Methane Emissions Reduction - FAQ

FAQ Methane Emissions Reduction

Why is Energy Efficiency Alberta offering Methane Emissions Reduction (MER)? Toggle content

MER Initiative is designed to assist customers in the identification and implementation of methane abatement opportunities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Assistance is offered through two (2) types of incentives:

  1. MER Baseline Opportunity Assessments (BOA) and Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) Studies provide incentives to Program Allies (PA’s) to: 1) complete a BOA & LDAR study data capture template (Appendix A) for detailed inventory count, 2) conduct leak detection and repair (LDAR). Leak detection and repair is mandatory and best effort must be made to repair all leaks identified or a reasonable explanation of why repairs can’t occur for sites where leaks identified should be provided 3) complete a BOA & LDAR summary report (Appendix B) including emissions summary of each facility surveyed. To be eligible for BOA and LDAR Studies incentives, all applications must be pre-approved. Offset eligible projects (per Alberta Quantification Protocol) under the Carbon Competitive Incentive regulation that are identified in the BOA with LDAR Study are not precluded from being registered to generate offsets. Please see MER Initiative Terms and Conditions at www.efficiencyalberta.ca/business/methane-emissions-reduction for additional information.
  2. MER Direct to Capital (DTC) Applications consist of two components with the following incentives:
    1. MER Direct to Capital Studies (DTC Studies) provide incentives to PA’s or facility owners to identify and quantify MER eligible capital projects that reduce methane emissions and associated CO2e. To be eligible for DTC Studies incentives, all applications must be pre-approved. Potential capital projects that are registered to generate offsets (per approved Alberta Quantification Protocols) under Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation program for carbon offset incentives are not eligible for DTC Study participation. Please see MER Initiative Terms and Conditions at www.efficiencyalberta.ca/business/methane-emissions-reduction for additional information.
    2. MER Direct to Capital Projects (DTC Projects) provide incentives to facility owners that implement capital-based projects that reduce methane emissions and associated CO2e. To be eligible for DTC Project incentives, all applicants must complete MER DTC Studies component first. Potential capital projects that are registered to generate offsets (per approved Alberta Quantification Protocols) under Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation are not eligible for DTC Projects participation. Please see MER Initiative Terms and Conditions at www.efficiencyalberta.ca/customsolutions/methane for additional information.
What type of customers are eligible? Toggle content

Oil & Gas Facility Owners with facilities operating within the Province of Alberta that produce less than 40,000 BOE per day, are eligible for MER Initiative participation including BOA and LDAR Studies as well as DTC Applications.

Oil & Gas Facility Owners with facilities operating within the Province of Alberta that produce more than 40,000 BOE per day and have facilities that generate less than 100,000 tonnes of CO2e per year are not eligible for BOA and LDAR Studies. However, these larger customers are eligible for Custom Project Studies (i.e. Scoping Audits, Engineering Studies and Retro- and Re-Commissioning Investigations) and Custom Project incentives through the Custom Energy Solutions (CES) Program.

Please refer to the MER Eligibility Criteria for additional information.

What GHG sources are eligible? Toggle content

Any existing process or controls that leak/vent methane and/or inefficiently combust/flare/incinerate methane emissions into the atmosphere. Methane abatement capital projects that are registered to generate offsets (per approved Alberta Quantification Protocols) under Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation are not eligible for participation in the DTC Applications.

How to become a registered Program Ally (PA)? Toggle content

Interested participant/candidates will start by completing the Efficiency Professional Network application.

Can Program Allies (PAs) submit applications directly to the MER program? Toggle content

Yes. Program Allies can submit applications on behalf of the Facility Owner(s) via Energy Efficiency Alberta’s application portal for: 1) BOA and LDAR Studies, 2) DTC Applications incentives.

What types of financial incentives are available? Toggle content

MER Incentive provides two types of incentives:

  1. Baseline Opportunity Assessments (BOA) and Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) Studies provide incentives to PA’s to: 1) complete a BOA & LDAR study data capture template (Appendix A), 2) conduct leak detection and repair (LDAR). Leak detection and repair is mandatory and best effort must be made to repair all leaks identified or reasonable explanation of why repairs can’t occur for sites where leaks identified should be provided 3) complete a BOA & LDAR summary report (Appendix B) including emissions summary of each facility surveyed.
  2. MER Direct to Capital (DTC) Applications consist of two components with the following incentives:

Direct to Capital Studies (DTC Studies) provide incentives to Program Allies and/or Facility Owners to identify and quantify MER eligible capital projects that reduce methane emissions and associated CO2e.

MER Direct to Capital Projects (DTC Projects) provide incentives to Facility Owners that implement capital-based projects that reduce methane emissions and associated CO2e. To be eligible for DTC Projects incentives, all applicants must complete DTC Studies component first.

A summary of the BOA and LDAR Studies and DTC Applications incentives is provided, here.

Energy Star is a third party organization that sets a globally respected standard for performance and quality of energy efficient technology including lighting, furnaces, boilers, and water heaters. To check a product’s qualification, please search the model number on the Energy Star website.

Is there a limit to the number of facilities a Program Ally (PA) can include in an application for pre-approval of BOA with LDAR Studies? Toggle content

No, there is no limit to the number of facilities per application but please keep in mind that once an application is pre-approved, BOA and LDAR Studies of all facilities must be completed within 30 days of pre-approval. Program Allies should consider the staging of applications to ensure completion of studies on a timely basis.

How do I apply for MER study services and incentives? Toggle content

Due to the rapid implementation of the MER Initiative, we are asking that through November 26, 2018 Program Allies download the MER Initiative application for the BOA and LDAR Studies incentive in excel format from the Energy Efficiency Alberta website. Complete the application per the instructions provided and submit completed applications to methanereduction@efficiencyalberta.ca

Effective November 26, 2018 BOA and LDAR Studies applications will be submitted online via the Application Portal. Please note that all MER applications for Direct to Capital (DTC) Applications Incentives can be submitted via the application portal.

Who can submit applications for BOA and LDAR Studies and DTC Applications? Toggle content

The following table provides guidance on who can submit applications for BOA and LDAR Studies as well as DTC Applications (DTC Studies and DTC Projects).

MER Participant BOA and LDAR StudiesDTC StudiesDTC Projects
Program Ally X X
Facility Owner X* X


*Only Facility owners with existing BOA and LDAR Studies and/or known potential emission reduction measures can proceed directly to DTC Projects Application

To provide stability and consistency to the program, the eligible product list is reviewed and updated periodically. A survey will be sent out at those times to gather information about new products. Alternatively, you can email us to provide us with detailed information, preferably with a spec sheet attached, and your request will be included during the regularly scheduled reviews.

What if I receive an up-front incentive for a DTC Study or DTC Project and do not proceed with the work in a timely manner? Toggle content

At the sole discretion of Energy Efficiency Alberta and per the Terms and Conditions of the MER Initiative offering, Energy Efficiency Alberta and/or the Consultant may require immediate repayment of any up-front incentives if a Facility Owner and/or Program Ally do not proceed with an approved project or do not complete the DTC Applications (DTC Studies and DTC Projects) within the pre-approved time limits.

Who owns the right to BOA and LDAR Studies and the associated data including site survey information under MER? Toggle content

By providing incentive funding for the BOA and LDAR Studies, Energy Efficiency Alberta retains the rights to all data collected from a facility owner’s facility including but not limited to equipment surveys. Energy Efficiency Alberta will maintain the data confidentially with regards to individual facility owner results but reserves the right to use and/or retain a third-party provider to use the data in an aggregated format. Data collected by BOA Program Allies may not be aggregated into any type of comprehensive database by one or more Program Allies or third-party selected by one or more Program Allies without the written consent and permission of Energy Efficiency Alberta.

Who owns the environmental attributes associated with MER savings? Toggle content

As a condition of the payment of DTC Projects incentives by MER Initiative, the Applicant agrees to convey ownership to Energy Efficiency Alberta, or its successors, all environmental attributes and environmental products that are created or otherwise arise from DTC Projects.

Can Large Facility Emitters participate (LFEs)? Toggle content

No. The Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation (CCIR) applies to LFE facilities that have GHG emissions of more than 100,000 tonnes per year and cannot participate in MER Initiative. Additionally, facilities that emit less than 100,000 tonnes that have opted into the CCIR regulation cannot participate in MER Initiative.

Are facilities operating in regions with existing or pending (within the next 3 months) LDAR requirements eligible for BOA with LDAR Study incentives? Toggle content

No, Program Allies cannot submit BOA and LDAR Studies applications that include facilities in regions with existing LDAR regulations or requirements. Any sites that may fall under pending (within the next 3 months) LDAR regulations or requirements should be reviewed with a MER account manager prior to application submittal.

The Applicant is not eligible to apply for any assessment, study or capital project incentives that support any and all initiatives that have been deemed mandatory by Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and/or other provincial regulatory requirements

However, while not eligible for BOA and LDAR Studies incentives, these facilities are eligible for DTC Applications (DTC Studies and DTC Projects) incentives.

Can projects identified in the BOA with LDAR Study pursue registration to generate offsets under the provision of the CCIR program? Toggle content

Yes. However, if the registration of generated offsets is pursed through the CCIR program, the facility owner is not eligible for DTC Applications (DTC Studies and DTC Projects) incentives under MER Initiative.

Can projects that are registered to generate offsets (per AB Quantification Protocol) under CCIR program for carbon offset incentives also participate in MER? Toggle content

No, projects that are registered to generate offsets (per approved Alberta Quantification Protocols) under Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation are not eligible for participation in DTC Applications (DTC Studies or DTC Projects).

My company is also interested in participating in the CES program. Can we also participate in the MER program? Toggle content

Yes, you can participate in both programs but the Custom Energy Solutions incentives must be tied to quantifiable energy savings and MER incentives must be tied to quantifiable methane emissions reductions.

What if my company has multiple facility types at one location?  Toggle content

If there are multiple facility types, the incentive will default to the largest facility type/category.

Is MER funding limited? Toggle content

Yes, the overall budget for BOA and LDAR Studies and DTC Applications (DTC Studies and DTC Projects) incentives is limited. Incentives will be reserved on a first come, first serve basis for all studies and project incentives that have received written pre-approval for all incentives from MER Initiative. Incentives will be reserved for BOA and LDAR Studies for 30 days from the date of pre-approval. Incentives for DTC Applications (DTC Studies and DTC Projects) will be reserved for 90 days from the date of final approval. If project timelines are longer than 90 days, please contact an account manager. Per the MER Initiative Terms and Conditions, incentives provided by Energy Efficiency Alberta are subject to change by Energy Efficiency Alberta at any time without notice to the Applicant.

Additionally, a Facility Owner and Program Allies conducting work on behalf of a Facility Owner, may submit multiple applications for multiple sites, but incentives for the combined total of BOA and LDAR Studies, DTC Applications (DTC Studies and DTC Projects) incentives for a given Facility Owner cannot exceed $250,000 per year.

What if I’ve recently completed a BOA and LDAR Study, are they eligible for MER incentives? Toggle content

The intent of MER Initiative incentives is to improve the financial viability of potential projects.

BOA and LDAR Studies completed within the last year are not eligible for BOA and LDAR incentives. DTC Studies and DTC Projects associated with opportunities identified in recently completed BOA and LDAR Studies are eligible for MER Initiative incentives.

Previously implemented Capital Projects are not eligible for DTC Applications (DTC Studies and DTC Projects) incentives.

What if the projects I’m considering have both a methane and energy reduction component? Toggle content

The methane reduction component of the project will be incented under the Methane Emissions Reduction (MER) Initiative while the energy savings component will be incented through the Custom Energy Solutions (CES) Program. Please, call us at 403-800-8947 or email methanereduction@efficiencyalberta.ca. We will be glad to assist you in applying for incentives from MER Initiative and CES Program.

Do BOA & LDAR, DTC Study and DTC Project incentives need to be pre-approved by MER to be eligible for incentives? Toggle content

Yes, all applications for BOA and LDAR Studies, DTC Applications (DTC Studies and DTC Projects) incentives must be pre-approved in writing, by the MER Initiative.

Are there financial caps associated with any of the MER incentives? Toggle content

Yes. The following incentive caps have been established:

1) BOA and LDAR Studies cost incentives are pre-approved and based on the type of facility being assessed. Multiple sites may be combined into a single application.

Facility Type/CategoryPer Site BOA and LDAR Studies Incentive
Single Well Site:$600
Multi-Well Site:$1,200
Battery Site:$1,800
Gathering Site$2,300
Processing Plant:$5,000

2) As a component of DTC Applications, DTC Studies incentive of up to $8,000 per application is provided to incent the identification and quantification of capital projects that will reduce methane emissions. Minimum methane emission reduction savings of 500 tonnes/ application must be documented to receive the DTC Studies and DTC Projects incentives.

3) As a component of DTC Applications, DTC Projects incentives are paid based on verified GHG reductions with 50% of the Facility Owner’s total external out of pocket cost for the project as the incentive qualifier. Projects must achieve a minimum GHG reduction performance based on typical equipment operation. Project cost is defined as the capital cost of the project including equipment plus associated contractor costs for engineering design, project management and labour to complete the capital installation. Internal labour costs cannot be included in project costs.

4) A Facility Owner and Program Allies conducting work on behalf of a Facility Owner, may submit multiple applications for multiple sites, but incentives for the combined total of BOA and LDAR Studies, DTC Applications (DTC Studies and DTC Projects) implementation incentives for a given Facility Owner cannot exceed $250,000 per year.

5) Facility Owners eligible under Methane Emissions Reduction (MER) Initiative with consideration to participate in the Custom Energy Solutions (CES) Program, should note that incentives for the combined total of BOA and LDAR Studies, DTC Applications (DTC Studies and DTC Projects) and Custom Energy Solutions (CES) Program for individual facilities with over 10,000 tonnes of annual GHG emissions are eligible for incentives up to $1 million per year (inclusive of MER and CES activities) and parent facilities implementing projects in multiple facilities are eligible for incentives up to $2 million per year (inclusive of MER and CES activities). Facilities with less than 10,000 tonnes are eligible for incentives up to $250,000 per year for individual facilities and $500,000 per year (inclusive of MER and CES activities) for parent facilities. Incentives for BOA & LDAR studies can only be used through the Methane Emission Reduction (MER) Initiative while DTC Applications can use incentives from the Custom Energy Solutions (CES) Program.

What if LDAR cannot be completed during the on-site component of the BOA and LDAR Study? Toggle content

We understand there will be instances where a site has limited LDAR opportunities or LDAR cannot be completed due to various reasons (e.g. weather, access, operational limits, etc.). MER is expecting documented LDAR savings with all studies, if possible. Any instances where LDAR cannot be completed needs to be approved on a facility site basis, by a MER account manager before a BOA and LDAR Studies report is submitted for approval.

Are there minimum GHG reductions associated with any of the incentives? Toggle content

Yes, a minimum methane emission reduction savings of 500 tonnes per application must be documented to receive the DTC Studies and DTC Projects incentives.

When are financial incentives paid out to Facility Owner or Program Allies (PAs)? Toggle content

The point at which incentives are paid out to an applicant varies by the type of incentive:

  1. Incentives for BOA and LDAR Studies are paid out to Program Ally upon approval of the BOA and LDAR Studies report that must be submitted to MER within 30 days of pre-approval.
  2. MER Direct to Capital (DTC) Applications consist of two components with the following incentive payout timeline:
  • 50% of the DTC Studies incentive will be paid out to the Applicant (either Program Ally or Facility Owner) upon final Study approval. The remaining 50% of the approved incentive will be paid out to the Applicant upon completion, submittal and acceptance of post-install verification report.
  • 50% of the DTC Projects incentive will be paid out to the Facility Owner upon final project approval. The remaining 50% of the approved incentive will be paid out to the Facility Owner upon completion, submittal and acceptance of post-install verification report. Final DTC Projects application must be submitted within 30 days of DTC Projects application pre-approval.