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Making a reported baseline determination

15 June 2016

NGER​​​​

​Between July and September 2016, the Clean Energy Regulator will make a reported baseline determination for eligible facilities under sec​tion 16 of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Safeguard Mechanism) Rule ​2015 (Safeguard Rule).

Click on the image to open a high resolution version.​

A graphic of the Safeguard mechanism NGER reporting timeline

Criteria for a reported baseline determination

The Clean Energy Regulator must make a reported baseline determination for a facility that meets the criteria set out in paragraphs 14(1)(a) or 14(1)(b) of the Safeguard Rule:

Paragraph 14(1)(a) of the Safeguard Rule

  • if the facility has five years of scope 1 emissions data reported under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme between 2009-10 and 2013-14, and 
  • in at least one of those years, the facility had scope 1 covered emissions​ with a carbon dioxide equivalence of more than 100 000 tonnes.

Or 

Paragraph 14(1)(b) of the Safeguard Rule

  • if the facility has three or four years of scope 1 emissions data reported under the NGER scheme between 2009-10 and 2013-14, and
  • in at least three of those years, the facility had scope 1 covered emissions with a carbon dioxide equivalence of more than 100 000 tonnes.

Criteria to request a reported baseline determination

Paragraph 14 (c) of the Safeguard Rule 

In cases where the Clean Energy Regulator does not automatically make a reported baseline for a facility under the scenarios detailed above, the responsible emitter for the facility may request a reported baseline under paragraph 14(c) of the Safeguard Rule.   

A responsible emitter for a facility may request a reported emissions baseline for a facility, if the facility: 

  • doesn’t meet scenarios as outlined under paragraphs 14(1)(a) and 14(1)(b) of the Safeguard Rule as detailed above
  • reported scope 1 emissions under the NGER scheme for at least one year between 2009-10 and 2013-14 inclusive, and
  • had scope 1 covered emissions with a carbon dioxide equivalence of more than 100 000 tonnes for at least one year between 2009-10 and 2013-14.  

A responsible emitter must submit its request to receive a reported baseline determination by 31 July 2016

Important note 

A responsible emitter should decide whether it will apply for a calculated baseline for a facility, before requesting a reported baseline for the facility. 

If the Clean Energy Regulator has received a responsible emitter’s request for a reported baseline, or if a reported baseline determination has already been made, the facility will not be eligible for a calculated baseline under the new facility criteria. ​


Proposed reported baseline determination

Based on the criteria above, the Clean Energy Regulator will determine a reported baseline for a facility as the highest level of scope 1 covered emissions for the facility over the five year period (2009-10 to 2013-14).  

In making its reported baseline determination, the Clean Energy Regulator must:

  • where a facility was part of a vertically integrated production process (VIPP), disregard emissions from other facilities that were previously reported as part of the same VIPP (subsection 17 (2)). VIPPs previously allowed emissions for a number of facilities to be reported as an aggregate total in some circumstances.
  • disregard any significant covered emissions associated with any activities that were previously reported as occurring at the facility but no longer occur (subsection 17(3)). ‘Significant covered emissions’ means emissions from the operation of the facility in a year, which exceeds 5% of the number which would otherwise be the baseline emissions number for the facility.
  • include any significant covered emissions (as defined above) associated with activities that now occur at the facility, but were previously reported as being part of another facility (subsection 17(4)), and 
  • adjust the baseline to reflect current global warming potential of certain greenhouse gases (subsection 17(6)).

In making a reported baseline determination the Clean Energy Regulator is also permitted to use any scope 1 covered emissions data as reported under NGER between 2009-10 and 2013-14. This includes NGER reports submitted by an entity other than the responsible emitter or the responsible emitter’s controlling corporation.

Under subsection 71 (4) of the Safeguard Rule, the Clean Energy Regulator may, at the request of the responsible emitter, provide the responsible emitter with any NGER reports relating to the facility in relation to the making or variation of a baseline determination.

Important note

The Clean Energy Regulator cannot provide reports under subsection 71 (4) of the Safeguard Rule until 1 July 2016.

Responsible emitters may make requests before this date. Once the safeguard mechanism has commenced, the Clean Energy Regulator can start providing reports. Responsible emitters that are waiting on reports in order to assess their proposed reported baselines will have 28 calendar days from the date the report is provided, in which to comment.​


Process for finalising a facility’s reported baseline 

In May 2016, the Clean Energy Regulator will provide written advice to responsible emitters to:

  • identify designated large facilities (safeguard facilities) that meet the criteria for having a reported baseline
  • advise the proposed reported baseline number for each facility
  • provide details of how the proposed reported baseline was determined, including any proposed adjustments which are to be made to the reported baseline number for each facility, and 
  • seek comment or confirmation from responsible emitters in relation to its proposed reported baseline, for consideration before a final decision is made.

In reviewing this advice, it is recommended that responsible emitters review the information provided by the Clean Energy Regulator and compare this with their own records.  Responsible emitters may also request previous years’ NGER reports, which are relevant to the proposed reported baseline determination for the facility.  Responsible emitters will have 28 days to respond from the date the Clean Energy Regulator issues its advice on a facility’s proposed reported baseline.

The Clean Energy Regulator will finalise reported baseline determinations by 1 September 2016 and provide written notice to responsible emitters of each facility’s final reported baseline determination in early September 2016. 

The Clean Energy Regulator will also publish details of each reported baseline determination on its website in early September 2016. Published safeguard mechanism information will include: 

  • the name of each responsible emitter
  • the name of each facility
  • the emissions baseline for each facility

All final reported baselines will come into force on 1 July 2016, and will remain in place unless replaced by another baseline determination, such as a calculated baseline. 

Registration 

All responsible emitters that are not already registered under the National Greenhouse and Reporting Act 2007 must apply for registration if the facility they have operational control over is a designated large facility (i.e. if, in a financial year starting 1 July 2016 or later, the facility gives rise to covered scope 1 emissions with a carbon dioxide equivalence of more than 100 000 tonnes). Applications for registration are due by 31 August following the year in which the person first becomes a responsible emitter for a designated large facility.

For example, if a controlling corporation has operational control over a designated large facility, it is the responsible emitter. As the controlling corporation is already registered under the NGER scheme it does not need to reapply.  

However, if a group member of a registered controlling corporation is the responsible emitter, then the group member will be required to apply for registration in its own right.

See register and deregister​ for more information about NGER registration requirements.  

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