Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program
Form EIA-1605 may seem daunting at first, even for entities that have reported under the original program. That’s why EIA has developed the Getting Started page to help entities take a systematic approach to reporting their emissions and reductions.
The Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program suggests that prospective reporters familiarize themselves with the specific requirements for reporting their entity’s inventory and reductions by answering the questions embodied in the 10 steps below. In addition, EIA has prepared the interactive Getting Started tool to help reporters determine what parts of Form EIA-1605 they need to complete.
1. How Do I Define My Entity?
The Voluntary Reporting Program encourages entities to define themselves at the highest level of aggregation; however, reporting at some lower level is permitted. Once an entity has determined the level of corporate or institutional management at which it will report (e.g., the holding company, subsidiary, regulated stationary source, state government, agency, etc.), the entity must include all elements of the organization encompassed by that management level and exclude any organizations that are managed separately. For example, if a parent company is the reporting entity, then all subsidiaries of that parent company must also be included in the entity’s report.
You may register reductions for 2002 onwards if you meet specific, stringent reporting requirements designed to increase the credibility of reported emissions and emission reductions.
To register reductions, your emissions inventory must meet the minimum quality requirement (quantity-weighted average quality rating of at least 3.0). Additionally, verifiable records of Base Period data must be maintained for the duration of your participation in the 1605(b) Program and your reductions must be based on an entity-wide assessment of emissions for at least the first Reporting Year. Large emitters must maintain an entity-wide assessment for every proceeding Reporting Year.
A small emitter is an entity that has annual emissions that do not exceed 10,000 metric tons CO2 equivalent (CO2e). A large emitter is an entity that has annual emissions of more than 10,000 metric tons CO2 equivalent.
The 1605(b) Program has developed the Simplified Emissions Inventory Tool (SEIT) to help you determine if your entity is a large or small emitter.
A Start Year report is the initial report submitted by every entity. The Start Year is the year upon which the initial entity statement is based and must be the year immediately preceding the first year for which the entity intends to report reductions. If you have a multiple-year Base Period, the Start Year is the last year in the Base Period. The Start Year report is limited to the entity statement and emissions inventory data and does not include emission reductions.
For registered reductions, the Start Year can be no earlier than 2002, with the following exception: entities that have made a commitment to reduce entity-wide emissions under the Climate Leaders or Climate VISION program may use a Start Year derived from the Base Period of the commitment, provided it is no earlier than 2000.
A Reporting Year report is any subsequent report submitted by the entity and may include emission reductions.
DOE encourages, but does not require, reporters to have their annual reports on Form EIA-1605 verified by an independent third party. If your report has been independently verified, you may limit your inventory report to emissions by gas and source (direct emissions, indirect emissions from purchased energy, and carbon fluxes).
If you do choose to have your report independently verified, the verifier must be professionally accredited and must not be affiliated with the reporting entity whatsoever. The full requirements for independent verification are outlined in §300.11 of the General Guidelines.
If your entity has operations in foreign countries, you may report emissions and emission reductions associated with these operations, but you must report U.S. and foreign emissions and reductions separately. Unless you intend to report both U.S. and foreign emissions and reductions at the entity level, you must create one or more subentities for these foreign operations.
The emissions estimation methods in the Technical Guidelines are rated A, B, C or D, with A methods corresponding to the highest quality method available. Each letter is assigned a numerical rating reflecting its relative quality: 4 for A methods, 3 for B methods, 2 for C methods, and 1 for D methods. Entities that intend to register emission reductions must use emission inventory methods that result in a quantity-weighted average quality rating of at least 3.0.
Entities that certify that they have used only A- or B-rated methods may forego indicating in their reports the quality ratings of the methods used and may forego calculating the quantity-weighted average quality of their emission inventories.
Some entities will be able to use a single calculation method to calculate their emission reductions, but many entities may need to apply more than one method to discrete components of the entity or require different physical measures of output in order to calculate reductions. In such cases, the reporter will need to identify two or more subentities, with each corresponding to a distinct emission reduction estimation method.
Subentities may also be defined as a component of an entity, and can be a discrete business line, facility, plant, vehicle fleet, or energy use system, which has greenhouse gas emissions that can be distinguished from the emissions of all other components of the same entity.
Additionally, if emissions from a given component of an entity (such as a new or newly acquired business unit) can only be measured by using a different Base Period from the rest of the inventory, a separate subentity must be created.
Also, if you intend to report on your entity's foreign emissions and emission reductions, you must create separate U.S. and foreign subentities unless you intend to report both U.S. and foreign emissions and emission at the entity level.
A reporting entity may register or report but not register emission reductions achieved by another entity provided an agreement exists between the reporting entity and the other entity that specifies the quantity of the emission reductions involved.
If the other entity is not a reporter to the 1605(b) Program, the reporting entity must include in its report all of the information on the other entity that would be required if the other entity were reporting directly to EIA.
If the source of the offset reductions is a reporter to the 1605(b) Program, the entity creating the offsets may distribute emission reductions to the receiving entity by identifying the reductions and the receiving entity in its 1605(b) report.
EIA has created the interactive Getting Started Tool to help reporting entities determine which parts of Form EIA-1605 they need to complete. Based on your answers to the previous nine questions, the Getting Started Tool will determine which Schedules, Sections, and Parts you need to submit. EIA has also provided printable Getting Started PDF tables.