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B.C. Reg. 76/2020
O.C. 159/2020
Deposited April 2, 2020
This consolidation is current to July 28, 2020.
Link to consolidated regulation (PDF)
Link to Point in Time

Utilities Commission Act

Direction to the British Columbia
Utilities Commission Respecting
COVID-19 Relief

[Last amended June 19, 2020 by B.C. Reg. 137/2020]

Contents
1Definitions
2Application
3Orders
4Cost recovery
5Customer crisis fund rate rider
6Extension of emergency program for eligible industrial customers
Appendix A
Appendix B

Definitions

1   In this direction:

"Act" means the Utilities Commission Act;

"COVID-19 emergency" means the emergency that is the subject of the declaration of a state of emergency made on March 18, 2020, or any extension of that declaration, under section 9 of the Emergency Program Act;

"customer crisis fund rate rider" means the rate rider established in relation to the customer crisis fund in Rate Schedule 1903, as approved by commission order G-166-17;

"customer crisis fund regulatory account" means the regulatory account of the authority established under commission order G-166-17;

"date of closure", in relation to an eligible commercial customer, means the date on which the eligible commercial customer stopped operating a business;

"eligible commercial customer" means a customer of the authority who

(a) receives electricity service from the authority under the authority's Rate Schedule 1205, 1234, 1300, 1301, 1310 or 1311, and

(b) has stopped operating a business, in relation to which the customer receives electricity service from the authority, for a reason related to the COVID-19 emergency;

"eligible industrial customer" means a customer of the authority

(a) who, after the Electric Tariff of the authority is amended under section 3, is eligible to request that one of the following supplements apply respecting amounts payable by the customer:

(i) Tariff Supplement No. 90;

(ii) Tariff Supplement No. 97;

(iii) Tariff Supplement No. 98;

(iv) Tariff Supplement No. 99, and

(b) to whom, after the Electric Tariff of the authority is amended under section 3, one or more of the supplements referred to in paragraph (a) applies;

"emergency program for eligible commercial customers" means a program established by the authority in accordance with the consent given by the commission under section 63 of the Act and section 3 (2) of this direction;

"emergency program for eligible industrial customers" means a program established by the authority in accordance with the amendments referred to in section 3 (1) (b);

"emergency program for residential customers" means a program established by the authority in accordance with the amendments referred to in section 3 (1) (a);

"mining customer payment plan regulatory account" means the regulatory account of the authority approved by commission order G-34-16.

Application

2   This direction is issued to the commission under section 3 of the Act.

Orders

3   (1) Within 5 days of the date of an application by the authority for the purposes of this section, the commission must issue final orders

(a) so that the authority's Electric Tariff is amended as set out in Appendix A to this direction, and

(b) so that the authority's Electric Tariff is amended by amending Tariff Supplement No. 90 and adding Tariff Supplement No. 97, Tariff Supplement No. 98 and Tariff Supplement No. 99, as set out in Appendix B to this direction.

(2) The commission must consent under section 63 of the Act to the authority's request to waive the amount payable by an eligible commercial customer in relation to electricity service provided by the authority to the eligible commercial customer during the period

(a) beginning on April 1, 2020 or the eligible commercial customer's date of closure, whichever is later, and

(b) ending on June 30, 2020.

(3) The commission must allow the authority to do the following:

(a) defer to the customer crisis fund regulatory account the following amounts:

(i) the amounts credited to customers in accordance with the emergency program for residential customers;

(ii) the costs incurred by the authority in administering the emergency program for residential customers;

(iii) in relation to the balance in the customer crisis fund regulatory account, interest determined in a fiscal year at a rate equal to the authority's weighted average cost of debt in that fiscal year;

(b) reduce the customer crisis fund regulatory account by amounts paid to the authority under the customer crisis fund rate rider;

(c) defer to the mining customer payment plan regulatory account the following amounts:

(i) the account balances of eligible industrial customers, if those account balances are impaired and have not already been deferred under section 3 of the Direction to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Respecting Mining Customers;

(ii) any other amounts that are payable to the authority by eligible industrial customers, if those amounts are impaired;

(iii) any taxes paid by the authority on behalf of eligible industrial customers on the account balances referred to in subparagraph (i) and the amounts referred to in subparagraph (ii);

(iv) the costs incurred by the authority in administering the emergency program for eligible industrial customers and the emergency program for eligible commercial customers;

(v) the amounts payable by eligible commercial customers and waived by the authority in accordance with the terms and conditions consented to by the commission under subsection (2);

(vi) in relation to the amounts referred to in subparagraphs (i) to (v), interest determined in a fiscal year at a rate equal to the authority's weighted average cost of debt in that fiscal year;

(d) reduce the amounts deferred to the mining customer payment plan regulatory account under paragraph (c) by amounts paid to the authority by eligible industrial customers for the purpose of reducing the account balances referred to in paragraph (c) (i).

(4) The commission may not amend, cancel or suspend the rates set out in the amendments referred to in subsection (1) (a) and (b), except on application by the authority.

Cost recovery

4   In setting rates for the authority, the commission

(a) must allow the authority to recover, over a period determined by the authority, from all persons in British Columbia who receive or may receive service from the authority, the following amounts:

(i) the balance of the customer crisis fund regulatory account;

(ii) despite section 3 (3) of the Direction to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Respecting Mining Customers, the balance of the mining customer payment plan regulatory account, and

(b) must not disallow for any reason the recovery in rates of the amounts referred to in paragraph (a).

Customer crisis fund rate rider

5   The commission may not exercise its powers under the Act to amend, cancel or suspend the customer crisis fund rate rider, except on application by the authority.

Extension of emergency program for eligible industrial customers

6   Within 5 days of the date of an application by the authority for the purposes of this section, the commission must issue a final order so that the emergency program for eligible industrial customers is extended by 3 months, including by

(a) extending by 2 months the date by which a customer of the authority may make a request to apply Tariff Supplement No. 97 or Tariff Supplement No. 99 in relation to amounts payable to the authority,

(b) extending by 3 months the "Closing Date", as defined in Tariff Supplement No. 97 and Tariff Supplement No. 99,

(c) in section 2.6 of Tariff Supplement No. 97, striking out "September" wherever it appears and substituting "December", and

(d) in the definition of "Closing Date 1" in Tariff Supplement No. 98,

(i) striking out "June" and substituting "September", and

(ii) striking out "fourth" and substituting "seventh".

[en. B.C. Reg. 137/2020.]


Appendix A


Appendix B

[Provisions relevant to the enactment of this regulation: Utilities Commission Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 473, s. 3.]