Cleaner transportation fuels
Learn the rules about renewable content for companies that distribute gasoline and diesel fuel for use or sale in Ontario.
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The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks regulates the amount of renewable content in gasoline and diesel fuel used or sold in Ontario.
Renewable content means cleaner biofuels that are made with biological materials including crops, forest residues and organic waste. Examples of renewable content (also known as bio-based content) available in the marketplace includes biofuels such as:
- renewable gasoline
- renewable diesel
By law, Ontario requires fuel companies to provide more environmentally friendly fuels by requiring the use of cleaner renewable content. This helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, which is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario.
This change is expected to result in an annual reduction of up to one megatonne of greenhouse gas emissions in 2030, the equivalent of taking 300,000 cars off the road every year.
The Cleaner Transportation Fuels regulation (O. Reg. 663/20) requires that fuel suppliers blend 10% of renewable content in gasoline from 2020 to 2024.
The renewable content requirement increases to:
- 11% in 2025
- 13% in 2028
- 15% in 2030 and onward
This renewable content must emit:
- 45% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than fossil gasoline on a lifecycle basis before 2030
- 50% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than fossil gasoline on a lifecycle basis from 2030 onward
The regulation also requires fuel suppliers to continue to blend 4% renewable content in diesel. This renewable content must emit 70% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than fossil diesel on a lifecycle basis.
Fuel suppliers must also report annually and make sure that blended fuels meet specific quality standards set out in the ministry guideline.
The regulation also extends the 2020 compliance year into a two-year compliance period (2020-2021) to support the fossil fuel sector in managing supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19.
The new regulation revokes the former Greener Gasoline (O. Reg. 535/05) and Greener Diesel (O. Reg. 97/14) regulations.
You can find a complete set of provincial rules related to this activity in:
- Environmental Protection Act
- Cleaner Transportation Fuels regulation
- Technical Guideline: Cleaner Transportation Fuels
Who must comply
You must comply with the law if you supply gasoline or diesel fuel to the Ontario market.
You are considered a supplier if you:
- manufacture diesel, blended diesel, gasoline or blended gasoline — and use or sell it in Ontario (wholesale or retail)
- import diesel, blended diesel, gasoline or blended gasoline into the province — and use or sell it in Ontario (wholesale or retail)
- acquire diesel, blended diesel, gasoline or blended gasoline through an inter-refiner agreement — and use or sell it in Ontario (wholesale or retail)
Suppliers must meet the renewable content requirements for the volume of fuel they have manufactured, imported or acquired through an inter-refiner agreement and used or sold in Ontario.
For example, an independently-owned retail station in Kingston:
- sells 1 million litres of gasoline or diesel at its outlet
- of the 1 million litres sold, 100,000 litres of gasoline or diesel were imported from the U.S. directly by the retail station
- the other 900,000 litres of gasoline or diesel sold were already placed in the Ontario market by the wholesaler that supplied the gasoline or diesel to the retail station
The retail station must only meet the renewable content requirements for the 100,000 litres it imported directly and then sold (placed in the Ontario market).
You must complete a compliance report that meets the requirements of the regulation and confirms the amount of renewable content in gasoline and diesel that you have placed in the Ontario market.
Compliance reports include:
1. General information
- Name of supplier.
- Address of supplier.
- Compliance period.
2. Compliance information
- Average annual renewable content.
- Volume of blendstock (used or sold).
The report must confirm the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions performance of the renewable content in gasoline or diesel fuel.
GHGenius 4.03a or 4.03b are the lifecycle models that can be used to calculate the greenhouse gas performance of renewable content in fuel. Email Environment and Climate Change Canada at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a copy of the model if you need one.
The amount of renewable content transferred to and from the records of other fuel suppliers, often referred to as compliance volumes. These are not physical volumes of renewable content or blended content.
4. Declaration and signature
This statement confirms the accuracy of the report.
5. Facilities list
A list of all facilities used to distribute and/or sell gasoline or diesel during the compliance period.
When to report
You must complete and file a compliance report by March 31 after each compliance period.
Submit a report
To request the reporting form, email us at email@example.com.
Send your completed report to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will get a confirmation email to let you know we received your report.
A fuel supplier can deduct volumes of gasoline if they expect it is being used to generate power in:
- marine vessels or marine equipment
- off-road vehicles or off-road equipment
- vehicles manufactured before 1980
- motorized snow vehicles
Volumes of mid- and premium-grade gasoline (gasolines with octane levels of 89 or higher) can also be deducted.
To continue to provide a period of adjustment to blending and performance requirements in Northern Ontario, volumes of gasoline transferred to, from or within Northern Ontario can be deducted through the end of 2022.
A fuel supplier can deduct volumes of diesel if they expect it is being used to generate power in:
- an aircraft
- a furnace or boiler to produce heat
You don’t have to report all volumes of gasoline or diesel fuel you have sold or used in Ontario.
Exemptions for gasoline or diesel fuel include fuel that is:
- manufactured or sold for export, where established by written evidence
- in transit through Ontario to another market — if supported by written evidence
- imported for scientific research purposes
COVID-19 regulatory relief
We recognize that demand for transportation fuels significantly declined in 2020 as a result of COVID-19, causing fuel supply disruptions.
We extended the 2020 compliance year into a two-year compliance period (2020-2021) to give fuel suppliers more time to adjust to the changes in their operations.
Due to the combining of 2020 and 2021 calendar years into a single compliance period, you were required to submit a limited report (including fuel volumes and GHG intensity) to the ministry on or before March 31, 2021.
Full reporting to demonstrate compliance with the regulation is due on or before March 31, 2022 for the compliance period of January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021 and each subsequent compliance period.
Keep a record
You must keep a copy of your reports for 7 years.
The type of documentation required for records varies depending on the specific end-use that is claimed. Acceptable records include sales receipts and purchase agreements.
Quality standard requirements
You must ensure your blended gasoline or diesel fuel meets fuel quality standards before it’s distributed for use or sale in the Ontario market.
These fuel quality standards are set out in the ministry guideline.
You may also submit alternative standards including methods and protocols for testing to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for approval by emailing us at email@example.com.