Reminders: Compliance; Telemarketing

Following recent enforcement action against one of Australia’s largest solar retailers, the Clean Energy Regulator has taken enforcement action against one of the largest registered agents, Emerging Energy Solutions Group Pty Ltd, which improperly created small-scale technology certificates based on false information and representations provided to them by third parties.

According to the CER Emerging Energy improperly created STCs for non-compliant solar PV panels and installations that were not done by a Clean Energy Council accredited installer. Emerging Energy’s compliance procedures did not identify that the information provided to them contained false information.

Emerging Energy has voluntarily entered into an enforceable undertaking with the Clean Energy Regulator to address the non-compliance. The enforceable undertaking includes Emerging Energy updating its compliance program, surrendering improperly created STCs, and reinspecting solar PV installations.

For more information on current and previous enforceable undertakings, see

Enforcea ble undertakings.

The statement read: ‘The Clean Energy Regulator takes fraud and non-compliance seriously and to ensure integrity in the scheme, we have increased proactive monitoring activities and enforcement actions.

“Monitoring activities will reach out across the STC creation chain to identify any party that contributes to the improper creation of STCs. Enforcement action will be taken against any scheme participant who commits an act of fraud or serious non-compliance.

“The Clean Energy Regulator strongly encourages registered agents to have appropriate compliance programs in place to reduce the risk of breaching regulatory requirements for STC creation, remedy any breach that may occur, and continue to foster a culture of compliance.”

The Clean Energy Regulator may accept enforceable undertakings from scheme participants in cases to prevent or address serious non-compliance.

Enforceable undertakings are written statements from a person or organisation that they will do, or refrain from doing, certain things in order to resolve detected contraventions or improve compliance with the legislation.

For more information about monitoring and enforcement powers, refer to the compliance, education and enforcement policy.

Contact the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme Compliance Team should you have any concerns about the integrity of the scheme at CER-SRES-Compliance@cleanenergyregulator.gov.au.

Any information provided will be treated confidentiality unless otherwise agreed.

The Smart Energy Council has also received advice about telemarketing.

Make the right telemarketing call

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is targeting telemarketing compliance in the solar industry, focusing on lead generation and ensuring consent to make calls has been obtained.

 Telemarketing can be an effective way to reach potential customers, says ACMA, however, some practices may frustrate consumers, have a negative impact on your reputation or even fall foul of the law.

Lead generation is one example. This is when a call centre asks questions to gauge interest, and then sells this as a ‘lead’ to others.

Leads can be sold to multiple businesses that each make follow-up calls, so consumers can become frustrated and confused if they’re inundated with calls. In worst-case scenarios, lead generation calls are made without consent to numbers on the Do Not Call Register.

Australia’s telemarketing rules are set out in the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 and the Telemarketing Industry Standard.

Australians can opt out of most telemarketing calls by listing their numbers on the free Do Not Call Register. Telemarketers must not call numbers on the register without consent (with limited exemptions).

The Telemarketing Industry Standard sets out strict rules about when calls can be made, when they must be ended and what information must be provided.

It’s important to understand obligations before engaging in telemarketing. Those who break the rules face penalties of up to $210,000 per day.

 ACMA presents this summary of ‘How to get it right’

  1. Be careful when buying telemarketing leads or marketing lists:
    • Have a written contract in place that requires compliance with the telemarketing rules.
    • Check the list against the Do Not Call Register. A process called ‘washing’ removes numbers that are on the register. It’s your responsibility to ensure purchased lists are washed—consider washing yourself or making it part of your contract with third parties
    • Get, and maintain, records of consent to call numbers on the register. It’s your responsibility if any numbers on the register are called without consent.
  1. Check in with your outsourced provider:
    • If someone else is making calls on your behalf, it’s important to check their compliance with the rules, as you may be liable.
    • Ensure call centres can provide you with call recordings for leads.
    • Monitor their compliance by reviewing complaints and checking outgoing call records.
    • Take action if you find out the call centre is doing the wrong thing—it’s your business reputation on the line.
  1. Meet the minimum standards:
    • Only make calls between 9. 00 am and 8.00 pm weekdays, and 9.00 am and 5.00 pm Saturdays.
    • Provide all required information, including the name of your business and the purpose of the call.
    • End the phone call as soon as someone asks to do so
    • Display a caller ID number that can be called back.

Further information about the telemarketing rules and list washing is available at www.donotcall.gov.au