10 CFR 300.1 - General.
(a) Purpose. The General Guidelines in this part and the Technical Guidelines incorporated by reference in § 300.13 govern the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program authorized by section 1605(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (42 U.S.C. 13385(b)). The purpose of the guidelines is to establish the procedures and requirements for filing voluntary reports, and to encourage corporations, government agencies, non-profit organizations, households and other private and public entities to submit annual reports of their greenhouse gas emissions, emission reductions, and sequestration activities that are complete, reliable and consistent. Over time, it is anticipated that these reports will provide a reliable record of the contributions reporting entities have made toward reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.
(b) Reporting under the program.
(1) Each reporting entity, whether or not it intends to register emissions as described in paragraph (c) of this section, must:
(i) File an entity statement that meets the appropriate requirements in § 300.5(d) through (f) of this part;
(ii) Use appropriate emission inventory and emission reduction calculation methods specified in the Technical Guidelines (incorporated by reference, see § 300.13), and calculate and report the weighted average quality rating of any emission inventories it reports;
(iii) Comply with the record keeping requirements in § 300.9 of this part; and
(iv) Comply with the certification requirements in § 300.10 of this part;
(2) Each reporting entity, whether or not it intends to register emissions as described in paragraph (c) of this section, may report offset reductions achieved by other entities outside their boundaries as long as such reductions are reported separately and calculated in accordance with methods specified in the Technical Guidelines. The third-party entity that achieved these reductions must agree to their being reported as offset reductions, and must also meet all of the requirements of reporting that would apply if the third-party entity reported directly under the 1605(b) program.
(3) An entity that intends to register emissions and emission reductions must meet the additional requirements referenced in paragraph (c) of this section.
(4) An entity that does not intend to register emissions and emission reductions may choose to report its emissions and/or emission reductions on an entity-wide basis or for selected elements of the entity, selected gases or selected sources.
(5) An entity that does not intend to register emissions may report emission inventories for any year back to 1990 and may report emission reductions for any year back to 1991, relative to a base period of one to four years, ending no earlier than 1990.
(c) Registration requirements. Entities that seek to register reductions must meet the additional requirements in this paragraph; although these requirements differ depending on whether the entity is a large or small emitter.
(1) To be eligible for registration, a reduction must have been achieved after 2002, unless the entity has committed under the Climate Leaders or Climate VISION programs to reduce its entity-wide emissions relative to a base period that ends earlier 2002, but no earlier than 2000.
(2) A large emitter must submit an entity-wide emission inventory that meets or exceeds the minimum quality requirements specified in § 300.6(b) and the Technical Guidelines (incorporated by reference, see § 300.13). Registered reductions of a large emitter must be based on an entity-wide assessment of net emission reductions, determined in accordance with § 300.8 and the Technical Guidelines.
(3) A small emitter must also submit an emission inventory that meets minimum quality requirements specified in § 300.6(b) and the Technical Guidelines (incorporated by reference, see § 300.13) and base its registered reductions on an assessment of annual changes in net emissions. A small emitter, however, may restrict its inventory and assessment to a single type of activity, such as forest management, building operations or agricultural tillage.
(4) Reporting entities may, under certain conditions, register reductions achieved by other entities:
(i) Reporting entities that have met the requirements for registering their own reductions may also register offset reductions achieved by other entities if:
(A) They have an agreement with the third-party entities to do so and these third-party entities have met all of the requirements for registration; or
(B) They were the result of qualified demand management or other programs and are calculated in accordance with the action-specific method identified in § 300.8(h)(5).
(ii) Small emitters that serve as an aggregator may register offset reductions achieved by non-reporting entities without reporting on their own emissions, as long as they have an agreement with the third-party entities to do so and these third-party entities have met all of the requirements for registration.
(d) Forms. Annual reports of greenhouse gas emissions, emission reductions, and sequestration must be made on forms or software made available by the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy (EIA).
(e) Status of reports under previous guidelines. EIA continues to maintain in its Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases database all reports received pursuant to DOE's October 1994 guidelines. Those guidelines are available from EIA at http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/guidelns.html.
(f) Periodic review and updating of General and Technical Guidelines. DOE intends periodically to review the General Guidelines and the Technical Guidelines (incorporated by reference, see § 300.13) to determine whether any changes are warranted; DOE anticipates these reviews will occur approximately once every three years. These reviews will consider any new developments in climate science or policy, the participation rates of large and small emitters in the 1605(b) program, the general quality of the data submitted by different participants, and any changes to other emissions reporting protocols. Possible changes may include, but are not limited to:
(1) The addition of greenhouse gases that have been demonstrated to have significant, quantifiable climate forcing effects when released to the atmosphere in significant quantities;
(2) Changes to the minimum, quantity-weighted quality rating for emission inventories;
(3) Updates to emission inventory methods, emission factors and other provisions that are contained in industry protocols or standards. The review may also consider updates to any government-developed and consensus-based emission factors for which automatic updating is not provided in the Technical Guidelines;
(4) Modifications to the benchmarks or emission conversion factors used to calculate avoided and indirect emissions; and
(5) Changes in the minimum requirements for registered emission reductions.