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

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 evidence, submissions, Letters of Comment, and government policy, as long it is within the BCUC's mandate.

Government Involvement

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

1. Participate 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.

2. Establish 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.

3. Provide 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 Utilities Commission Act. 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:

Or change in regulation or legislation.

To explore public policy issues that require technical expertise and public input, issued under Section 5 of the Utilities Commission Act. 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.

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).

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
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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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