July 6, 2021

GCC Communiqué: Electricity Emissions Factors and changes to the Green Communities Committee Carbon Neutral Framework

Source Name
Green Communities Committee

Effective January 1, 2021, the B.C. Climate Action Secretariat (CAS) has implemented a change to the Electricity Emissions Factor (EEF) used by local governments to meet their voluntary commitments under the B.C. Climate Action Charter.

Until now, emissions from electricity use by local governments have been calculated based on the three-year rolling average of emissions from B.C. utility owned-and-operated facilities and have not included emissions associated with importing electricity from out-of-province. This differs from the methodology currently used by industry reporting under the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act (GGIRCA) which has, since 2017, accounted for emissions associated with imported electricity.

The statutory decision maker under the Climate Change Accountability Act has decided to align the methodology for calculating EEF under the Carbon Neutral Government (CNG) program with that used by industry under GGIRCA. As the Green Communities Committee Carbon Neutral Framework aligns its greenhouse gas quantification methods with the CNG program, the same changes have been implemented. This will provide a single, consistent approach across B.C. and facilitate more accurate accounting of electricity emissions across all sectors.

CAS will be implementing the updated EEF effective for the 2021 reporting cycle. The new methodology will be published in an update to the BC Methodological Guidance for Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions in due course. Hindcasted values to 2010 will also be published to allow back casting of greenhouse gas inventories.

CAS will publish updated EEFs on an annual basis to ensure that fluctuations in the amount of imported electricity are accurately captured. These annual figures will be used in quantifying emissions from electricity use by local governments from 2021 onwards and are expected to be published in the first quarter of each calendar year. The published EEF values for the past 3 years can be found here.