Learnings From Recent NGER Online Reporting Workshops

01 Jun 2009Archived News Climate Change Matters

 

The Federal Department of Climate Change (DCC) recently held a series of workshops on the Online System for Comprehensive Activity Reporting (OSCAR) for NGER.

The workshops introduced the newly developed NGER functionality component of OSCAR to be used by liable entities for NGER reporting by the 31st October 2009. The workshops were hands–on, practical sessions, focusing on the use of OSCAR, with several department staff available for discussing technical and legislative issues.

From attending the workshops we understand that reporting entities will be required to:

  • Define a corporate entity structure (group members, facilities, etc)
  • Set up users for managing the data and nominate the controlling corporation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Set up the list of sources and data streams for each facility, specifying the method and measurement criterion used
  • Enter the annual energy consumption and production quantities and emissions where required for each facility, or aggregated facility.

Once data entry is completed, reporting entities must gain CEO sign off of the data within OSCAR by printing out the OSCAR report for signature. Companies need to submit their inventory as a signed hard copy by 31st October 2009.

Key Takeouts From The Session

1) Companies reporting this year should note that reporters will need to prepare their inventory offline prior to transfer into OSCAR

In Energetics' view, OSCAR is structured as a data submission tool, not an ongoing data management tool. The tool is set up to accept final annual figures, and requests only the essential information required under the legislation.

This means that, apart from the simplest organisations with only a handful of sites, reporting entities will need to prepare their inventory using in-house tools, and translate the data into OSCAR at reporting time.

Where higher order methods are being used to calculate emissions, companies must pre-calculate their emissions. OSCAR is configured to accept the final values only (tonnes CO2-e).

Other data management elements that need to be managed internally and not through OSCAR are:

  • Evaluating which sites break the facility thresholds and need to be reported individually; as well as aggregating data at state / territory level for multiple facilities that do not meet facility thresholds
  • Data entry, checking, error control and storage of the raw data set.
  • Linking datasets to primary source records, and establishing and managing an effective audit trail
  • Aggregating invoice data (e.g. monthly, quarterly) into annual totals
  • Managing and tracking changes to sites and corporate structures, including periods over which operational control applies.
  • Tracking and actioning missing data to maintain a complete inventory
  • Developing and maintaining routines for estimating incidental sources and higher order methods
  • Managing complex calculations that involve a variety of inputs

2) For the first reporting year, all data must be entered manually

The DCC has stated that there is no provision made for submitting or uploading datasets electronically for the 2008/09 reporting year. This will significantly impact reporters in relation to timing, resourcing, and verification of data entered.

Reporters must prepare and enter a range of data, including:

  • Corporate entity structure that includes all sites for which they are reporting. For aggregated facilities (e.g. state level aggregation of small facilities), a full list of all included facilities must also be submitted.
  • Facility details required include ABN, address, latitude and longitude, and the period for which operational control is being reported.
  • Details about joint ventures and partnerships must also be provided.
  • Companies can set up a number of users with varying permission levels to view and modify data across the corporate structure.

OSCAR applies Method 1 emissions calculations automatically. Reporters need only input the energy consumed for each source as applicable. However, we recommend that companies calculate their emissions separately, if for no other purpose than to validate OSCAR’s results.

The screens contain basic field validation, however it will be left to reporters to validate that the correct figures have been entered.

Given the limited validation features, users will have to pay careful attention that they are entering the right data against the correct sites and to save changes to data before moving on, as there is no prompting for unsaved data.

3) Continuing OSCAR software development

The DCC will continue to develop OSCAR in the lead up to the first reporting period. It is intended that the tool will be enhanced to include output reports for the data entered and have greater alignment with EEO reporting requirements.

Energetics understands that the inclusion of an automated upload will not occur until after the 2008/09 reporting year has completed, due to the complexity required to incorporate this functionality into OSCAR.

Future Workshops

The DCC is planning to conduct future workshops for registered companies to attend. If you have not registered, the DCC recommends that you do so, in order to be included in key communications and future invitations.

The DCC has drafted a 90-page manual to explain the functions contained within OSCAR. This is available to registered companies.

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