Output-based Pricing System for Industry: guidance for industrial facilities

Guidance for facilities that are obligated or opting to register under the Output-based Pricing System and the necessary steps for registration, reporting and compliance.

Key dates

Regulated facilities registered for the Output-based Pricing System for the 2023 calendar year must adhere to the following deadlines:

  • February 1, 2024 - Baseline Years Approval
  • May 1, 2024 - Verified Baseline Emissions Intensity Submissions
  • June 1, 2024 - Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reports
  • December 1, 2024 - Compliance Reports

Registration

Industrial Facility Definition

Industrial facilities are defined in Section 112R(l) of the Environment Act and include Nova Scotian facilities engaged in (i) manufacturing and processing; (ii) mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction; or, (iii) electricity generation.

Mandatory Regulated Facilities

Industrial facilities emitting 50,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions annually are obligated to participate in the Output-based Pricing System.

The owner or operator of a regulated facility must apply to the Minister for registration by September 1 of the year following the year in which the facility first generates 50,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, if the regulated facility first exceeded 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in the 2023 calendar year, the facility is required to register by September 1, 2024.

To register, complete and submit the Application for Registration as a Regulated Facility (MS Excel).

Voluntary Regulated Facilities

Industrial facilities with total annual greenhouse gas emissions below the mandatory threshold of 50,000 tonnes but reaching 10,000 tonnes or more in any calendar year from 2020 (inclusive) onward are eligible to apply to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to voluntarily opt-in to the Output-based Pricing System program.

The deadline to voluntarily apply to the Minister as an opted-in facility is on or before September 1 of the preceding year. For example, to apply to opt-in for 2025, a facility’s application is due on or before September 1, 2024.

To voluntarily opt-in, complete and submit the Application for Designation as an Opted-In Facility (MS Excel).

Once designated by the Minister as opted-in, an owner or operator of a facility must submit a completed Application for Registration as a Regulated Facility (MS Excel) within 15 business days of Ministerial designation.

Baseline Years Approval

The baseline years are three consecutive calendar years selected by the owner or operator of the regulated facility and approved by the Minister as being the most accurate representation of the regulated facility’s operating conditions as of its first compliance period under the Output-based Pricing System. The Output-based Pricing System Reporting and Compliance Standard allows for flexibility regarding the three consecutive year requirement if an accurate representation cannot be established using these criteria.

By February 1, 2024, regulated facilities registered in the 2023 calendar year were required to submit the following Baseline Years Approval documents:

Facilities are required to follow the 2022 Canada Gazette for each Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting Form; however, these data don’t require verification for February 1, 2024.

In subsequent years, facilities new to the program are required to submit their Baseline Years Approval documents on or before March 30 of the first compliance period. For example, if a facility registers for the 2024 calendar year, their Baseline Years Approval documents are due on or before March 30, 2024.

Baseline Emissions Intensity Submission

The Baseline Emissions Intensity Submission (MS Excel) is a representation of a regulated facility’s operating conditions and the emissions intensity associated with each product produced at the regulated facility as of its first compliance period under the Output-based Pricing System. This report will be used to generate a facility’s performance standard, which will be used to calculate its annual emissions limit.

Regulated facilities registered in the 2023 calendar year must submit verified Baseline Emissions Intensity submissions for the regulated facility on or before May 1, 2024.

In subsequent years, verified Baseline Emissions Intensity Submissions is due on or before September 30 of the first compliance period. For example, if a facility registers for the 2024 calendar year, their verified Baseline Emissions Intensity submissions are due on or before September 30, 2024.

A Baseline Emissions Intensity Submission will generally only need to be completed once, with additional submissions only necessary if the facility undergoes major changes in production, emissions, or quantification, or if there were errors in the original submission.

Reporting

The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report (MS Excel) provides Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change with prescribed production and emissions data for a regulated facility. Verified Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reports must be submitted on or before June 1 of the following year. For example, emissions for the 2023 calendar year must be reported on or before June 1, 2024.

The Compliance Report must be submitted for any compliance period in which a facility’s regulated emissions exceed its emissions limit. In this report, the owner or operator must outline how any applicable compliance obligation for this compliance period was met. This includes details on all fund credits and performance credits being used for compliance, with their associated serial numbers.

If required, complete and submit the Compliance Report (MS Excel) on or before December 1 of the year following the compliance period. For example, a Compliance Report for the 2023 calendar year must be submitted on or before December 1, 2024.

Emissions Intensive and Trade Exposed Classification

Products designated as emissions intensive and trade exposed may be assigned an annual performance standard reduction factor of 1%, as compared to a 1.5% annual reduction factor for non-emissions intensive and non-trade exposed products. This classification helps to ensure that exported or emissions-intensive products made by Nova Scotia Output-based Pricing System businesses can stay competitive both domestically and internationally.

To apply for emissions intensive and trade exposed classification, complete and submit the Application for Emissions Intensive and Trade Exposed Classification (MS Excel).

Standby Period Request

An owner or operator of a regulated facility may apply to the Minister to be placed in standby under the Output-based Pricing System if production has ceased for a period of more than 3 months. While the facility is in a standby period, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reports will need to be submitted as scheduled, however the reports will not require verification and the facility will not incur compliance obligations for the period the facility is in standby.

Standby Period Request (MS Excel)

Decommissioning Request

The owner or operator of a regulated facility that has been decommissioned may apply to the Minister for removal from the Output-based Pricing System.

Decommissioning Request (MS Excel)