Electricity Regulation and Reliability
British Columbia has jurisdiction over the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity within its provincial boundaries. The federal government has jurisdiction over electricity exports and international and designated interprovincial transmission lines.
Collaboration and Reliability
British Columbia also works with other jurisdictions to make sure we have electricity when we need it, and as such, B.C.’s transmission system is part of a larger interconnected power grid, called the Western Interconnection. This grid spans B.C. and Alberta, 14 western states, and the northern portion of Baja California in Mexico.
As part of the Western Interconnection, the Province collaborates with regional reliability bodies including:
- The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC): a not-for-profit entity whose mission is to ensure the reliability of North America’s electricity system by developing and enforcing reliability standards
- The Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC): a regional entity responsible for coordinating and promoting reliability in the Western Interconnection
- The Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB): The Board seeks to “enhance the economy of the West and contribute to the well-being of the region’s people” by promoting energy policy that is developed cooperatively among member states and provinces and with the U.S. federal government.
- The Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body (WIRAB): A regional advisory body that has the authority to advise NERC and WECC on matters pertaining to electric grid reliability in the Western Interconnection.
Regulation and the BCUC
The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) mandate is to balance both the interests of the consumer and the utility company.
Under the Utilities Commission Act, the BCUC regulates the supply of electricity and natural gas utilities in B.C., sets the rates that homeowners and businesses pay, and approves utilities' revenue requirements and rates as well as capital projects and their costs. It also has the authority to adopt standards established by NERC to ensure B.C. homes and businesses receive reliable electricity where and when they need it.
The Utilities Commission Act was amended in 2008 to create a mechanism for the BCUC to adopt and oversee the implementation of mandatory reliability standards in the province.
- Learn more about the BCUC's reliability standards
- Learn more about the BCUC's independent core review