How cap and trade will affect your business as a natural gas customer

Cap and trade will affect each business a bit differently. It's important for business customers to understand cap and trade and what it means to your business. 

Some business facilities with large emissions may be required by the Cap and Trade Program, or will voluntarily be able, to purchase their own emission allowances. 

We won't purchase or bill for the carbon allowances related to a facility’s emissions if they participate in cap and trade directly and purchase their own allowances. However there are some cap and trade costs related to emissions for delivery of natural gas to the facility that may still apply. 

If your business does not register with the government, we will administer cap and trade on your behalf. Cap and trade charges will be included in the Delivery to You charge. 

Some businesses may want to get business advice from a cap and trade consultant.

Contact Enbridge Gas if your business has facilities that are a mandatory or voluntary participant to ensure that we do not bill you for customer-related facility allowances.

As of January 1, 2017, detailed OEB-approved cap and trade rates have been posted here and are also available in rate schedules on our website.

For cap and trade program details, visit Ontario.ca/capandtrade.

Different impacts for different businesses

For most of our business customers, we will administer and bill for the purchase of carbon allowances, to cover their natural gas use. These include:

  • Customers that emit less than 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (t CO2e) a year
  • Customers that emit between 10,000 t CO2e and 25,000 t CO2e a year and don’t voluntarily opt-in and purchase their own allowances 
  • Natural gas fired electricity generators with a main purpose of supplying power for the electricity grid.

We won't purchase or bill for carbon allowances for a business customer site's use of natural gas if they participate in cap and trade directly. This includes sites or customer facilities that:

  • Emit over 25,000 t CO2e a year and are mandatory participants in cap and trade who by law must purchase their own allowances 
  • Emit between 10,000 t CO2e and 25,000 t CO2e a year and voluntarily opt-in as cap and trade participants and purchase their own allowances.

There are some cap and trade costs related to emissions for delivery of natural gas to the facility that may still apply.

Interim Rate

On November 24, 2016, the Ontario Energy Board approved our request for an interim rate per cubic metre of natural gas for the recovery of costs related to cap and trade. The cost to you will be determined by multiplying the cap and trade rate applicable to your business facility by the number of m3 of natural gas you use. The amount of natural gas you use is shown on your bill. The charge is related to the cost of emissions from a customer’s use of natural gas and the natural gas used to deliver gas to customers.

As of January 1, 2017, this interim rate has been included in the Delivery to You charge on customer bills. 

The Ontario Energy Board will review and approve cap and trade rates before we pass them through to you. Approved cap and trade rates will be posted on our website when available.

Cap and trade costs are expected to change over time.

If the charges we collect are higher or lower than the actual costs, your bill will be adjusted accordingly.

Did you know?

If a business’ only GHG emissions came from natural gas, it would have to use about 5 million m3 of natural gas a year to emit 10,000 t CO2e and about 13 million m3 to emit 25,000 t CO2e. 

Energy efficiency can help

Talk to one of our Energy Solutions Consultants about what you can do to lower your carbon footprint, save money and access market-based incentives. In some cases, this may include reducing your natural gas use through energy efficiency. You may also be able to lower your GHGs by using natural gas instead of higher emission fuels such as diesel for medium and heavy duty vehicles.

Should your business opt-in?

We aren’t able to provide advice to business customers about whether or not you should opt in, nor can we provide guidance on purchasing your own allowances or information about our purchase plans due to restrictions in government legislation.

We can tell you that there are responsibilities and obligations that come with choosing the opt-in option, including reporting verified emissions, so it’s important to make an informed business decision that considers factors like compliance requirements, deadlines and costs. 

  • Contact the government directly at CThelp@ontario.ca or call 1 (888) 217-3326 if you have questions.
  • The cap and trade and related GHG reporting regulations include specific details about various sectors. 

New GHG Reporting Requirements in 2017

Ontario updated its GHG reporting regulation in support of the cap and trade program. Businesses with GHG emissions over 10,000 t CO2e will be required to report their emissions to the government in 2017 even if they choose not to voluntarily opt in to cap and trade. Learn more about GHG reporting.  

Cap and Trade Resources

Visit ontario.ca/capandtrade. The site is updated regularly and lists key dates and deadlines in 2016 that apply to participants. See the What's New box for more information.

Some businesses may want to get business advice from a cap and trade consultant. For more information on how cap and trade may impact your Enbridge account, watch for updates with your bill.


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We’re committed to helping your business get the best value for your energy dollars. View the energy efficiency programs available for our business customers.