California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Program

The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is a regulation designed to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions associated with the lifecycle of transportation fuels used in California. The regulation is aimed at reducing the lifecycle GHG emissions by assessing a “Carbon Intensity” (CI) score to each transportation fuel based on its lifecycle assessment. 

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted the LCFS regulation in 2009 to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels used in California by at least 10% by 2020 from a 2010 baseline. The Board passed amendments to the LCFS in 2011 and in 2015, the Board approved the re-adoption of the LCFS.   The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to extend the LCFS program by ten years to 2030 and to double the program’s carbon intensity reductions target from 10% to 20%.

Benefits of Opting into the LCFS Program

By opting into the LCFS program and providing electricity as transportation fuel, the electricity providers can earn an LCFS credit for each metric ton of CO2 equivalent (MTCO2e) emissions avoided through the use of electricity. The credits will have a monetary value and may be sold to regulated parties who must offset deficits created by their supply of fuels with CIs that exceed the LCFS standards. 

Who Can Opt into the LCFS Program?

Under the re-adopted LCFS, for electricity used as a transportation fuel, the entities that are eligible to generate LCFS credits include: 

  • Electric Vehicle Service Provider (EVSP) for public charging 
  • Electric Vehicle (EV) fleet operator 
  • Electric forklift fleet operator 

Are there any Requirements/Obligations after Opting into the LCFS Program?

Electricity providers that opt into the LCFS program are subject to the reporting and record keeping requirements s. The electricity provider must submit quarterly and annual reports. The data for the quarterly reports must be uploaded and submitted to the LRT-CBTS by the deadlines shown below: 

  • June 30th – for the first calendar quarter covering January through March; 
  • September 30th – for the second calendar quarter covering April through June; 
  • December 31st – for the third calendar quarter covering July through September; and 
  • March 31st – for the fourth calendar quarter covering October through December. 

An annual compliance report for the prior calendar year must be submitted in the LRT-CBTS by April 30th of each year. 

Where can one learn more about the Low Carbon Fuel Standard?

For more information about the LCFS program, you can watch the following video:

For more details on the LCFS regulation, click the link below:

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