We are an independent agency that has been given the power to carry out our work through legislation.

The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) is primarily governed by the Utilities Commission Act and follows sections of the Clean Energy Act, Administrative Tribunals Act, Insurance Corporation Act, and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The BCUC also administers BC’s Fuel Price Transparency Act.

As an independent regulator, we have the authority to use discretion when carrying out our work.

When reviewing applications, the BCUC exercises this authority to consider Intervener evidence, submissions, Letters of Comment, and government policy, as long it is within the BCUC’s mandate.

Government Involvement

However, the BC government can participate in BCUC proceedings, establish new regulations, or provide direction that the BCUC must follow.

Participating in Proceedings

The BC government can intervene or submit a Letter of Comment in applications before the BCUC to put forward a particular viewpoint. Submissions could include a request that the BCUC consider a particular policy objective in a proceeding, for example.

Establishing Regulations

Regulations address the details and practical applications of the law. They contain specific guidelines, definitions, and details, and have the force of law. The legislation that governs the BCUC defines who (e.g. BC Cabinet or a Minister) can make new regulations or change existing regulations.

Providing Direction

Section 3(2) of the UCA allows the Lieutenant Governor in Council (i.e. BC Cabinet) to give directions instructing the BCUC on how to exercise its powers, perform its duties, or refrain from doing either, under the UCA. These directions are provided through an Order in Council (OIC), which directs the BCUC to take action or not take action on a specific task and can include a variety of directions.

View Government Actions

The table below includes all directions the BCUC has received from the BC government. These can be searched by the following types:

Regulations

Or change in regulation or legislation.

Inquiries

To explore public policy issues that require technical expertise and public input, issued under Section 5 of the UCA. The Order in Council (OIC) may contain terms of reference that define the scope and require that the BCUC hold public hearings and report its findings and recommendations to the BC government.

Exemptions

To exempt certain projects, organizations, expenditures, or programs from the BCUC’s review, which can be issued as an OIC or a Ministerial Order (MO).

Applications

To review only certain aspects of an application, minimize the scope of a hearing, or follow certain procedure to meet public policy objectives.


Entity Year Category Description Corresponding Documents Proceeding Page
BC Hydro and Power Authority 2021 Direction The BC government by OIC 172 amended Direction No. 8 to the BCUC and directed the BCUC to not exercise its powers under section 71 (1)(b) and (3) of the UCA. BC Hydro 2020 Transfer Pricing Agreement Application
BC Hydro and Power Authority 2021 Exemption The BC Government by MO 216 amended the Transmission Upgrade Exemption Regulation and made the Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell Mine Exemption Regulation which exempts BC Hydro and Power Authority from Section 41 of the Utilities Commission Act in respect of ceasing the operation of the Orenda repeater station and section 45 (5) in respect of the authority’s system required to provide service to the project or enable construction of the project.
BC Hydro and Power Authority 2021 Direction The BC government by OIC 365 directed the BCUC to allow BC Hydro to defer to the customer crisis fund regulatory account (amounts not exceeding $5 million). The BCUC must issue final orders within 10 days of receiving the application so that BC Hydro’s Electric Tariff is amended as per the Appendix in this direction. The BCUC may not amend, cancel or suspend the rates set out in the amendments made except on application by BC Hydro. British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority - Application for Electric Tariff Amendments for Customer Crisis Fund (CCF) Program
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia 2021 Direction The BC government by OIC 073 directed ICBC to apply to the BCUC by February 16, 2021 for approval of a COVID-19 Basic insurance rebate by way of Basic Insurance Tariff amendments related to the Government Directive of January 26, 2021 with respect to the Application in Support of COVID-19 Rebate. OIC 074, amended Special Direction IC2 to the British Columbia Utilities Commission, B.C. Reg 307/2004 such that, within 10 days of ICBC applying for changes in accordance with the January 2021 Government Directive regarding a COVID-19 Rebate, the BCUC must approve and set the changes to rates ICBC Application in Support of a COVID-19 Basic Insurance Rebate
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia 2021 Direction The BC government by OIC 631 directed ICBC to apply to the BCUC, by December 15, 2020, for approval of Basic insurance tariff (Tariff) amendments. OIC 633, amended Special Direction IC2 to the British Columbia Utilities Commission, B.C. Reg. 307/2004 such that the BCUC must approve and set the changes to rates within 30 days of ICBC applying for approval of changes to rates, including a rebate, in connection with the Tariff Amendment Application in Support of Enhanced Care and Enhanced Care Rebate Directive. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) – Errata and Amended Basic Insurance Tariff Pages for Endorsement
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia 2021 Direction The BC government by OIC 631 directed ICBC to apply to the BCUC, by December 15, 2020, for approval of Basic insurance tariff (Tariff) amendments. OIC 633, amended Special Direction IC2 to the British Columbia Utilities Commission, B.C. Reg. 307/2004 such that the BCUC must approve and set the changes to rates within 30 days of ICBC applying for approval of changes to rates, including a rebate, in connection with the Tariff Amendment Application in Support of Enhanced Care and Enhanced Care Rebate Directive. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) - Clarification of Learner Premium in ICBC’s Basic Insurance Tariff Amendment Application in Support of Enhanced Care
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia 2021 Direction The BC government by OIC 336 directed ICBC to apply to the BCUC, by June 14, 2021, for approval of Basic insurance tariff (Tariff) amendments. OIC 337, amended Special Direction IC2 to the British Columbia Utilities Commission, B.C. Reg. 307/2004 such that the BCUC must approve and set the changes to rates within 10 days of ICBC applying for approval of changes to rates in support of a COVID-19 rebate. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) – Application in Support of a Second COVID-19 Basic Insurance Rebate
Pacific BioEnergy Prince George Limited Partnershi 2021 Exemption On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC government by MO 217 exempted Pacific BioEnergy Prince George Limited Partnership (PBLP) from Section 3 of the Utilities Commission Act, except for sections 25, 38, 42, and 43 for its NOS Substation used to supply electic service to its customers and exempts PBLP and any person that receives energy from PBLP’s NOS Substation from section 71 provided the person is not re-selling energy to others. Pacific BioEnergy Prince George Limited Partnership ~ Application for Exemption Under Section 88 of the Utilities Commission Act
Public Utilities 2021 Regulation The BC government by OIC 306 amended the Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Clean Energy) Regulation (GGRR), which among other things, established Prescribed Undertakings 6 – 10 which resulted in introducing new sections relating to a public utility that produces or purchases hydrogen, synthesis gas or lignin; introducing maximum amount of costs and aggregate amount if a public utility has 2 or more undertakings.
Shulus Electricity Transmission L.P. 2021 Exemption The BC government by MO 386 made the Shulus Exemption Regulation which exempts Shulus from Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act (UCA) in respect of its ownership and operation of the Kingvale transmission line and the provision of service respecting the transmission of electricity from BC Hydro’s transmission system to the Kingvale pump station. Shulus is not exempt from section 42 of the UCA in relation to orders of the BCUC respecting safety issued under section 23, 25, 37 or 49 of the UCA.
Apollo Forest Products Ltd. 2020 Regulation The BC government by MO M076 amended the Apollo Forest Products Ltd. exemption regulation.
BC Hydro and Power Authority 2020 Direction The BC government by OIC 159 directed the BCUC to approve certain BC Hydro requests in respect of rates due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Our Role

Learn about how we regulate BC’s energy utilities, ICBC basic auto insurance, common carrier pipelines, and the reliability of the electrical transmission grid.

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