Backgrounder: The Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act, 2016

Date: February 26, 2016
Prepared by: Sussex Strategy and Provision Coalition

On February 24, 2016, Ontario’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray introduced the Climate Change Mitigation and Low Carbon Economy Act.

The proposed Act includes emission reduction targets, provisions for creating the government’s Action Plan to fight climate change, and most notably details regarding how proceeds from Ontario’s cap and trade system will be handled.and most notably details regarding how proceeds from Ontario’s cap and trade system will be handled. Should the legislation pass, proceeds from the cap and trade will be deposited into a new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account. Funds in this account would go towards projects and initiatives aimed at reducing emissions.

The proposed act also includes strong compliance and enforcement measures for the province's cap and trade program, and would facilitate linking Ontario's program with other jurisdiction's programs, including Quebec and California.

The Draft Legislation has been posted to the Ontario Environmental Registry (EBR). This proposal has been posted for a 30 day public review and comment period. All submissions are to be received by the government by March 25, 2016 with reference to EBR Registry number 012-6844.

More detail about the legislation can be found in the Government News Release.

Backgrounder: Cap and Trade Regulatory Proposal and Revised Guideline for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting

Date: February 26, 2016
Prepared by: Sussex Strategy and Provision Coalition

Following the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Changes’ announcement regarding the newly proposed Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act, 2016, the Government published the Cap and Trade Regulatory Proposal and Revised Guideline for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting on February 25, 2016.

The Regulation Proposal Notice has been posted to the Ontario Environmental Registry (EBR) for a 45 day public review and comment period. All submissions are to be received by the government by April 10, 2016 with reference to EBR Registry number 012-6837.

The cap and trade regulatory proposal outlines the policy for a number of program elements, including:

• Proposed caps
• Capped and uncapped (market) participants
• Compliance periods
• Registration rules
• Auction and sale rules
• Strategic reserve of allowances
• Market rules such as holding limits and purchase limits
• Compliance requirements
• Allocations
• Credit for early action

To support the proposed cap and trade program, the Ministry is now proposing to revoke the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Regulation (O.Reg. 452/09) and replace it with a new greenhouse gas reporting regulation and incorporated Guideline under the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, if passed. Proposed changes will include:

• Requirements to report production and other process related information;
• Provisions to allow facilities with emissions between 10,000 and 25,000 tonnes to opt-in;
• Clarifications on measurement requirements and reporting of biomass types; and
• Refinements to the Regulation and Guideline to facilitate implementation of the Cap and Trade Regulation.

In addition to the regulatory proposal, the government announced February 25, 2016 via the 2016 Budget that proceeds from the cap and trade program are projected to be $1.9 billion in 2017.

More information can be found in the Government News Release.

Backgrounder: Large Building Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking Regulation Proposal

Date: February 26, 2016
Prepared by: Provision Coalition with information provided by Ministry of Energy

On October 28, 2015 the government introduced amendments to the Green Energy Act, 2009 that, if passed, would enable the implementation of the Ministry of Energys proposed large building energy and water reporting and benchmarking initiative through a subsequent regulation, which will help Ontarios large building owners manage their energy and water consumption and save money on their utility bills.

The proposed amendments would enable the government to:

• Require large building/property owners, which would be specified in a subsequent regulation, to:
- Report their energy and water consumption, as well as other building information such as greenhouse gas emissions and square footage to the Ministry of Energy
- Verify reported data to ensure accuracy and fairness
- Develop and publish Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plans
• Publicly disclose reported energy and water consumption information, as well as other building characteristics
• Require electricity, natural gas and water utilities to make energy and water consumption data available to building owners so they are able to comply with the requirement
• Deem for the purposes of section 17 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act that information that is not made publicly available by the Ministry of Energy will be considered to have been supplied to the Ministry of Energy in confidence

On February 25, 2016 the Ministry of Energy posted its Large Building Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking Regulation Proposal to the Environmental Registry and Regulatory Registry.  The proposal considers stakeholder feedback received during consultations held from January 2015 to June 2015, and provides stakeholders with another opportunity to provide feedback. The revised proposal will be posted for 45 days. Feedback received will be considered in the development of the regulation, pending passage of the proposed legislation.

The Ministrys regulation proposal includes the following:

POLICY ELEMENT

POLICY PROPOSAL

Building Types

Commercial, multi-unit residential buildings ≥ 50 000 sq ft to be included. Most industrial buildings, i.e. manufacturing facilities and all agricultural facilities would not be included.

Annual Reporting

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to be used to report building data on an annual basis, including monthly energy and water consumption (and performance data where available), GHG emissions, building characteristic information such as gross floor area.

Phased-in over three years, starting with the largest buildings. First reporting deadline would be July 1, 2017 (pending passage of legislative amendments and regulation).

Require electricity, natural gas and water utilities to make whole building, aggregated, consumption data available to building owners so they are able to comply with the requirement

Annual Disclosure

Public disclosure (on Ontarios Open Data website) one year after initial reporting year for each of the three phases. Some data will not be disclosed publicly (e.g. site/source energy use, total GHG emissions and gross floor area on a building by building basis).

Data Verification

Building owners would be required to confirm in Portfolio Manager that the reported data is accurate. Verification by a third party would not be required under the proposed regulation.

Reports

ENERGY to publish reports summarizing key data findings.

CDM Plans

No requirement for Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) Plans in initial years of reporting.

ENERGY will consider requiring CDM Plans on a targeted basis in future years based on results.


Further details on each of the proposed elements of the regulation are outlined in the Environmental Registry and Regulatory Registry postings at the following links:

 Please send any comments or questions to rebecca.teare@ontario.ca.

Further Information
Large Building Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking Initiative

Proposed Legislative Amendments
Bill 135, Energy Statute Law Amendment Act (Conservation and Long-Term Energy Planning), 2016

More information can be found in the Government News Release.