Complaint Handling Procedures for:

Utility Practices/Procedures
	Customer Billings
		Disconnections of Accounts
			Electric Powerline Extensions
				Gas Mains
					Third-Party Billings

	The Commission's Mandate

The British Columbia Utilities Commission is an independent provincial 
agency set up to regulate energy utilities in the province (except for 
municipally owned utilities) which distribute and sell electricity and gas.

	Types of Complaints

The Commission receives complaints from utility customers who are unable 
to resolve disputes with their respective utilities on their own.

The Commission is available to assist the public in the resolution of 
complaints with utilities in the following areas:

Utility Practices/Procedures
Customer Billings
Disonections of Accounts
Mains/Powerline Extensions
Third-Party Billings

	Making a Complaint

Prior to accepting a complaint, the Commission must be satisfied that the 
customer has made a serious attempt to settle the dispute with the 
utility.  While many complaints are successfully resolved between the 
customer and the utility, the Commission is available to assist in the 
resolution of unresolved disputes.

Ideally the complaint to the Commission should be made in writing and 
should provide the following information:

-	name of the complainant;
-	complainant's address;
-	utility account number (optional);
-	the key elements of the dispute;
-	names of utility staff/officials contacted;
-	dates contacts were made; and
-	reasons, from the customer's viewpoint, why the problem was
           not resolved.

In situations where disconnection of service is likely or where a 
complaint requires immediate action, a customer can contact the 
Commission at (604) 660-4700.

In order to provide easy access to customers located outside the Lower 
Mainland, the Commission has a B.C. Toll-free number:  1-800-663-1385.

	Role of the Ombudsman

If a customer is not satisfied with the Commission's handling of a 
complaint, he or she may contact the Ombudsman's Office to review the 
process used.

The Ombudsman has the authority to review the processes used by the 
Commission, including the process for resolving complaints.  The 
Ombudsman generally holds the power to recommend reconsideration of a 
matter rather than to order change.

Commission Contact

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

The following brochures are also available from the Commission upon request:

- An Introduction to the B.C. Utilities Commission
- Introduction to the Public Hearing Process

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

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