New Fee Structure

Monday, 12 January 2015
Program Announcement

With the new year now upon us, we wanted to let you know of some key changes to our fee structure. These changes will help to bring the fees more in line with the true cost of the services we provide, with the fees charged at the time at which we incur those costs. These changes are essential to allow us to run the professional, service-oriented program you expect. We are also making a change to the VCU issuance levy that will help incentivize larger-scale issuances.

First, to better reflect our costs of supporting project validation and registration, and in line with other GHG programs, we will now require projects to pay a registration fee that will be credited toward future VCU issuance levies. This will be set at USD 0.10 multiplied by either the estimated annual volume of GHG emission reductions and removals (in the validation report) or the verified volume of emission reductions and removals (in the verification report), depending on the situation. The registration fee will be capped at USD 10,000 and will be applicable to projects registering on or after 1 July 2015.

Second, we are making some modifications to the methodology approval process to ensure that we accept only high-impact methodologies into the process. Specifically, we will now be asking developers to submit a concept note early in the methodology development process so that VCS can review the concept against a short list of criteria to ascertain, among other things, its relevance to key sectors and regions, the extent to which the methodology uses standardized approaches, and its emission reduction/removal potential. The fee for submitting a concept note will be USD 2,000 (or USD 1,250 for tools, modules and minor methodology revisions). If the concept is approved, developers will be invited to submit the full methodology to the formal methodology approval process. A fee of USD 8,000 (or USD 3,750 for tools, modules and minor methodology revisions) will be charged at this step. We will soon provide more details about the new step in a revised version of the Methodology Approval Process document, and the new fees will go into effect six months after the release of the updated document.

Finally, we are beginning to see project proponents and jurisdictional governments who are developing large-scale projects and programs, capable of issuing millions of VCUs per year. To help bring these credits to market, we will now apply the VCU issuance levy on a sliding scale. Projects issuing less than one million VCUs (in one go) will still pay the USD 0.10/VCU levy, but larger issuances will be charged at a lower fee, with reduced fees coming into effect at one million, two million and four million VCUs. This change is effective immediately.

Details about the new fees are available on the VCS website in the Program Fee Schedule.