Understanding Thermal Energy Systems

As more developers, local governments and landowners look to own and operate thermal energy systems (TES), the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) has issued a fact sheet to assist in understanding the regulatory requirements for these types of projects.

The Utilities Commission Act (UCA) excludes a municipality or a regional district from the definition of a public utility, and therefore from regulation by the BCUC if the local government is providing services within its own boundaries. There are also other TES providers that are exempt from certain provisions of the UCA, based on the different categories of providers.

The BCUC is interested in engaging with potential TES providers early in the development process to explain the legislation and avoid potential future complications. Local government development and building approval staff are encouraged to share this information with developers and suggest that they contact the BCUC before filing their development plans.  

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