Regulator investigating potential $1.7 million solar panel fraud


Commonwealth government agency, the Clean Energy Regulator (CER), confirmed on Thursday it had this week executed search warrants on three Perth addresses connected to a Western Australia-based solar panel retail and installation company.

The CER is investigating whether the Perth-based company has fabricated information about who installed almost 550 solar panel installations. The CER said approximately $1.7m in STCs had been created for these installations.

While the CER did not identify the company or the timeframe during which the installations occurred, it said the execution of the search warrants comes after an extended period of investigation.

The regulator said the search warrants aimed to uncover evidence of fraudulent activity and of false information being provided to the CER resulting in the improper creation of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs).

The CER said it will decide at the completion of the investigation if it will pursue a prosecutions but warned if criminal charges are laid, a person could face up to 10 years in jail for fraud-related offences.

The CER said in a statement it “is absolutely committed to the very highest standards of integrity and treats any breaches seriously”.

“Agents, installers, and retailers who fail to adequately ensure that STCs are eligible for creation or are party to the provision of false and misleading information, may face criminal, civil or administrative action,” it said.

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