Page 357 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 14 February 2017
buildings and therefore would not be covered by it. This is definitely fixing something which would have been written differently had anybody thought about it at the time.
I share the concerns of Ms Lawder that sometimes what is put down as minor is not minor to some people. I think that is very worthy of investigation by the admin and procedures committee, and I wish them well with it. The Greens are happy to support the bill. My colleague Mr Rattenbury will have some more to say on the renewable energy parts of it.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (11.38): Some of these minor amendments relate to the Climate Change and Sustainability portfolio for which I am responsible. I thank Mr Gentleman for sponsoring this bill as there are some quite worthwhile important amendments in this bill that will make it easier for people to operate solar systems.
The first involves a change to the definition of “small or medium scale generation” in the Utilities (Technical Regulation) Act 2014, or the U(TR) act. This change is given effect to by clauses 25, 27 and 29 of the bill. Overall this change ensures that the U(TR) act is targeted to large commercial-scale energy generators and that smaller commercial generators are not captured by the Utilities Act. This is a deregulation and red tape reduction measure for smaller commercial solar electricity generator owners and ensures there is an appropriate level of regulation in place without the need to also meet the requirements of the Utilities Act, including the requirement to obtain an operating certificate.
Clauses 28 and 29 of the bill create a new regulation that sets the lower limit of regulation at systems generating 200 kilowatts, an increase from the previous lower limit of 30 kilowatts. The upper limit remains the same at 30 megawatts. Smaller generators—30 kilowatts to 200 kilowatts—that are no longer regulated by the Utilities Act are still required to be installed in compliance with the Electricity Safety Act 1971, completed by ACT licensed electricians and have submitted certificates of electrical safety.
The additional requirement for an operating certificate is unnecessary regulation for these generators. All of the risk elements of the work are appropriately covered by the requirements of the electrical safety legislation. In practical terms and putting all of that technical language aside, this is targeted at people who want to put a decent sized system on their warehouse roof, say, and who do not want to be seen as an electricity utility but simply somebody with a reasonably large solar system.
Another minor policy amendment is the removal of the requirement for the minister to set an energy efficiency target under the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act 2010. The amendment is made by clause 4 of the bill. It is necessary because the energy efficiency target is no longer necessary under the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act 2010 as energy efficiency improvements are now legislated through the Energy Efficiency (Cost of Living) Improvement Act 2012. I emphasise that this is not a lessening of the government’s commitment to energy efficiency; rather, it recognises the good work done under the Energy Efficiency (Cost of Living) Improvement Act 2012 through the energy efficiency improvement scheme