Auction Summary

This document, the Auction Notice, is the official public notice required under section 60 of The Cap and Trade Program Regulation (O. Reg. 144/16) for the March 22, 2017, greenhouse gas (GHG) allowance auction (March 2017 Ontario Auction #1). The March 2017 Ontario Auction #1 will offer year 2017 vintage allowances in the Current Auction and year 2020 future vintage allowances in the Advance Auction. In the Auction Platform, the March 2017 Ontario Auction #1 is identified by the title “Ontario Auction #1 March 2017”.

Additional background information, detailed instructions, and examples are posted in two supporting guidance documents to this Auction Notice. The Detailed Auction Requirements and Instructions document provides background information on the Ontario Cap and Trade Program as well as detailed requirements and instructions for participating in an auction, including:

  • eligibility;
  • applicant requirements;
  • administrative requirements;
  • submitting a bid guarantee;
  • bidding; and
  • a description of the process to complete auction financial settlement and transfer allowances to successful bidders’ accounts in the Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service (CITSS).

The Auction Examples document provides information and examples of how to determine the amount of a bid guarantee, how holding and purchase limits are applied, and examples of how auctions are settled.

Disclaimer:  Both the Detailed Auction Requirements and Instructions and the Auction Examples should be read in conjunction with the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016 and O. Reg. 144/16. A registered participant who is seeking to participate or who is participating in an auction should refer to the Act and the Regulation along with these two documents. Where there is a discrepancy between what is contained in these documents and the Act or Regulation, the Act or Regulation will prevail. If you have any questions about the application or interpretation of the Act or Regulation or have other legal questions, you should consult a lawyer.

Date and Time of Auction

The March 2017 Ontario Auction #1 is scheduled to take place on March 22, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) until 4:00 p.m. ET.

Registered participants in Ontario’s cap and trade program can access the auction platform here.

Allowances Offered for Sale

Allowances offered during an auction are created under the Ontario Cap and Trade Program. Allowances may be of current vintage budget year (2017) or future vintage budget year (2020), where ‘vintage’ refers to the year for which they are created. The auction of allowances from the current budget year (year of the auction) is known as the Current Auction. The auction of future vintage allowances (i.e. allowances created for a year beyond the year of the auction) is known as the Advance Auction. The Current Auction and Advance Auction will occur simultaneously at the date and time identified in the Auction Notice.

The number of allowances that will be available for sale in the March 22, 2017 Current Auction and Advance Auction are provided below in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Allowances Offered for Sale
AuctionNumber of Allowances
Current Auction (2017 vintage allowances)25,296,367
Advance Auction (2020 vintage allowances)3,116,700

Annual Auction Reserve Prices

The Auction Reserve Price is the minimum price at which allowances offered in the Current Auction and Advance Auction will be sold. Bids submitted with a bid price below the Auction Reserve Price will not be accepted.

The Ontario Auction Reserve Price will be determined as the higher of the most recently published California and Québec Annual Auction Reserve Price after applying the exchange rate established for the auction. The California and Québec Annual Auction Reserve Prices are announced by California and Québec in December of each year to be effective the next calendar year, and are available on the website of the California Air Resources Board.

The exchange rate established for each auction (Auction Exchange Rate) will be the United States dollar to Canadian dollar (USD to CAD) exchange rate as provided by the Bank of Canada for the day before, or a date that is before and as close as possible to, each Ontario auction.

The Auction Reserve Price will be displayed on the Auction Platform prior to the opening of the auction bidding window. Bids in the Ontario auction will only be accepted in Canadian dollars (CAD).

The Annual Auction Reserve Prices for California (CA) and Québec (QC) are provided in Table 2. The CA Annual Auction Reserve Price is presented in United States Dollars (USD). The QC Annual Auction Reserve Price is presented in Canadian Dollars (CAD).

Table 2: 2017 Annual Auction Reserve Prices
AuctionCA Annual Auction Reserve Price (USD)QC Annual Auction Reserve Price (CAD)
Current Auction$13.57$13.56
Advance Auction$13.57$13.56

Auction Application Requirements and Instructions

I - Eligibility

Ontario capped participants (mandatory and voluntary), and market participants that have approved accounts in CITSS are eligible to apply to participate in an auction.

II - Administrative Requirements

Administrative requirements are requirements that must be met before participants may access the Auction Platform to submit a participant’s application for an auction. These requirements include, among other things, selecting the “Auction Participation” box in CITSS to agree to have participant account and account representative information transferred to the Auction Administrator and Financial Services Administrator for the purpose of facilitating participation in any upcoming auction. To establish access to the Auction Platform a Primary Account Representative (PAR) or Alternate Account Representative (AAR) must be authorized by a participant to act on its behalf in an auction.

These requirements are described in further detail in the Detailed Auction Requirements and Instructions document. The terms used below are described in that document in relation to the terms defined and used in O. Reg. 144/16.

III - Application Requirements

A participant will be required to complete an auction participant application at least 30 days prior to an auction in which it intends to participate. A participant applying for permission to be an auction participant must be registered under the Ontario Cap and Trade Program and have a CITSS General Holding Account that has not been revoked or is not subject to conditions under the Regulation or imposed by the Director that prohibit participating in auctions or otherwise prevent emission allowances or credits from being transferred to the person’s cap and trade accounts.

Auction application requirements are described in further detail in the Detailed Auction Requirements and Instructions document.

Auction Schedule

Table 3 presents the schedule for activities associated with the March 2017 Auction #1 (Auction Schedule). Any changes to the Auction Schedule including estimated timelines for activities following the first auction will be communicated through an updated Auction Notice and by email to the PAR and AARs of Ontario registered participants that have selected the “Auction Participation” box in CITSS.

Table 3: Auction Schedule
ActivitiesDue DateEastern Time (ET)

Auction Notice released /
Auction application period opens

January 20, 2017

1:00 p.m. ET

Deadline for participants to make any required changes in CITSS and submit all hard copy documents accompanying the changesfootnote 1

February 10, 2017


Auction application period closes.
Deadline for participants to complete an auction application in the Auction Platform

February 21, 2017

11:59 p.m. ET

All bid guarantees due to Financial Services Administrator

March 10, 2017

11:59PM ET

Auction participants approved and account representatives (PAR and AARs) notified

March 20, 2017


Auction Exchange Rate (FX Rate) and Auction Reserve Price posted to Auction Platform

March 21, 2017

5:00 p.m. ET

Auction held

March 22, 2017

Bidding window open
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET

Auction Summary Results Report released to the public /
Auction Certified /
Auction results available to qualified bidders

April 3, 2017

3:00 p.m. ET

Financial settlement in cash due to Financial Services Administrator

April 10, 2017

11:59PM ET

Distribution of auction proceeds completed

April 20, 2017


Transfer of allowances into CITSS Accounts

April 20, 2017


Ontario Post-Auction Public Proceeds Report released

April 20, 2017


Earliest date for bid guarantee expiration

April 17, 2017
(26 days after the auction)


Procedures for Conducting the Auction

Each auction will be conducted on an electronic, internet-based, Auction Platform that bidders use to apply to participate in an auction. Bidders submit bids in a single-round, sealed-bid auction format.

As described above, each participant must submit an application for an auction. All final bid guarantees must be received by the Financial Services Administrator by no later than the date and time listed in the Auction Schedule above. Applicants will be approved or denied permission to participate in an auction approximately two (2) business days prior to the date the auction is scheduled to take place.

Procedures for conducting the auction are described in further detail in the Detailed Auction Requirements and Instructions document with specific examples provided in the Auction Examples document.

Form and Manner for Submitting Bids

Participants will be able to submit bids manually and upload bid schedules in a pre-defined Excel template in the Auction Platform during the bidding window. Bid quantities can only be submitted in multiples of 1,000 allowances. Bids for both the Current Auction and the Advance Auction will be accepted during the scheduled 3-hour auction bidding window. The form and manner for submitting bids are described in further detail in the Detailed Auction Requirements and Instructions document with specific examples provided in the Auction Examples document.

Auction Participant Training Materials

An Auction Participant Training presentation is available upon request from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). The presentation includes information on administrative and regulatory requirements for auction participation, the auction application process, bid guarantee submission, bid submission, settlement price determination, and the financial settlement processes for auctions.

Training materials are also available on the Auction Platform, and include a calendar of upcoming activities, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), the Auction Participant Training presentation, and an Auction Platform User Guide.

Additional Information

Additional information on the Ontario Cap and Trade Program is available on the Ontario government webpages as follows:

For questions regarding the Ontario Cap and Trade Program, please contact the Cap and Trade Helpdesk at 1-888-217-3326 or at