Local Government Energy Utilities Inquiry

The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) will undertake an Inquiry to examine the regulation of energy utilities affiliated with municipalities and regional districts in order to provide regulatory clarity to the BCUC, utilities and local governments. The Inquiry will explore issues related to ownership structures and operational arrangements of utilities affiliated with local governments; including the appropriate regulatory status under the Utilities Commission Act (UCA). 

Presently, in certain circumstances local governments are exempt from being captured under the UCA’s definition of a “public utility” and are therefore excluded from regulation as long as the services are provided within their own boundaries. However, under the UCA, there is a lack of clarity about where some of the existing ownership and operational structures fit under the present definition of a public utility.

Upon completion of the Inquiry the BCUC will consider if it is necessary or appropriate to:

  • seek advance approval from the Province to offer a class of exemptions to local government energy systems in certain circumstances; and/or
  • make a recommendation to the Province to review the definition of “public utility” within the UCA as it relates to these types of entities.

Further information about the Inquiry and how register as an Intervenor or participate in other ways, can be found on the BCUC website. The deadline for registering for Intervenor status is Thursday September 12, 2019.

For further information please email Patrick Wruck, Commission Secretary at the BCUC or call 604.660.4700.

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