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Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2009

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5816- REVISED

2008-2009

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2009

 

(1)     Clause 2, page 2 (at the end of the table), add:

10.  Schedule 4

The day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

[consequential - solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters no longer eligible to create certificates and biomass from native vegetation no longer an eligible renewable energy source]

(2)     Clause 3, page 3 (lines 1 to 5), omit the clause, substitute:

3  Schedule(s)

             (1)  Each Act, and each set of regulations, that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

             (2)  The amendment of any regulation under subsection (1) does not prevent the regulation, as so amended, from being amended or repealed by the Governor-General.

[consequential - solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters no longer eligible to create certificates and biomass from native vegetation no longer an eligible renewable energy source]

(3)     Schedule 1, page 4 (after line 25), after item 3, insert:

3AAA  Subsection 5(1) (definition of solar water heater )

Repeal the definition, substitute:

solar water heater means a device that heats water using solar energy and includes heat pump water heaters.

[consequential - solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters no longer eligible to create certificates]



 

(4)     Schedule 1, page 5 (after line 2), after item 3A, insert:

3AA  Section 8

Omit “solar water heaters or”.

[consequential - solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters no longer eligible to create certificates]

(5)     Schedule 1, page 6 (after line 12), after item 3L, insert:

3LA  At the end of subsection 17(2)

Add:

                   ; (c)  solar energy used by solar water heaters, including heat pump water heaters;

                     (d)  biomass from native vegetation of any kind.

[consequential - solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters no longer eligible to create certificates and biomass from native vegetation no longer an eligible renewable energy source]

(6)     Schedule 1, page 7 (after line 14), after item 3Q, insert:

3R  Subdivision B of Division 4 of Part 2

Repeal the Subdivision.

[solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters no longer eligible to create certificates]

[Note:           Option 1: amts (7) and (12);               Option 2: amts (8) and (14)]

(7)     Schedule 1, items 4 to 7, page 7 (line 15) to page 8 (line 10), items TO BE OPPOSED .

[no multiplier for certificates]

(8)     Schedule 1, item 6, page 8 (lines 1 to 3), omit subsection 23B(3), substitute:

             (3)  However, the regulations may provide for a number of certificates to be multiplied only if the certificates relate to:

                     (a)  in the case of a small generation unit whose energy source is hydro—the first 10kW of the rated power output of the unit;

                     (b)  in the case of a small generation unit whose energy source is wind—the first 10kW of the rated power output of the unit;

                     (c)  in the case of a small generation unit whose energy source is solar (photovoltaic)—the total rated power output of the unit.

[rated power output for multiplier certificates]

(9)     Schedule 1, page 8 (after line 10), after item 7, insert:

7AA  Subdivision BB of Division 4 of Part 2

Repeal the Subdivision, substitute:

Subdivision BB Small generation unit return

23F   Small generation unit return

             (1)  If the sum of the number of certificates created by a person during a year under Subdivision BA exceeds 250, the person must give a return for the year to the Regulator on or before:

                     (a)  14 February in the following year; or

                     (b)  any later day allowed by the Regulator.

             (2)  The return must include details of:

                     (a)  the number of certificates the person created under that Subdivision during the year; and

                     (b)  the number of certificates the person is entitled to create that Subdivision because of rights assigned to the person under subsection 23C(2) during the year; and

                     (c)  any other information specified by the regulations.

[consequential - solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters no longer eligible to create certificates]

(10)   Schedule 1, page 8 (after line 10), after item 7, insert:

7AB  At the end of Division 4 of Part 2

Add:

Subdivision D—Period of validity of certificates

24A  Period of validity of certificates

                   A certificate created in accordance with this Division is a valid certificate for the period ending 4 years from the date of its creation.

[no stockpiling of certificates]

(11)   Schedule 1, page 8 (lines 14 to 16), omit item 7B, substitute:

7B  Section 25A

Repeal the section, substitute:

25A   Form and content of certificates—small generation units

             (1)  Certificates under Subdivision BA of Division 4 are to be created in an electronic form approved in writing by the Regulator.

             (2)  Each certificate is to contain:

                     (a)  the registered person’s registration number; and

                     (b)  the year; and

                     (c)  a number in an unbroken sequence that is used for all certificates created in respect of the small generation unit concerned in that year and that starts at one and has increments of one; and

                     (d)  the electronic signature of the registered person who created the certificate; and

                     (e)  the date on which the small generation unit concerned was installed; and

                      (f)  details of the eligible energy source in respect of which the certificate was created; and

                     (g)  the date on which the certificate was created.

[consequential - solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters no longer eligible to create certificates]

(12)   Schedule 1, page 9 (after line 17), after item 7E, insert:

7F  After Part 3

Insert:

Part 3A—Acquisition of electricity from owners of qualifying generators

34A  Object of Part

                   The object of this Part is to support the commercialisation of a broad range of prospective renewable energy technologies by:

                     (a)  providing specifically tailored support for a range of renewable energy technologies that are currently not adequately assisted by the mandatory renewable energy target;

                     (b)  requiring electricity distributors to permit owners of both small and large scale qualifying generators to supply the electricity grid with electricity generated from selected renewable energy sources;

                     (c)  providing a payment or a rebate to owners of qualifying generators after the commencement of this Part for the renewable electricity which they produce after the commencement of this Part from renewable energy sources;

                     (d)  establishing an effective regime to monitor the extent of production of renewable electricity by owners of qualifying generators.

34B  Definitions

                   In this Part:

direct customer means a person or company who:

                     (a)  is directly connected to an electricity distribution network other than by means of the distribution system of the electricity retailer; and

                     (b)  satisfies other criteria (if any) prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this definition.

electricity distributor means:

                     (a)  a company or other entity licensed for the distribution of electricity through an electricity network; and

                     (b)  in relation to an electricity connection service for premises—a company or other entity licensed to provide the service for the premises.

electricity retailer means a company or other entity that supplies electricity to customers.

excluded network means an electricity distribution network that supplies electricity to less than 10,000 retail customers.

feed-in-tariff rate scheme means the scheme established by section 34F.

kWh means kilowatt hour.

qualifying generator means a renewable energy electricity generator:

                     (a)  that complies with the relevant Australian Standard; and

                     (b)  that is connected to an electricity distribution network in a manner that allows electricity generated by the renewable energy electricity generator to be fed into the electricity distribution network, other than where the electricity distribution network is an excluded network; and

                     (c)  that generates electricity from a source listed in subsection 17(1) as an eligible renewable energy source; and

                     (d)  that forgoes participation in the mandatory renewable energy target scheme; and

                     (e)  for which an application for registration has been made under section 34D after the commencement of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Act 2009 .

quarter means a period of 3 months commencing on 1 January, 1 April, 1 July or 1 October of a year.

quarterly return means a return for a period of 3 months commencing on 1 January, 1 April, 1 July or 1 October of a year.

retail customer means a customer who:

                     (a)  ordinarily acquires electricity primarily for domestic or business use; and

                     (b)  is not a direct customer; and

                     (c)  satisfies other criteria (if any) prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this definition.

34C  Feeding-in of electricity to grid by owners of qualifying generators

             (1)  Electricity distributors must, subject to compliance by the owner of a qualifying generator with any relevant technical, safety or other requirements imposed by or under this or any other Act or relevant instrument, connect the qualifying generator to the grid and permit the owner to feed into the grid electricity generated by the qualifying generator.

             (2)  Electricity retailers must:

                     (a)  purchase, on application in the prescribed form by an owner of a qualifying generator connected to the grid under subsection (1), any electricity fed into the grid by that qualifying generator; and

                     (b)  comply with any reporting requirements in this Act or that are prescribed in the regulations.

             (3)  Payment for electricity purchased by an electricity retailer under paragraph (2)(a) is to be made under section 34J or 34K, as the case may be.

             (4)  An owner of a qualifying generator who feeds into the grid under subsection (1) must install a meter, of a type prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this subsection, to measure the total amount of renewable electricity energy generated by the qualifying generator.

34D  Registration of qualifying generators

                   The owner of a qualifying generator must apply in the prescribed form for registration of the qualifying generator in the Feed-in-Tariff Register established under section 34I.

34E  Eligibility for payment or rebate of feed-in-tariff rate

             (1)  The owner of a qualifying generator who feeds into the grid electricity generated by the qualifying generator is eligible to receive payments or rebates of the feed-in-tariff rate under section 34J or 34K, as the case may be, subject to:

                     (a)  registration of the qualifying register under section 34D; and

                     (b)  compliance with any relevant technical, safety or other requirements imposed by or under this or any other Act or relevant instrument.

             (2)  If a qualifying generator has been registered under section 34D and included in the Feed-in-Tariff Register established under section 34I and there is a change to the installed capacity of that qualifying generator, the owner of the qualifying generator must advise the Regulator, in the prescribed form, of the new installed capacity of the qualifying generator.

34F  Feed-in-tariff rate scheme

             (1)  The feed-in-tariff rate scheme is established by this section.

             (2)  The feed-in-tariff rate scheme is the payment under section 34J or the rebate under section 34K of an amount to the owner of a qualifying generator that is registered with the Regulator, calculated by reference to:

                     (a)  the relevant feed-in-tariff rate set by the Minister under section 34G; and

                     (b)  all the electricity produced by that qualifying generator, not just the electricity which is fed into the electricity grid.

34G  Feed-in-tariff rates

             (1)  The Minister must, within 28 days of the commencement of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Act 2009 , set the feed-in-tariff rates for qualifying generators that are to be paid or rebated under the feed-in-tariff rate scheme in respect of a qualifying generator that is registered for the first time during the financial year in which that Act commences.

             (2)  The Minister must, by the end of each financial year:

                     (a)  review the current feed-in-tariff rates for qualifying generators, taking into account the following factors:

                              (i)  the prospect of the technology reliably producing competitively priced electricity by the end of the calendar year 2020; and

                             (ii)  the environmental cost or impact of the technology; and

                     (b)  set the feed-in-tariff rates for qualifying generators that are to be paid or rebated under the feed-in-tariff rate scheme in respect of a qualifying generator that is registered for the first time during the following financial year.

             (3)  In setting the feed-in-tariff rates under subsection (1) or (2), the Minister may take into account:

                     (a)  any Commonwealth, State or Territory government payments or rebates already made or received in respect of a qualifying generator; and

                     (b)  the type of renewable energy technology used by the qualifying generator; and

                     (c)  the location of a qualifying generator; and

                     (d)  the installed capacity of a qualifying generator.

             (4)  If the Minister has set the feed-in-tariff rates that are to apply for a financial year, the Minister must not vary those rates during that financial year.

             (5)  In setting the feed-in-tariff rates under subsection (2) that are to apply for the following financial year, the Minister may increase, vis- à-vis the current financial year feed-in-tariff rates, a feed-in-tariff rate that is to apply during that following financial year.

             (6)  Subject to section 34E, the relevant feed-in-tariff rate is payable or rebateable to an owner of a qualifying generator for each kWh of electricity generated by the qualifying generator during a billing period.

             (7)  In setting the feed-in-tariff rates under subsection (1) or (2), the primary objective of the Minister is to support the economic viability of a range of prospective renewable energy technologies.

             (8)  If the Minister reduces a feed-in-tariff rate, the reduction must not be more than 5% of the rate that applied before the reduction.

             (9)  A feed-in-tariff rate set under subsection (1) or (2) and payable or rebateable to the owner of a qualifying generator at the date of the registration of the qualifying generator is fixed and guaranteed for a period of 20 years from the date of that registration. That period of 20 years does not restart if the installed capacity of that qualifying generator is increased at any time.

           (10)  The Minister must provide a statement explaining how the feed-in-tariff rates are calculated and must table that statement in both Houses of Parliament within 15 sitting days after the end of each financial year.

           (11)  The feed-in-tariff rates set under subsections (1) and (2) are legislative instruments for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 .

34H  Feed-in-tariff levy rate

             (1)  The Minister must, within 28 days of the commencement of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Act 2009 , set the feed-in-tariff levy rate per MWh of electricity acquired from the electricity grid, to fund payments under the feed-in-tariff rate scheme in section 34H for that financial year. The feed-in-tariff levy is to be imposed by the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Feed-in-Tariff Levy Act 2009 .

             (2)  The Minister must, by the end of each financial year, set a feed-in-tariff levy rate per MWh of electricity acquired from the electricity grid, to fund payments under the feed-in-tariff rate scheme in section 34H for the following financial year. The feed-in-tariff levy is to be imposed by the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Feed-in-Tariff Levy Act 2009 .

             (3)  The Minister must ensure that the feed-in-tariff levy rate set under subsection (1) or (2) is sufficient to cover the estimated cost of payments under the feed-in-tariff rate scheme under section 34J.

             (4)  The feed-in-tariff levy is payable by all electricity retailers and direct customers, calculated by reference to the amount of electricity acquired by an electricity retailer or a direct customer, as the case may be, as set out in its annual energy acquisition statement lodged under section 44.

Note:          The annual energy acquisition statement is used to calculate the renewable energy shortfall charge of an electricity retailer or a direct customer (a liable entity ). The same statement is to be used to calculate the amount of the feed-in-tariff levy.

             (5)  The Minister must provide a statement explaining how the feed-in-tariff levy rate is calculated and must table that statement in both Houses of Parliament within 5 sitting days after:

                     (a)  in the case of the levy rate set under subsection (1)—setting the rate; or

                     (b)  in the case of a levy rate set under subsection (2)—the end of each preceding financial year.

             (6)  The feed-in-tariff levy rates set under subsections (1) and (2) are legislative instruments for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 .

34I  Establishment of a Feed-in-Tariff Register

             (1)  The Regulator must establish a register to be known as the Feed-in-Tariff Register (the Register ).

             (2)  The Regulator must record in the Register:

                     (a)  details of all qualifying generators for which an application for registration has been made under section 34D, including the name and address of the owner of the qualifying generator, the date of registration of the qualifying generator, the type of renewable energy technology used by the qualifying generator and the installed capacity of the qualifying generator; and

                     (b)  in the case of a qualifying generator with an installed capacity equal to or greater than 1MW, the total amount of electricity produced each quarter by that qualifying generator, as notified in the quarterly return lodged under subsection 34J(1); and

                     (c)  the feed-in-tariff rate to be paid to the owner of a qualifying generator and the period for which the feed-in-tariff rate will be paid; and

                     (d)  if there is any change to the installed capacity of a qualifying generator, the new installed capacity of the qualifying generator.

             (3)  The Regulator must provide details of the amount of total payments made under the feed-in-tariff scheme under subsection 34J(2) for inclusion in a report prepared under subsection 34L(1).

34J  Feed-in-tariff rate payments—installed capacity equal to or greater than 1MW

             (1)  The owner of a qualifying generator with an installed capacity equal to or greater than 1MW must lodge with the Regulator within 15 days after the end of each quarter that ends after the date of registration of the qualifying generator a quarterly return in the prescribed form indicating the metered electricity produced by the qualifying generator in respect of that quarter.

             (2)  The Regulator must make a payment, calculated in accordance with the feed-in-tariff rate, to the owner of a qualifying generator within 30 days of receiving from the owner a quarterly return under subsection (1).

             (3)  Payments under subsection (2) are to be made from money appropriated by the Parliament for that purpose.

34K  Feed-in-tariff rate rebates—installed capacity of less than 1MW

             (1)  The owner of a qualifying generator with an installed capacity of less than 1MW is entitled to payment for electricity purchased by an electricity retailer under paragraph 34C(2)(a), in the form of a rebate against charges payable by the owner for the supply of electricity by the electricity retailer to the owner.

             (2)  An electricity retailer must read a meter installed under subsection 34C(4) by the owner of a qualifying generator at the same time as the electricity retailer reads the meter for the supply of electricity to the owner.

             (3)  The rebate under subsection (1) must be calculated in accordance with the feed-in-tariff rate, and credited to the account of the owner of the qualifying generator for a billing period on the same day as any charge for the supply of electricity is debited against the account for the billing period and before the account for the billing period is sent to the owner of the qualifying generator.

             (4)  If the whole of an amount to be credited to the owner of a qualifying generator under subsection (3) in a particular billing period has not been set-off against the charges payable by the owner for the supply of electricity by the expiration of 12 months after the end of that billing period, the owner is entitled to the payment of the outstanding balance.

34L  Review of operation of Part

             (1)  The Minister must cause to be prepared an independent report on the operation of this Part for the period beginning on the date of the commencement of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Act 2009 and ending on the next 30 June after that date, and for each subsequent 12 month period ending on 30 June in a later year.

             (2)  If the day on which the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Act 2009 commences is on or after 1 January in a year, the report prepared under subsection (1) in relation to the period from that day to 30 June in that year must be included in and presented with the report prepared under subsection (1) for the year beginning on 1 July next following the commencement of this Act.

             (3)  The Minister must cause a copy of a report prepared under subsection (1) to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 5 sitting days of that House after the day on which he or she receives the report.

             (4)  A report prepared under subsection (1) must include:

                     (a)  details of total renewable energy produced from each source listed in section 17; and

                     (b)  total payments made under the feed-in-tariff rate scheme under section 34J; and

                     (c)  total amounts of feed-in-tariff levies received under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Feed-in-Tariff Levy Act 2009 .

[feed-in-tariff]

(13)   Schedule 1, item 8, page 9 (line 18) to page 10 (before line 1), omit the item, substitute:

8  Section 40

Repeal the section, substitute:

40   Required GWh of renewable source electricity

             (1)  The required GWh of renewable source electricity for the years 2001 to 2009 is set out in the following table:

 

Required GWh of renewable source electricity

Year

GWh

2001

300

2002

1100

2003

1800

2004

2600

2005

3400

2006

4500

2007

5600

2008

6800

2009

8100

             (2)  The required GWh of renewable source electricity for the years 2010 to 2030 is set out in the following table:

 

Required GWh of renewable source electricity

as a percentage of total electricity produced

Year

GWh

2010

11.4%

2011

13.2%

2012

15.1%

2013

16.9%

2014

18.8%

2015

20.7%

2016

22.5%

2017

24.4%

2018

26.3%

2019

28.1%

2020

30%

2021

30%

2022

30%

2023

30%

2024

30%

2025

30%

2026

30%

2027

30%

2028

30%

2029

30%

2030

30%

             (3)  The Minister by 30 September each year must cause to be prepared and tabled a report estimating for subsequent years the GWh of renewable source electricity to which the percentage targets in subsection (2) are likely to equate.

             (4)  The Minister must review and increase the target specified in subsection (2) for a year if the value of a renewable energy certificate is below $40 for more than 6 months.

[renewable energy target]

(14)   Schedule 1, page 10 (before line 1), after item 8, insert:

8AA  After section 40

Insert:

40A  Required GWh of renewable source electricity for 2011 to 2016

             (1)  The required GWh of renewable source electricity in section 40 for the years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 must be increased as specified in a declaration made under subsection (3).

             (2)  The Regulator must, by the 30 September next after each period specified in column 1 in subsection 23B(2) (a relevant column 1 period ), calculate the number of certificates created in accordance with the regulations as mentioned in subsection 23B(2) and publish the result of that calculation on the Internet.

             (3)  The Regulator must, within 15 days of complying with subsection (2), make a declaration increasing the required GWh of renewable source electricity in section 40 for the following year to offset the certificates created in accordance with the regulations as mentioned in subsection 23B(2) for the relevant column 1 period.

             (4)  A declaration made under subsection (3) is not a legislative instrument.

[increased renewable energy target to allow for phantom credits]

(15)   Schedule 1, page 10 (before line 1), after item 8, insert:

8AB  Section 45

Before “A certificate”, insert “(1)”.

8AC  At the end of section 45

Add:

             (2)  For the purpose of paragraph (1)(a), a certificate is a valid certificate for the period ending 4 years from the date of its creation.

[no stockpiling of certificates]

(16)   Schedule 1, item 9, page 11 (lines 1 to 16), omit section 162, substitute:

162   Biennial review of operation of renewable energy legislation

             (1)  The Minister must cause an independent review of the operation of the following to be undertaken as soon as practicable after 30 June 2012 and every 2 years after that date:

                     (a)  this Act and the scheme constituted by this Act;

                     (b)  the adequacy of the renewable energy target set by this Act;

                     (c)  the regulations;

                     (d)  the Renewable Energy (Electricity) (Charge) Act 2000 .

             (2)  A review must be undertaken by a person who, in the Minister’s opinion, possesses appropriate qualifications to undertake the review.

             (3)  The person undertaking a review must give the Minister a written report of the review before 31 December in that year.

             (4)  The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the report is given to the Minister.

             (5)  The report is not a legislative instrument.

[biennial review]

(17)   Schedule 2, page 12 (line 1) to page 18 (line 15), Schedule TO BE OPPOSED .

[no partial exemptions for emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities]

[amendment (18) below is an alternative to amendment (17) above]

(18)   Schedule 2, item 14, page 16 (after line 11), after subsection 46B(1), insert:

          (1A)  Regulations prescribing a method for calculating a liable entity’s partial exemption for the year in relation to an emissions-intensive trade-exposed activity must take into account any electricity price reductions resulting from the implementation of the renewable energy target and must avoid giving a liable entity a windfall gain.

[no windfall gain]

(19)   Page 24 (after line 20), at the end of the bill, add:

Schedule 4—Amendment of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001

Part 1—Solar water heaters

1  Subregulation 3(1) (definition of accredited body )

Repeal the definition.

2  Subregulation 3(1) (definition of component certification )

Repeal the definition.

3  Subregulation 3(1) (definition of product certification )

Repeal the definition.

4  Subregulation 3(1) (definition of Register of solar water heaters )

Repeal the definition.

5  Regulation 3A

Repeal the regulation.

6  Subdivision 2.3.2

Repeal the Subdivision.

7  Application of item 6

To avoid doubt, the repeal of Subdivision 2.3.2 of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001 made by item 6 means that certificates can no longer be created for the installation of heat pump water heaters.

8  Division 2.4

Repeal the Division, substitute:

Division 2.4            Small generation unit returns

20C          Information to be included in return (Act s 23F)

                For paragraph 23F (2) (d) of the Act, a small generation unit return must include the following information:

                (a)    the year to which the return relates;

               (b)    the person’s registration number;

                (c)    the telephone number, fax number and e-mail address (if any) of the person;

               (d)    the number and type of unit for which a certificate was created in the year and the period of time for which the certificate was created;

                (e)    details of any certificates assigned under subsection 23C (2) of the Act;

                (f)    the number of certificates found ineligible for registration in the year;

               (g)    the reasons for certificates being found ineligible for registration in the year;

               (h)    the process used by the person to ensure that certificates created or assigned under Subdivision BA of Division 4 of Part 2 of the Act are eligible for registration.

Note        For other information that must also be included in the return, see Act, subsection 23F (2).

9  Paragraph 28(1)(b)

Omit “23 (2) or”.

10  Subregulation 28(2) (table)

Omit “or solar water heater” (twice occurring).

11  Subregulation 28(2) (table item 1)

Omit “23 (2) or”.

12  Schedule 4

Repeal the Schedule.

Part 2—Wood waste

13  Paragraph 8(1)(d)

Omit “; and”, substitute “.”.

14  Paragraph 8(1)(e)

Repeal the paragraph.

15  Subregulations 8(2), (3) and (4)

Repeal the subregulations.



 

16  Subregulation 9(2)

Repeal the subregulation, substitute:

             (2)  For section 17 of the Act, biomass from native vegetation is not an energy crop.

[consequential - solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters no longer eligible to create certificates and biomass from native vegetation no longer an eligible renewable energy source]