GHG Cap-and-Trade - CA Industry Assistance

What is the CA Industry Assistance Credit?

The CA Industry Assistance Credit is an annual credit for eligible industrial facilities that are customers of the investor-owned electric utilities.  The CPUC created this credit program, calculates the credit amount, and oversees the utilities' distribution of the credits to their customers.

The credit is part of California's greenhouse gas reduction program.  It is designed to revward businessess that have taken early action to reduce their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and to help prevent emissions increases.

The amount of the credit is determined by the CPUC for each facility using emissions-efficiency benchmarks that reward businesses and help provide an incentive to make products in California in the most energy-efficient way possible.

This credit is part of a State program - the money is from the State, not from the utility, even though the utilities deliver the credit on the State's behalf.

Note:  This webpage provides informational updates, background, and responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).  For formal and complete information, refer to the specific policies, rules, and formulas that were developed in December 2014 in CPUC Decision (D.)14-12-037 as modified by D.15-08-006 and D.16-07-007.

Recent Updates

September 30, 2017 is the deadline for certain facilities to submit their eligibility claim to their utility to receive the CA Industry Assistance Credit in 2018-2020.  All facilities that attest to their eligibility must submit an eligibility claim by this date - even ones who received the credit in 2016 and 2017 - or they will not receive the credit in 2018.

For more information, see the section below on the eligibility attestation process.

Each utility has an online portal where customers can submit these claims.

Pacific Gas and Electric's Industry Assistance webpage

Southern California Edison's Industry Assistance webpage

San Diego Gas & Electric's Industry Assistance webpage

What is the purpose of the CA Industry Assistance Credit?

In short:  the purpose of the CA Industry Assistance Credit is to protect industries in California and to incentivize energy and GHG reductions.

To understand why this credit program exists, it is first important to know that this credit is part of the State of California’s Cap-and-Trade Program, developed as a result of landmark legislation called the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). The Cap-and-Trade program aims to address climate change by limiting the total amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted into the air.

The CPUC created the CA Industry Assistance Credit as part of its implementation of Cap-and-Trade to help ensure that "emissions leakage" does not occur.  "Emissions leakage" is when emissions decrease within California, but increase outside of California, as a result of the Cap-and-Trade Program.  This credit protects eligible industrial sectors against emissions leakage by compensating them for a portion of the GHG emission costs associated with the electricity they buy.

Who is eligible for Industry Assistance?

One of the basic eligibility requirements is that facilities need to be operating in an industry that is "emissions-intensive and trade-exposed" (EITE).  Businesses in EITE industrial sectors face a higher risk of emissions leakage.  That is why they are eligible to receive this credit.

Our FAQ section below has more information and a list of these industrial sectors.

Another basic requirement is that facilities must be current customers of one of California's investor-owned electric utilities:  PG&E, SCE, SDG&E, Liberty Utilities (CalPECO), or Pacificorp.

There are two ways the CPUC identifies eligible facilities:

  • Facilities that are eligible because they report to ARB.  Eligible EITE facilities that report to ARB under its Regulation for the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (MRR) are eligible for CPUC's Industry Assistance Credit.  The CPUC and ARB work together to identify these facilities, and the CPUC works with the utilities to deliver the credit.
  • Facilities that must submit an eligibility claim.  Eligible EITE facilities that do not report to ARB under its MRR, but that operate in the same eligible EITE sectors, can submit a claim (called an attestation form) to verify their eligibility.

If your facility reports to ARB under MRR you do not need to submit an eligibility claim, although your utility will contact you to identify which service account the credit should be applied to.  You can always contact your utility to find out more about your eligibility status.

If you think you're eligible, but you don't already report to ARB under MRR, read the instructions below about the attestation process.

Credit Timing and Size

Eligible industrial facilities will receive the CA Industry Assistance Credit once per year, either on the electricity bill or as a credit from their utility.  Normal credit distribution occurs each year in April, through April 2020.

The amount of the credit is determined through the use of emissions efficiency benchmarks, which rewards businesses that have taken early action to reduce GHG emissions. This approach will also ensure that, in the future, these industries have a strong incentive to produce products in California in the most GHG-efficient way possible.

The amount of the credit is calculated for each facility by the CPUC.  Utilities do not calculate the credit; they only deliver it on the CPUC's behalf.  Credits are calculated using confidential business information which the CPUC protects from disclosure.  For more information about how credits are calculated, see Appendix A of D.14-12-037.


Attestation Process for Eligible EITE Facilities with Emissions below 10,000 MTCO2e/year

If you believe your facility is eligible to receive CA Industry Assistance and you do not already report to ARB under its Regulation for the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (MRR), you must complete an eligibility claim, or attestation form, to receive CA Industry Assistance. The main purpose of the attestation process is to show that your facility operates in an eligible industry.

Attestation Forms

Attestation forms are available from your respective utility using the following links:

The attestation process is completed at the facility level, where facility is defined in ARB’s Cap-and-Trade Regulation Section 95802(144)(A) as “. . . physical property, plant, building, structure, source, or stationary equipment located on one or more contiguous or adjacent properties…” If a business has multiple eligible facilities, it must complete a separate attestation for each facility.

All attestation forms are subject to a random audit to ensure program integrity.

Attestation Timing

Attestations must be submitted in 2017, for all facilities who attest to their eligibility.  (Facilities whose eligibility is determined by their status as MRR reporters do not need to attest at any time; these facilities are not affected).  Facilities must submit an attestation form in 2017 to continue receiving assistance for 2018-2020.

Any facility that successfully completes the attestation process will continue to receive the credit through 2020, as long as it otherwise maintains its eligibility (for example, it mus remain active in the attested industrial sector, and must still be a utility customer).

Going forward- in 2018 and 2019- facilities have the opportunity to attest to their eligibility before September 30 each year.  If the facility is eligible, it will receive the credit the next year.

Contact Us

If you have questions about CA Industry Assistance, email industry.assistance@cpuc.ca.gov.

CA Industry Assistance FAQs

Who is eligible for CA Industry Assistance?

Entities that primarily operate in industrial sectors that qualify for Industry Assistance under ARB’s Cap-and-Trade Regulation, regardless of the amount of emissions produced, are eligible for CA Industry Assistance.  A facility is eligible if its principal source of revenue comes from a product, activity, or service that is eligible.

Eligible industries are listed by 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code in Table 8-1 of ARB’s Regulation. See a full list here.

Facilities must be customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison Company (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), Liberty Utilities (CalPeco Electric) LLC, or Pacific Power.

Eligible industries fall within the following categories:

  • Apparel Manufacturing
  • Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing
  • Chemical Manufacturing
  • Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Machinery Manufacturing
  • Mining (except Oil and Gas)
  • Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing
  • Oil and Gas Extraction
  • Paper Manufacturing
  • Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing
  • Primary Metal Manufacturing
  • Support Activities for Transportation
  • Transportation Equipment Manufacturing

When do I receive my CA Industry Assistance?

Most facilities will receive their credit in April each year.

How much assistance will I receive?

The CPUC Energy Division will calculate the level of CA Industry Assistance for each eligible facility. The amount of the credit is determined through the use of emissions efficiency benchmarks, which rewards businesses that have taken early action to reduce GHG emissions. This approach will also ensure that, in the future, these industries have a strong incentive to produce products in California in the most greenhouse gas-efficient way possible.

 If your facility is not a covered entity in the Cap-and-Trade Program, you will receive a credit amount that is based on your historical electricity use.

If your facility is a covered entity, you will receive assistance either based on your historical electricity use or based on the efficiency and level of your production.

To learn more about how the CPUC calculates your credit, please read D.14-12-037 and review the formulas in Appendix A of this decision.

Will I get a bill credit or check?

By default, eligible facilities will receive CA Industry Assistance as an electricity bill credit.

Only “covered entities” under the Cap-and-Trade Program may request a check instead of a bill credit. If you’re eligible to request a check, your utility will contact you.

All customers receiving CA Industry Assistance have the option to “cash out” any remaining bill credit by requesting a check from the utility, in the event that their credit amount exceeds their total bill amount.

What is the attestation process?

The attestation process applies to industrial facilities that want to demonstrate that they are eligible to receive CA Industry Assistance. The facilities do not report to ARB under MRR and must sign an attestation form to demonstrate to the CPUC that they primarily operate in an industrial sector that qualifies for CA Industry Assistance.

See our Attestation Process section above for more information.

What is a facility?

For the purposes of the Industry Assistance Credit, A facility is described in ARB’s Cap-and-Trade Regulation as “any physical property, plant, building, structure, source, or stationary equipment located on one or more contiguous or adjacent properties in actual physical contact or separated solely by a public roadway or other public right-of-way and under common ownership or common control, that emits or may emit any greenhouse gas…”

For the full definition please refer to Section 95802(a)(144) of the Cap-and-Trade Regulation


Immigration Guide