Unique Emissions Factors
Eligibility, application and verification information for participants looking to obtain a Unique Emissions Factor (UEF).
An emissions factor is a value given to an activity in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) based on how emissions intensive it is. When an emissions return is completed, the emissions factor is multiplied by the amount of product produced in a given period to give an emissions total for that time.
Some activities in the ETS have been assigned a Default Emissions Factor (DEF) based on an industry-wide average. However, participants in some sectors have an option of either using this DEF, or obtaining a UEF if they believe their emissions are lower than the industry average. Using a UEF will usually mean that a participant's emissions total is lowered.
ETS participants who carry out any of the following activities may apply for a Unique Emissions Factor:
- Owning obligation fuel
- Purchasing obligation jet fuel
- Importing coal
- Mining coal
- Purchasing coal
- Purchasing natural gas
- Using geothermal fluid
- Combusting used oil, waste oil, used tyres, or waste
- Operating a disposal facility.
Further guidance is available on the requirements for participants in certain sectors to calculate and apply for approval to use a UEF in place of a DEF to calculate and report on emissions:
Applying for a UEF
If you wish to apply for a UEF, you must be carrying out one of the eligible activities listed above. The application itself is completed online via the New Zealand Emissions Trading Register (the Register).
Applications must be accompanied by a Verifier's Statement that complies with regulation 4(3) of the Climate Change (Unique Emissions Factors) Regulations 2009, and a plan for ongoing sampling and testing of the activity to which the application relates.
An application for a UEF in relation to a reporting year must be submitted to the EPA by 31 January following the reporting year to which the UEF relates. The application must be completed before the Annual Emissions Return is submitted.
The Verifier's Statement
The UEF Regulations require independent third party review and verification to be carried out where a participant wishes to apply to the EPA for approval to use a UEF.
The verifier's role is to confirm:
- that the UEF is for an eligible activity
- that any samples collected meet the requirements of the UEF Regulations
- that any measurements or other tests meet the requirements of the UEF Regulations
- that the UEF has been calculated correctly in accordance with the prescribed methodology
The verifier must provide a Verifier's Statement including all of the above.
If you are interested in becoming a verifier, please read our guide to becoming a recognised verifier and contact the EPA to have an application form sent to you.
List of approved Verifiers
All verifiers must be approved by the EPA. Below is a list of persons currently approved to act as verifiers:
|Individual||Organisation||Contact Details||Activities for which recognition granted|
|Lindsay James Robertson (CPEng)||Parsons Brinckerhoff New Zealand Limited||Level 3Revera House48-54 Mulgrave StreetPO Box 668WELLINGTON
Tel: +64 21 240 6863
|Jacqueline Margaret Robertson (CA)||Deloitte||Level 16Deloitte House10 Brandon StreetPO Box 1990WELLINGTON
Tel: +64 4 470 3561
|Brett Tomkins (CA)||Deloitte||Otago House,481 Moray Place,PO Box 1245,DUNEDIN
Tel: +64 3 471 4341
|Lesley Mackle||PWC||113-119 The TerraceWELLINGTON
Tel: +64 4 462 7114
|Chris Ussher||PWC||113-119 The TerraceWELLINGTON
Tel: +64 4 462 7107
|Jason Keith Stachurski (CA)||Deloitte||Deloitte Centre
80 Queens Street
Private Bag 115033
Tel: +64 9 303 0801
|Graeme Bennett (CA)||Ernst & Young Limited||2 Takutai Square
1010Tel: +64 9 348 8175Email: Graeme.Bennett@nz.ey.com
Application types in the Register
1. Cease your existing UEF in order to apply for a new one
- You’d need to complete this process when there’s been a material change to your existing UEF.
- To do this you’ll need to select ‘Cease UEF’ within the Maintain UEF form. Once this has been approved by the EPA you can apply for a new UEF. Please note, this process is completed in two stages. First we need to receive and approve your application to cease your current UEF. Once that has been processed you can begin your application for a new UEF.
2. Maintain your existing UEF
- This would apply if your regular monitoring shows there’s been no change to your UEF and you’d like to continue it.
- To do this you’ll need to select ‘Confirming no material change’ within the Maintain UEF form in the Register.
3. Notify of a change in your UEF
- This would be the case if there’s been a change in your UEF, but you’re not sure if it would be considered a material change or not.
- To do this you’ll need to select the ‘Notifying a change’ option in the Maintain UEF form in the Register and provide your new measured UEF. Once we receive your notification, you’ll then be advised of the outcome.
- If in doubt, you’re always welcome to contact us and we can talk to you regarding your circumstances and options.
4. Applying for a new UEF
- This would apply if this is the first time you’re applying for a UEF.
- To do this you’ll need to select ‘Apply for a new UEF’ in the Manage UEFs section in the Register.
5. Cease your UEF and revert to the Default Emissions Factor
- You’d complete this if you’d like to cease your UEF altogether and revert to the DEF.
- To do this you’ll need to select ‘Cease UEF’ within the Maintain UEF form.
Data, dates and deadlines
You must apply for your UEF by 31 January (following the reporting year to which the UEF relates).
Where your application is relating to waste composition your representative data must cover 12 months
- Where this applies, the 12 month period does not need to be for the period January – December.
- The representative data needs to cover a full 12-month period to ensure any seasonal variation is accounted for.
Your representative data must be relevant to your ongoing operating conditions
- The data you submit must be taken or made at sufficient frequency and duration that it can reliably estimate your ongoing emissions.
- For example: a landfill operator submits data for the period September 2017 to August 2018, but installed new methane wells in October 2018. The data from September 2018 to August 2018 would not be relevant to the operating conditions from October 2018 as the circumstances have changed and so further data would need to be submitted to reflect the change in operating conditions.
Every year you need to maintain your UEF either by continuing, ceasing or notifying of a change
- This can be done within the ‘Maintain UEF’ workflow in the Register.
- If there’s been a material change to the information on which a previously approved UEF was based you’ll need to apply for approval of a new UEF. To do this, please apply to ‘cease’ your existing UEF first, as you cannot apply in the Register to cease your existing UEF at the same time as applying for a new one.
- To ensure you have time to complete both applications by the 31 January deadline, you should submit your application to cease your existing UEF as early as possible.
Submitting your application
Make sure you provide us with the correct information to ensure your application is processed smoothly.
- You must submit a Verification Statement and an Ongoing Sampling and Testing Plan with any new UEF applications.
- You can also provide any additional, relevant information to assist with your application.
- You should check that your Verification Statement has all of your details correct (your activity, address and participant name) and that it’s on official letterhead from the verifier’s organisation. We’ll need all of these details correct to process your application.
Ongoing Sampling and Testing Plan
- Ensure your plan uses the same sampling and testing methodology as that used to calculate your UEF.
- If you think special conditions apply to your operation, please include these in your new UEF application.
- When assessing applications to maintain a UEF we apply a material change threshold of +/-5%. If you think your circumstances require a special threshold then please provide information to explain what a material change in your operation would look like and the EPA will assess.