Australian Capital Territory (ACT) electrical retail company B and J Finnigan Pty Ltd (trading as A1 Electrical) has been found to have engaged in 14 different acts of fraudulent behavior between March and July 2019. The company submitted compliance documents which incorrectly registered Sole Director Bradley Finnigan as the responsible installer of the solar systems while he was overseas at the time.
At sentencing, the ACT magistrate fined the company $9,000, up from $12,000 previously, due to his early guilty plea. Bradley Finnigan has also had his Clean Energy Council (CEC) accreditation revoked for a period of 12 months.
Clean Energy Regulator (CER) Chief Compliance Officer Piet Powell said A1 Electrical’s actions were a clear violation of regulations.
“The company provided Small Scale Technology Certificate (STC) award forms to an agent who then used this information to create 429 STCs worth over $15,000,” a- she declared.
“Each STC assignment form incorrectly recorded Bradley Finnigan as the responsible CEC Accredited Installer despite being overseas and completely unable to do so.
“We expect all information provided to us to be truthful and correct, and we have zero tolerance for willful fraud or non-compliance.”
Powell said compliance is a top priority for the Clean Energy Regulator.
“The Clean Energy Regulator is committed to ensuring businesses and consumers can have confidence in the Australian solar industry,” she said. “Solar industry participants are reminded that any fraudulent behavior is treated seriously and may be subject to criminal, civil or administrative action.”
In December 2021, amendments to the The Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001 have been enacted. The amendments respond to the Australian Government’s response to recommendations made in the CER’s Rooftop Solar PV Sector Integrity Review and, importantly, give the regulator additional powers to prevent installers and designers, retailers and components to participate in SRES.