This pamphlet provides an introduction to the B.C. Utilities Commission
what it is, what it does,  and why.


The British Columbia Utilities Commission is an independent regulatory 
agency of the Provincial Government operating under the Utilities 
Commission Act.  The Commission's primary responsibility is the 
regulation of the energy utilities under its jurisdiction to ensure that 
the rates charged for energy are fair, just and reasonable.  It approves 
construction of new facilities planned by utilities and the issuance of 
securities by these companies.

The Commission also entertains complaints from the public against the 
actions of utilities, and mediates disputes between utilities.

The Government can refer matters to the Commission for review and 
advice.  The Commission's function is quasi-judicial and its Decisions 
and Orders may be  appealed to the B.C. Court of Appeal on questions of 
law or jurisdiction.

The Commission has issued Integrated Resource Planning ("IRP") Guidelines 
to the utilities under its jurisdiction to aid them in undertaking 
resource planning.  These Guidelines require utilities to:

-	consider the full impact of acquiring potential resources (i.e. 
both private and social costs); and

-	consider both supply and demand  resource options on an equal 
basis; and

-	provide for public involvement in the planning process.

Each utility's IRP plan is reviewed by the Commission and forms part of 
the material against which specific utility applications are assessed.

The Commission regulates one steam heat, six gas and seven electric 
utilities in the Province.  Public hearings are conducted by the 
Commission on revenue requirements, rate design and the need for new 

The Commission may also hold hearings on issues referred by the 
Lieutenant Governor in Council.  Recent examples include the Vancouver 
Island Natural Gas Pipeline Project;  B.C. Hydro's Site C Dam Project; 
and B.C. Hydro's Energy Removal Certificate Application.  The most 
current referral is the Kemano Completion Project.


The Commission has prepared two additional brochures to assist the public 
in dealing with the Commission.

An Introduction to the Hearing Process explains how the public may 
participate in a public hearing.   Complaint Handling Procedures deals 
with lodging a complaint with the Commission regarding a utility.

Copies of the brochures are available from the Commission upon request.


The Commission is composed of two permanent and several temporary 
Commissioners who are supported by the following staff groups:

Regulatory Affairs and Planning
- Strategic Services
- Electrical Engineering and Finance
- Petroleum/Gas Engineering & Finance
Information Services
Administrative Services


For further information please contact the Commission Secretary:

Robert J. Pellatt, Commission Secretary
B.C. Utilities Commission
Box 250, 900 Howe Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 2N3

Telephone (604) 660-4700
Facsimile (604) 660-1102
B.C. Toll-Free 1-800-663-1385

A library of current documentation is also maintained at the Commission
s office.   Library hours are as follows:

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.