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
Columbia Power Corporation & Columbia Basin Trust 2010 Regulation The BC government by Ministerial Order M231 amended the CPC/CBT Projects Exemption Continuation Regulation by adding the definition of “affiliate”.
Common carrier 2010 Regulation The BC government by Order in Council 593 made the Energy Resources Regulation under the Utilities Commission Act (UCA) whereby it prescribes the types of energy resources for the purposes of section 65(2)(a)(ii) of the UCA in respect of common carriers. The prescribed energy resources are: • Petroleum, as defined in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act; • Liquid hydrocarbons; and • Petroleum products.
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia 2010 Direction The BC government by OIC 222 authorized ICBC to undertake the Transformation Program at an estimated cost of $400 million. While all costs of this program would typically be allocated between optional and Basic automobile insurance based on the BCUC-approved methodology, ICBC was directed to use optional automobile insurance capital available to also cover the portion of those costs that would otherwise be allocated to Basic automobile insurance, in respect of certain Optional-Funded Transformation Program Costs. ICBC 2010 Streamlined Revenue Requirements Application
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia 2010 Direction The BC government by Order in Council 223 ordered ICBC to make a $300 million payment to the government from ICBC’s optional capital available before July 1, 2010 and also ordered ICBC for each year including 2010, to disclose as a liability payable to government the excess optional capital available and pay that amount to government each year. ICBC 2010 Streamlined Revenue Requirements Application
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia 2010 Direction The BC government by Order in Council 224 amended the Special Direction IC2 to the BCUC to direct that rates for ICBC Basic Insurance will be set in a manner that will allow ICBC to maintain capital available for its Basic Insurance equal to at least 100% of the Minimum Capital Test. OIC 224 also amended Special Direction IC2 to the BCUC respecting the payments that ICBC has agreed to make for 2010 and subsequent years under the agreement between the government and ICBC entitled “Traffic and Road Safety Law Enforcement Funding Memorandum of Understanding” dated January 1, 2010. ICBC 2010 Streamlined Revenue Requirements Application
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia 2010 Direction The BC government by Order in Council 287 provided direction to ICBC with respect to the conditions under which Basic Insurance capital in excess of the management target for the Minimum Capital Test (MCT) can be released, in order to enhance the effectiveness of the Capital Management Plan and promote stable and predictable rates. ICBC 2010 Streamlined Revenue Requirements Application
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia 2010 Other The BC government by OIC 305 ordered that if ICBC has property in a municipality, it must pay that municipality, in and for the year 2010, a grant of money equivalent to the sum of money that would be payable as real property and business tax if the property were not exempt from those taxes.
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia 2010 Regulation The BC government by Order in Council 500 amended the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations.
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia 2010 Regulation The BC government by Order in Council 821 amended the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations.
Public Utility 2010 Regulation The BC government by Ministerial Order M277 established the Clean or Renewable Resource Regulation to add biogenic waste as a prescribed resource for the purpose of the definition of “clean or renewable resource” in section 1(1) of the Clean Energy Act.

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.

Learn more