Cap and trade: register as a voluntary participant
Information on who is eligible to apply to be a voluntary participant in Ontario’s cap and trade program. If your application is approved, you will be subject to the same rules as a mandatory participant.
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Who is eligible
Any new or existing entity with at least one facility that produces between 10,000 and 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions yearly can apply to become a voluntary participant in the cap and trade program. To apply, you must be the owner or operator of the facility you want to register.
You are not eligible to be a voluntary participant if you are:
- a mandatory participant in the cap and trade program
- an electricity generator whose emissions are covered upstream
- a natural gas distributor
How to apply
To be a part of this program in 2019, you must complete all of the following steps before September 1, 2018:
- submit a 2017 greenhouse gas emissions report by June 1, 2018, and submit a verification statement and verification report by September 1, 2018
- submit a voluntary participant registration form
- register to use the Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service (CITSS) before September 1, 2018
Step 1: Submit a 2017 greenhouse gas emissions report, verification statement, and verification report
Before applying to be a voluntary participant, you need to submit your facility’s 2017 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report and have it verified by a third party. The verification statement must be positive or qualified positive. You must also submit a verification report that meets the requirements set out in O. Reg. 143/16: Quantification, Reporting and Verification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
Visit the GHG emissions reporting page for details on reporting and verification requirements.
Step 2: Submit a voluntary participant form
Once you have submitted your 2017 greenhouse gas emissions report and verification statement, you can complete and submit a voluntary participant form. This form must be submitted before CITSS registration can be completed. We will review and process the form once it is received.
Step 3: Register to use the Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service (CITSS)
You can begin the CITSS registration process at any time, but we cannot complete your registration and open your CITSS account until you are approved as a voluntary participant. CITSS registration must be completed before September 1, 2018. Visit the CITSS registration page for details on CITSS registration requirements.
To open a CITSS account you must complete a two-part process.
Part 1 – recognition as an account agent, also known as user registration
Part 2 – participant registration, also known as the account application
Approval as a voluntary participant
To approve you as a voluntary participant the ministry will assess your:
- 2017 greenhouse gas emissions report, verification statement, and verification report
- voluntary participant form
- registration to use CITSS
If you are eligible and your CITSS registration is complete, we will approve you as a voluntary participant and open your CITSS account. Once you become a voluntary participant, you will have the same compliance obligations as mandatory participants for the remainder of the compliance period (2019-2020).
Submit an optional emission allowances application
Both voluntary and mandatory participants meeting certain eligibility criteria can apply for emission allowances distributed free of charge.
Note: the deadline to apply for 2019 allowances free of charge is September 8, 2018.
To be eligible for allowances free of charge, you must be registered or be required to register as a mandatory participant, or be registered as a voluntary participant by September 1 of the year of the application.
See the emission allowances section for details on how to apply for emission allowances free of charge.