The BCUC is responsible for regulating BC’s energy utilities.

We ensure customers have access to safe, reliable energy service rates, while allowing the utility the opportunity to earn a fair return on its investment. Visit our entity map to see a list of energy utilities we regulate and their business details.

The BCUC regulates public energy utilities within its jurisdiction by:

  1. Approving rate applications

    The BCUC must review and approve public utility rates before they can be lawfully charged to customers. More information about the BCUC's role can be found in our Setting Utility Rates fact sheet.

  2. Determining a fair rate of return

    Utility rates are reviewed and approved by the BCUC and must include an opportunity for the utility to earn a fair rate of return. The BCUC determines a fair rate of return for its regulated utilities through cost of capital proceedings, which take place every few years. Information about past reviews can be found on the 2009, 2013, and 2016 proceeding webpages. We are currently conducting a cost of capital proceeding (Stage 1 (complete) and Stage 2 (in progress)).

  3. Approving construction and operation of facilities

    A public utility may require approval from the BCUC before building, enhancing, or operating a plant, system, or extension by applying for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN). In the review of these projects, the BCUC considers whether the project is needed and that the project is in the public interest.

  4. Accepting energy supply contracts

    Public utilities must file their contracts to purchase energy from a third party to the BCUC for our acceptance. If the BCUC determines that the energy supply contract is in the public interest, the contract may be accepted for filing without a hearing. If the BCUC initially determines that the contract may not be in the public interest, the BCUC initiates a public hearing process.

  5. Supervising public utility activities

    The BCUC keeps informed about the activities of public utilities for the safety and convenience of the public. We do this by monitoring changes to their capital structure, sales and purchases of properties or resources, building of infrastructure, and equipment they use. We also ensure public utilities are in compliance with BCUC orders and directions and legislation or regulations.

What is a public utility?

Persons or organizations in BC who own or operate equipment or facilities for the production, generation, storage, transmission, sale, delivery or provision of energy for compensation to light, heat, cool or power to your home or business.

What do they do?

Public utilities deliver energy to your home or business. They generally produce, store and/or transmit energy. They also deal with a power outage or emergency, and read your meters.

How can I learn more about public utilities?

Learn more by reading our What is Energy Utility Regulation Fact Sheet.

Proceedings and Decisions

The BCUC conducts public, open, and transparent review processes of the applications it receives from regulated energy utilities. To see open and closed energy utility proceedings, please see our Proceedings page. For a list of the BCUC’s decisions on energy utility applications, please visit our Orders and Decisions page.