Overview

The Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) Regulation is at the core of emissions management in Alberta. The TIER system implements Alberta’s industrial carbon pricing and emissions trading system. TIER helps industrial facilities find innovative ways to reduce emissions and invest in clean technology to stay competitive and save money.

TIER regulated facilities

TIER regulated facilities include those that emitted 100,000 tonnes or more of carbon dioxide equivalent (tonnes CO2e) per year in 2016, or any subsequent year, or those that import more than 10,000 tonnes of hydrogen annually.

Facilities with emissions less than this threshold may opt-in to the regulation if the facility competes directly with another regulated facility, emits 2,000 tonnes CO2e or more, and belongs to an emissions-intensive, trade-exposed sector.

Conventional oil and gas aggregates

The owner or operator of two more conventional oil and gas facilities may apply to have those facilities regulated under the TIER regulation by applying to form a conventional oil and gas aggregate. More information for conventional oil and gas facilities is available on the TIER Conventional Oil and Gas sector website.

Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act exemptions

Facilities that are regulated under the TIER regulation can receive an exemption to the federal fuel charge under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA). The TIER system meets federal requirements and protects regulated facilities from the full costs of complying with the GGPPA, while achieving emissions reductions using an approach that is cost-efficient and tailored to Alberta’s industries and priorities.

For further details, visit the Government of Canada website at:

Compliance obligations

Under the TIER system, compliance obligations are determined based on a facility's benchmark(s), which establishes allowable emissions. Facilities can meet compliance obligations in the following ways: 

  • reduce on-site emissions including application of capture recognition tonnes
  • submit emission offset credits
  • submit emissions performance credits
  • purchase fund credits by paying into the TIER Fund at the prescribed TIER Fund Price

Large emitters or opted in facilities experiencing economic hardship may be able to receive economic relief through the Cost Containment Program.

The Alberta Emission Offset System enables the generation of Emission Offsets Credits that may be used by regulated facilities to meet their compliance obligation under the TIER regulation.

The TIER regulation was amended in December 2022 (see Order in Council 403/2022).

Regulation

Opt-in application

Facilities that satisfy the criteria under the regulation may apply to opt-in to the regulation.

By opting in, facilities may apply to become exempt from the application of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA) for fuels whose emissions are included in their site reporting.

Aggregate facilities

The owner of 2 or more conventional oil and gas facilities may apply to have those facilities regulated under the TIER regulation by applying to form a conventional oil and gas aggregate facility.

Additional information is available on the TIER Conventional Oil and Gas sector website.

Benchmark setting

The TIER regulation makes use of both facility specific and high performance benchmarks. Details of the benchmark setting process are available here:

Large emitters and opted-in facilities can apply for benchmarks using the following form. This applies to facilities with one product, facilities with multiple products and can include self-generation of electricity:

The following instructional videos provide a step-by-step overview for filling out the form:

The videos correspond to previous versions of the forms but may still be helpful until an updated video is available.

Compliance reporting

All facilities are required to submit verified annual compliance reports yearly by June 30 of the following year. Supporting documents for the compliance reporting process will be published on this page.

The following instructional video provides an overview for filling out the compliance form.

Forecasting report

Forecasting reports are required under the regulation for facilities that have had emissions of one million tonnes CO2e or more per year.

Verification documents

Compliance reporting and benchmark applications require third party assurance.

Verification training requirement

Lead verifiers, peer reviewers, and designated signing authorities completing verifications of annual compliance reports submitted by June 30, emission offset project reports, benchmark applications and other types of submissions are required to complete verification training in accordance with the Standard for Validation, Verification and Audit. Note that this is updated verification training provided through an online Learning Management System that requires registration. For more information about this training and/or to register for this training, contact the department at [email protected].

Quantification methodologies

Alberta Greenhouse Gas Quantification Methodologies (AQM)

AQM for emissions, production and other reported data are prescribed for facilities that are subject to the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Regulation and the Specified Gas Reporting Regulation.

The finalized AQM includes the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Stationary Fuel Combustion
  • Chapter 2: Flaring
  • Chapter 4: Venting
  • Chapter 5: On-Site Transportation
  • Chapter 8: Industrial Processes
  • Chapter 12: Imports
  • Chapter 13: Production
  • Chapter 14: Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Combustion of Biomass
  • Chapter 15: Aggregate Facilities
  • Chapter 16: Cogeneration Benchmark Calculations
  • Chapter 17: Measurements, Sampling, Analysis and Data Management
  • Appendix A: References
  • Appendix B: Fuel Properties
  • Appendix C: General Calculation Instructions
  • Appendix D: Conversion Factors
  • Appendix E: Additional Information for the Alberta Gas Processing Index

Directive for quantification of area fugitive emissions at oil sands mines

This directive provides a standard minimum procedure for flux chamber measurements and alternative method to quantify area fugitive greenhouse gas emissions from mine faces and tailings ponds at oil sands mines. This directive is to be applied for reporting under the TIER Regulation and Specified Gas Reporting Regulation

Deviation Request form

If a facility is unable to meet any mandatory quantification methodologies, the facility may submit a deviation request to the director for review and approval. If accepted, the director may approve a deviation for a period of up to 12 months. Refer to the AQM and Standard for Completing Greenhouse Gas Compliance and Forecasting Reports for details to deviation requests.

The following form may be completed and submitted to the director at [email protected].

Notification of changes

All facilities are required to submit a notification of certain changes to the facility as set out in section 25 of the regulation. These include changes to the person responsible for a large emitter or opt-in facility.

The following form should be used for this purpose:

The form may also be voluntarily used to notify of a change in the certifying official or reporter.

Compliance Cost Containment Program

If TIER regulation compliance costs exceed 3% of sales or 10% of profit at a facility, the owner of that facility may be eligible to receive relief under the Compliance Cost Containment Program. Additional information is available in the Standard for Developing Benchmarks.

Reference materials

Stakeholder presentations

Fact sheets

2023 Compliance Workshop, February 2024

Hydrogen and Ammonia Workshop, November 2023

2022 Compliance Workshop, February 2023

2021 Compliance Workshop, May 2022

2020 Compliance Workshop, March 2021

Reference materials

Open datasets

Also see the TIER Conventional Oil and Gas webpage for additional information specific to conventional oil and gas aggregate facilities.

See the Alberta Emission Offset System webpage for additional information specific to generation of Alberta Emission Offsets.

Contact

Connect with Alberta Environment and Protected Areas about the TIER regulation:
Email: [email protected]

Subscribe to TIER mailing list

This automatic email system distributes information pertaining to the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction system to subscribers. This list and website are the primary sources of information and updates on greenhouse gas mitigation for Alberta.

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