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
Creative Energy Horseshoe Bay Limited Partnership 2020 Exemption By OIC 400, the BC Government approved the BCUC to make exemptions from sections 44.1, 45 and 59–61 of the Utilities Commission Act for certain Thermal Energy Systems.
Port Alice Gas Inc. 2017 Exemption On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC government by Ministerial Order M044 exempted Port Alice Gas Inc. from Section 3 of the Utilities Commission Act, except for sections 25, 38, 42, 43 and 44, in respect of its operation of the propane air grid assets and sale of propane in the Village of Port Alice.
Electric Vehicle Charging Service Providers 2019 Exemption On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC government by Ministerial Order M104 granted advance approval to the BCUC to exempt a person not otherwise a public utility from Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act with respect to the sale, delivery or provision of electricity for EV charging services, except for sections 25 and 38 relating to safety only. British Columbia Utilities Commission Inquiry into the Regulation of Electric Vehicle Charging Service
Bakerview EcoDairy Ltd. 2016 Exemption On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC government by Ministerial Order M167 exempted Bakerview EcoDairy Ltd. from Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act, except sections 25, 38, 42, 43, 44 and 49, for the resale of electricity via the Electric Vehicle Direct Current Fast Charging station located on its property. Bakerview EcoDairy Ltd. Application for Exemption to Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act for Electric Vehicle Charging Service Providers
Whitecap Resources Inc. 2016 Exemption On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC government by Ministerial Order M282 exempted Whitecap Resources Inc. and the Boundary Lake Distribution Facilities from section 71 and Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act, except section 38. Whitecap Resources Inc. Application for Exemption to Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act
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
Ridley Terminals Inc. 2020 Exemption On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC government by MO M031 exempted Ridley Terminals Inc. from the requirements of Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act except for sections 25, 38, 42 and 43 for its transmission and interconnection facilities used to deliver BC Hydro’s electricity to Ridley Island LPG. Ridley Terminals Inc. Application for an Exemption from Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act
Powell River Energy Inc. 2017 Exemption On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC Government by MO M036 exempted Powell River Energy Inc. from the requirements of Section 71 of the Utilities Commission Act allowing it to sell surplus power to PRELP and any Wholesale Customer, as well as exempted the power facilities from the requirements of Part 3 of the UCA except for sections 25, 38, 42 and 43. Powell River Energy Inc. Application for Exemption to Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act
Ravens Landing Industrial Park Ltd. 2020 Exemption On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC government by MO M143 exempted Ravens Landing Industrial Park Ltd. for its provision of electricity within the Strata Park to occupants who are not its lessees from section 71 and Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act (UCA), except for sections 25, 38, 41, 42, and 44 and any occupants of the Strata Park are also exempt from section 71 of the UCA. The exemption will remain in effect until the BCUC orders otherwise. Ravens Landing Industrial Park Ltd. Application for an Exemption from Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act
Pingston Power Inc. 2017 Exemption On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC government by MO M148 exempted Pingston Power Inc. from the requirements of Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act except for sections 25, 38, 42 and 43 for its transmission and interconnection facilities used to deliver electricity from the Fosthall Creek Hydro Project to BC Hydro.
Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District 2019 Exemption On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC government by MO M173 exempted the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District from the requirements of Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act, except for section 22, in respect of its construction and operation of equipment at its NorthShore wastewater treatment plant that recovers heat energy from treated effluent, as well as the sale of this energy to the Lonsdale Energy Corporation, a district energy utility located in the City of North Vancouver. The Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District Application for an Exemption from Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act
NorthRiver Midstream Operations LP and NorthRiver 2019 Exemption On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC government by MO M211 exempted NorthRiver Midstream Operations LP (as owner) and NorthRiver Midstream Operations GP Inc. (as operator) from the requirements of Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act in respect of the transmission and processing of natural gas for others as it relates to a list of exempted facilities. NorthRiver Midstream Operations LP (NRLP) and NorthRiver Midstream Operations GP Inc. (NRGP) Application for an Exemption Pursuant to Section 88(3) of the Utilities Commission 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.

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