About renewable content in gasoline

As outlined in the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, Ontario is proposing to begin transitioning to higher renewable content in gasoline in the coming years to, encourage the uptake of lower carbon fuels and helpto reduce emissions from the transportation sector without increasing the price at the pump.

The law

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks regulates the amount of renewable content found in gasoline sold in Ontario.

Starting in 2020, fuel suppliers must maintain at least an annual average of 10% renewable content (such as ethanol) in the gasoline they sell in Ontario.

The renewable content component of any blended gasoline must have an average of 45% lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than standard gasoline.

Fuel suppliers must also:

  • submit a compliance report to the government every year
  • ensure that blended fuel meets specific quality standards set out in regulation

The regulation does not allow for surplus volumes to be transferred from an earlier compliance year to meet the balancing requirement of a future year.

Source law

You can find a complete set of provincial rules related to this activity in:

Who must comply

You must comply with the law, if you supply gasoline to the Ontario market.

You are considered a supplier, if you:

  • import gas into the province — and use or sell it in Ontario (wholesale or retail)
  • manufacture or blend gas — and use or sell it in Ontario (wholesale or retail)
  • acquire gasoline through an inter-refiner agreement — and use or sell it in Ontario (wholesale or retail)

Suppliers are only required to meet the balancing requirements for the volumes of gasoline or blended gasoline they have imported, manufactured or acquired through an inter-refiner agreement and sold in Ontario. For example, an independently-owned retail station in Kingston:

  • imports 100,000 litres of gasoline from the U.S.
  • then sells 1 million litres of gasoline at its outlet.

The retail station must only meet the balancing requirements for the 100,000 litres imported.

What to report

You must complete an annual compliance report that confirms the amount of renewable content in gasoline that you have placed in the Ontario market.

Compliance reports generally include:

General information

  • name of supplier
  • address of supplier
  • compliance year

Compliance information

  • average annual renewable content
  • volume of blendstock (used or sold)

The report must confirm the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions performance of the ethanol or other renewable content in blended gasoline.

GHGenius 4.03a is the lifecycle model used to calculate the greenhouse gas performance of renewable content in fuel. Send an email to Environment and Climate Change Canada to get a copy of the model, if needed.

Transfers

The amount of surplus renewable content ethanol transferred to and from the records of other fuel suppliers.

Declaration and signature

This statement confirms the accuracy of the report.

Facilities list

A list of all facilities used to distribute and/or sell gasoline during the compliance year.

Submit a report

Email us to request the latest reporting form or search the Central Forms Repository.

Use the email button on the completed form to send it back to us or mail it to:

Assistant Director, West Central Region
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Ellen Fairclough Building
12th Floor
119 King Street West
Hamilton Ontario  L8P 4Y7
Re: Ontario Regulation 535/05 (Greener Gasoline)

Notification of receipt

You'll get an email to let you know we’ve received your report.

Additional recognition for cellulosic ethanol

Renewable content such as cellulosic ethanol will be evaluated based on its lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions performance relative to a 45% performance benchmark.

For example, one litre of cellulosic ethanol with a calculated 90% greenhouse gas reduction will be equivalent to two litres of ethanol with a 45% reduction.

Deductions

You can deduct volumes of gasoline used to generate power in:

  • aircraft
  • marine vessels or equipment
  • off-road vehicles or equipment
  • vehicles manufactured before 1980

The type of documentation required varies with the specific end-use that is claimed. Acceptable records can include sales receipts and purchase agreements.

Starting in 2020, volumes of mid- and premium-grade gasoline (i.e., gasolines with octane levels of 89 or higher) can also be deducted.

To provide a period of adjustment to blending and performance requirements in Northern Ontario, volumes of gasolines distributed from or sold in that region can be deducted between 2020 and 2022.

Volume exemptions

You don’t have to report all volumes of gasoline you’ve sold or used in Ontario.

Exemptions include gasoline:

  • destined for export
  • in transit through Ontario to another market — if supported by written evidence
  • imported for scientific research purposes

When to report

You must complete and file the compliance report by March 31 every year — after each compliance year (e.g., March 31, 2021 for the 2020 compliance year).

Keep a record

You must keep a copy of your compliance reports for 7 years.

This requirement can be waived if you get written permission from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Submit your request to:

Assistant Director, West Central Region
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Ellen Fairclough Building
12th Floor
119 King Street West
Hamilton Ontario  L8P 4Y7
Re: Ontario Regulation 535/05 (Greener Gasoline)

Quality standard requirements

You must ensure your ethanol-blended fuel meets certain standards before it’s distributed — for use or sale — in the Ontario market.
For low-level ethanol blends up to 15%, the latest standards are set out in:

For mid- and high-level ethanol blends up to 85%, standards are set out in:

You may also submit alternative standards including methods and protocols for testing to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for approval.

Updated: July 09, 2021
Published: December 09, 2013