Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to questions that are commonly asked about the California (CA) Industry Assistance Credit.
What is the CA Industry Assistance Credit?
The CA Industry Assistance Credit is part of the State of California’s Cap-and-Trade Program which was developed as a result of landmark legislation called the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). The program aims to address climate change by limiting the total amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted by the largest sources.
The State of California provides the CA Industry Assistance Credit to protect against emissions leakage: a decrease in in-State GHG emissions that results in an increase in out-of-State GHG emissions. AB 32 requires that the State minimize emissions leakage, to the extent feasible. This credit protects eligible industrial sectors against emissions leakage and transitions them into the Cap-and-Trade Program by compensating affected businesses for a portion of the GHG emission costs associated with the electricity they buy.
Utilities, including Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), will distribute this credit annually through 2020. The amount of the credit is determined through the use of emissions efficiency benchmarks which reward businesses that have taken early action to reduce their GHG emissions. This approach will also ensure that these industries will have an incentive to continue producing products in California in the most greenhouse gas-efficient way possible.
Who is eligible for the CA Industry Assistance Credit?
The CA Industry Assistance Credit is open to all eligible utility customers, including those who get electricity from community choice aggregators and other electric service providers.
Under the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Cap-and-Trade Regulations, it designates entities that derive most of their revenue from a product, activity, or service covered by a specific North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code as eligible for Industry Assistance.* The state refers to these as “emissions-intensive and trade-exposed” (EITE) entities. A list of eligible entities by NAICS codes may be found at http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/finalregorder.pdf in Table 8-1 on page A-101.
If you are unsure which NAICS code applies to your facility, review your company’s federal income tax return, such as IRS Form 1120, or use the U.S. Census Bureau’s guidelines.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) verifies eligibility for the CA Industry Assistance Credit at a facility level. A facility is a physical structure(s) located on one or more contiguous properties. For example a campus, factory, plant or company headquarters with multiple buildings would be considered one facility if all structures are involved in (or support) the production of the same product or service. If a company owns multiple facilities throughout the state, each facility may (or may not) be eligible depending on each facility’s NAICS code.
How much is the CA Industry Assistance Credit? How will it be calculated?
The amount of the CA Industry Assistance Credit is determined through the use of emissions efficiency benchmarks which reward businesses that have taken early action to reduce their GHG emissions. This approach will also ensure that these industries will have an incentive to continue producing products in California in the most greenhouse gas-efficient way possible.
The credit amount varies from facility to facility. The CPUC, rather than your utility, calculates your credit amount. To protect your privacy, your utility provider does not have access to all of the data that the CPUC uses to determine your credit amount. Your utility may not be able to accurately predict your credit amount or answer detailed questions about why you received a specific amount. The CPUC will calculate the amount of the CA Industry Assistance credit for each facility according to an allocation formula that is either product-based or energy-based. Entities that have direct emissions below 25,000 MtCO2e will receive the CA Industry Assistance credit based on an energy-based allocation formula, which takes into account variables such as:
- Historical electricity usage (electricity purchased from PG&E and other electricity providers)
- GHG emissions associated with your electricity usage
- Level of assistance CARB provides to industries
- Overall “cap” on emissions
- Average price for allowances sold
- Any reconciliation of average prices for allowances between years.
What is the difference between the CA Industry Assistance Credit and CA Climate Credit?
Some organizations that are eligible for the CA Industry Assistance may have already been receiving the Small Business CA Climate Credit on their monthly bill. Customers may only receive one of these credits. If you choose to attest eligibility for the CA Industry Assistance Credit, you will stop receiving the monthly Small Business Climate Credit for all electric service agreements associated with that facility.
Below are the key differences between the two credits:
|California Climate Credit for Small Businesses||CA Industry Assistance Credit|
|Calculated based on current electricity consumption (requires average of less than 20 kilowatts [kW] a month)||Calculated based on historical electricity consumption|
|Happens automatically||Requires most customers to periodically claim eligibility|
|Applies only to service accounts that typically use||Applies to your entire facility and includes all service accounts associated with that facility|
|Appears monthly on every eligible service account||Appears annually on one service account per facility|
|Will not subject you to an audit||May subject you to an audit|
What do I have to do to get the CA Industry Assistance Credit?
If your facility is eligible based on your NAICS code, you must determine which of one of two categories your facility falls in based on your annual direct emissions. Depending upon the category that your facility falls in, you either qualify automatically for the credit, or you must provide information to verify your eligibility.
|Customer Description||Customer Definition||Action Required to Receive Credit|
|Customers required to report emissions data to CARB under its Mandatory Reporting Regulation (MRR)||A facility with direct emissions of 10,000 MtCO2e per year, or greater.||You automatically qualify.
No action is required if your contact information is up to date.
|Customers not required to report emissions data to CARB under its MRR||A facility with direct emissions of less than 10,000 MtCO2e per year.||You must verify your eligibility through an online attestation process by September 30th, 2017.
You will need the following information:
What happens after I submit my information? When and how will I receive the CA Industry Assistance Credit?
PG&E will verify the information submitted for your facility and will contact your authorized representative if further verifications needed. If you successfully attested, you will receive your annual CA Industry Assistance Credit each April through 2020 as a credit on your PG&E bill unless you are eligible to receive a check. You will not need to recertify, so long as you continue to operate in an eligible industry.
What should I do with the California Industry Assistance Credit?
Businesses receiving the CA Industry Assistance Credit are encouraged to further reduce their carbon footprint by investing the funds in energy management.
Where can I get more information about the CA Industry Assistance?
For more information on California Industry Assistance, visit the California Public Utilities Commission website: www.cpuc.ca.gov/industryassistance
How do I determine my NAICS code?
If you are unsure which NAICS code applies to your facility, review your company’s federal income tax return, such as IRS Form 1120, or use the U.S. Census Bureau’s guidelines (which can be found at https://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/faqs/faqs.html#q9).
I don’t know the emissions level of my facility, how do I know if I need to attest to receive the credit?
If your facility has reported emissions data to ARB (meaning you have annual emissions level of 10,000 MtCO2 or greater), your facility has a 6-digit Facility ARB ID assigned by ARB. Please check with your facility staff to verify whether your facility has an ARB ID. If your facility is assigned an ARB ID and you operate in an eligible NAICS sector, your facility is automatically qualified.
If your facility does not have a 6-digit ARB ID and you have received the credit for this facility in the past, then your facility is assigned a 10-digit Facility ID by PG&E. You can use this Facility ID to submit an attestation for your facility. Please follow the steps in the attestation website.
If your facility has never received a CA Industry Assistance Credit in the past then you are not assigned a Facility ID. Please follow the directions on the website to submit an attestation.
As always, you can contact PG&E for more information and to get help determining which situation applies to your facility.
What information do I have to provide for the attestation?
You will need your business’s NAICS code, facility address, and all of the electric service agreement IDs associated with your facility.
I submitted an attestation previously for my facility and received the credit in the past, do I have to re-submit an attestation?
Yes. Prior year attestations will not be valid after 2017. To continue receiving the CA Industry Assistance Credit, you will again need to recertify your business’s eligibility through an online attestation form by September 30, 2017. All facilities must attest by this deadline unless they report to ARB under its Mandatory Reporting Regulation.
Where can I find the electric Service Agreement ID(s) for my facility?
Your PG&E Energy Statement (bill) lists the 10-digit Service Agreement ID(s) under the Details of Electric Charges section. Please note you may have more than one bill for a facility. Make sure to list all electric Service Agreement IDs associated with the facility when you are completing the online attestation form.
How do I know which Service Agreement ID(s) belong to a particular facility? What if I have more than one facility?
The purpose of assigning Service Agreement IDs to a facility is determining the total electricity usage associated with a specific facility. This will allow you to receive the credit based on the total electricity usage that is related to your facility’s production.
The address associated with each electric Service Agreement ID is listed under the Details of Electric Charges section of your Energy Statement (bill). If you have more than one meter providing electric service to your facility or multiple facilities, you must determine all applicable electric Service Agreement ID(s) that are part of a facility based on the address listed. If you have more than one facility, you must complete an attestation form for each facility separately.