What is Natural Gas STAR Program Annual Reporting?
Annual reporting is a key requirement to remain a partner in the Natural Gas STAR Program. After one full year of participation in the Program, EPA requires partners to submit an annual report documenting the previous year’s methane emission reduction activities. It is important to note that all reported emission reduction activities must be voluntary and not driven by a regulatory requirement, whether it is environmental or otherwise.
In the spring of each year, EPA mails out annual reporting packages with the information that partners need to complete annual reports, which are due to EPA annually on April 30th. Natural Gas STAR encourages partners to report current and past activities that have resulted in methane emissions reductions. Through Program participation and reporting, companies create a permanent record of their voluntary accomplishments in reducing methane emissions. It is through annual reporting that Partners receive an individual detailed summary report. This document summarizes the progress a company has made since joining the Program.
How do Natural Gas STAR Partners Report to EPA?
Under the Natural Gas STAR Program, partners have a great deal of flexibility in the format used to report voluntary methane emission reduction activities to EPA. The Natural Gas STAR Program has developed various templates and tools to assist partners with annual reporting, or partners are free to use their own reporting format. The standard Natural Gas STAR reporting forms are available in both PDF and MS Word. In addition, EPA created an online reporting system to allow partners to quickly and easily submit annual methane emissions reduction data to EPA. Access to the Natural Gas STAR Online Reporting System is password-protected to keep company information private. Only the Natural Gas STAR Program and its contractors may access the information submitted by partners.
If you have misplaced your user name and password for the Natural Gas STAR online reporting system, please contact your STAR Service Representative or EPA Natural Gas STAR Program Manager.
What are the Key Components to a Natural Gas STAR Annual Report?
As described briefly above, Natural Gas STAR annual reporting consists of voluntary (non-regulatory driven) methane emission reduction activities that partner companies have implemented in the previous year, including corresponding methane emissions reductions achieved, and to the extent available, the economics associated with each activity. Partners are also encouraged to report past activities that have resulted in methane emissions reductions, but that have not been previously reported to EPA.
The implementation of certain technologies and practices reduces methane emissions for multiple years; therefore, Natural Gas STAR allows these to count toward a partner company’s emissions reductions beyond the initial year of implementation. Natural Gas STAR designates the maximum length of time that emissions reductions can accrue as “sunset dates.” Companies may either report the corresponding methane emissions reductions each year up to the allowable sunset date, or allow EPA to automatically roll-up their reductions for the designated period of time. A complete list of Natural Gas STAR recommended technologies and practices and corresponding sunset dates (PDF) (6 pp, 178K, About PDF) is available online.
The Natural Gas STAR Program is also available to assist partners in conducting economic analyses related to the implementation of cost-effective technologies and practices. Please contact your EPA Natural Gas STAR Program Manager or STAR Service Representative for assistance.