NEWS RELEASE – BCUC Establishes Process for Safety Inquiry
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, by Order G-241-20, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) established an open and transparent inquiry process to clarify the BCUC’s jurisdiction with respect to the regulation of safety (Safety Inquiry). As a first step in the process, the BCUC is seeking input on safety regulation in the energy sector and the ways by which the BCUC can most effectively deliver on its safety mandate.
The Safety Inquiry will explore the provisions relating to safety, under the Utilities Commission Act (UCA), which governs the BCUC’s regulation of public utility functions. This includes exploring issues relating to clarity of the BCUC’s jurisdiction pertaining to safety from previous Inquiries into the Regulation of Electric Vehicle Charging Service (EV Inquiry) and the Indigenous Utilities Regulation Inquiry (IUR Inquiry).The BCUC encourages participation from public utilities, other regulatory bodies with responsibility for safety, and other stakeholders in its Safety Inquiry. There are several ways to participate in the BCUC’s Safety Inquiry:Request intervener status: Persons who are directly or sufficiently affected by the BCUC’s decision or have relevant information or expertise, and who wish to actively participate in the proceeding, can request intervener status by submitting a completed Request to Intervene Form online by Wednesday, October 14, 2020.Submit a letter of comment: Members of the public can submit a letter of comment online. Letters of comment are intended to provide for any member of the public to contribute views, opinions, and impact or potential impact, with respect to a matter before the BCUC, to the public record by Thursday, November 12, 2020.Register as an interested party: Interested parties can register online to receive updates on the proceeding.
For more information on the scope, timing, and details of the Safety Inquiry, please see the proceeding page on our website.BackgroundThe BCUC, operating under and administering the Utilities Commission Act (UCA), is responsible for ensuring public utilities supply safe and reliable energy, at rates that are just, reasonable and not unduly discriminatory. The UCA includes numerous references to the BCUC’s role in ensuring safe operation of the province’s regulated energy systems. Section 23 of the UCA grants the BCUC responsibility for general supervision of public utilities and the authority to make orders about matters the BCUC considers necessary or advisable for the safety, convenience or service of the public. Section 38 of the UCA requires public utilities to provide and maintain their systems such that the BCUC considers the service the utilities provide to be adequate, safe, efficient, just, and reasonable in all respects.In its supervision of public utilities, the BCUC must make examinations and conduct inquiries necessary to keep itself informed about the conduct of public utility business, compliance by public utilities with the UCA, regulations or any other law, and any other matter within the BCUC’s jurisdiction. Further, if the BCUC, after a hearing held on its own motion or on complaint, finds that the service of a public utility is unreasonable, unsafe, inadequate or unreasonably discriminatory, the BCUC must determine what is reasonable, safe, adequate and fair service, and order the utility to provide it.About the BCUCThe BCUC is a regulatory agency responsible for the oversight of energy utilities and compulsory auto insurance in British Columbia. It is the BCUC’s role to balance the interests of customers with the interests of the businesses it regulates. The BCUC carries out fair and transparent reviews of matters within its jurisdiction and considers public input where public interest is impacted.CONTACT INFORMATION:Krissy Van Loon