to the Code of Conduct ensures our industry is respected for being an honest, trustworthy industry.

    Over time, it will help lift the general standard of business within the industry, helping to secure its long-term future.

    As the Code becomes more widely recognised, it promotes your business as being an honest and trustworthy business.

    Adhering to the Code is simply good business practice.

    Becoming a member of RAA requires adherence to the Code of Conduct.

    RAA Briefing Paper on GST for Environmental Certificates

    Applicability of GST on environmental certificates (STCs, VEECs and ESCs) has at times been a difficult issue for the solar and energy efficiency industry. There has often been confusing and contradictory information about in the market place.

    RAA has been in discussions with the ATO to assist members and other industry participants develop an understanding of the ATO’s requirements and to illustrate this by way of an example.

    Together with the ATO, RAA have developed  a flow diagram that illustrates the transactions in a typical process whereby the customer / system owner is registered for GST. This is included as an attachment to this Briefing Paper and has been deemed to be compliant by the ATO.

    Read the flow diagram here: raa-briefing-paper-gst-jul-13