British Columbia Utilities Commission
The Commission is responsible for ensuring that ratepayers receive safe, reliable, and non-discriminatory energy services at fair rates from the utilities it regulates, and that shareholders of those utilities are afforded a reasonable opportunity to earn a fair return on their invested capital.
The Commission also receives customer complaints about regulated utilities and ICBC’s basic automobile insurance rates and works to resolve these complaints. Some examples of the types of complaints BCUC handles are:
- Metering and meter reading
- Application of standard charges and rates
- Tariff related customer service matters
- Power quality
- Maintenance of power lines, equipment, etc.
- Information requests about services or regulation
For more information, see the Commission’s Utility Customer Complaints Process.
The Commission oversees Customer Choice. This program gives consumers in some parts of the province the option to choose who to purchase their natural gas from – an independent Gas Marketer or FortisBC, the local natural gas utility. Independent Gas Marketers offer natural gas at long-term fixed prices, while FortisBC offers natural gas at variable, market based rates that may change as often as four times a year.
To participate in Customer Choice, gas marketers must be qualified, approved and licensed by the Commission. Although not regulated like a utility, gas marketers must adhere to the Commission’s Rules for Gas Marketers and Code of Conduct for Gas Marketers. The Commission will rule on Consumer Agreement disputes and investigate complaints related to the marketing practices of gas marketers.
For more information, see the Commission’s Customer Choice Disputes and Complaints Processes.