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B.C. Reg. 326/2008
M271/2008
Deposited November 7, 2008
This consolidation is current to February 27, 2024.
Link to consolidated regulation (PDF)
Link to Point in Time

Utilities Commission Act

Demand-Side Measures Regulation

[Last amended June 30, 2023 by B.C. Reg. 167/2023]

Contents
1Definitions
1.1Meaning of "class B demand-side measure"
1.2Climate zone
2Application
3Adequacy
4Cost-effectiveness
5Transition

Definitions

1   In this regulation:

"Act" means the Utilities Commission Act;

"annual percentage change" means the annual percentage change in the annual average All-items Consumer Price Index for British Columbia, as published by Statistics Canada under the authority of the Statistics Act (Canada);

"building code" means the British Columbia Building Code established by the order of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing numbered BA 2018 1 and dated July 16, 2018;

"bulk electricity purchaser" means a public utility that purchases electricity from the authority for resale to the public utility's customers;

"charity program" means a program to reduce energy consumption in buildings

(a) owned and used by a charity that provides assistance to low-income persons, or

(b) leased by a charity that provides assistance to low-income persons, if the benefits of the program accrue primarily to the charity;

"class A demand-side measure" means:

(a) a demand-side measure referred to in section 3 (1) (a), (c), (d) or (g),

(b) a charity program,

(c) the funding of energy efficiency training,

(d) a community engagement program,

(e) an energy management program,

(f) a technology innovation program, and

(g) financial or other resources provided

(i) to a standards-making body to support the development of standards respecting energy conservation or the efficient use of energy, or

(ii) to a government or regulatory body to support the development of or compliance with a specified standard or a measure respecting energy conservation or the efficient use of energy in British Columbia,

but does not include a class B demand-side measure;

"class B demand-side measure" has the meaning given to it in section 1.1;

"clean or renewable resource" has the same meaning as in the Clean Energy Act;

"climate zone" has the meaning given to it in section 1.2;

"community engagement program" means a program delivered by

(a) a public utility to a public entity either

(i) to increase the public entity's awareness about ways to increase energy conservation and energy efficiency or to encourage the public entity to conserve energy or use energy efficiently, or

(ii) to assist the public entity to increase the public's awareness about ways to increase energy conservation and energy efficiency or to encourage the public to conserve energy or use energy efficiently, or

(b) a public utility in cooperation with a public entity to increase the public's awareness about ways to increase energy conservation and energy efficiency or to encourage the public to conserve energy or use energy efficiently;

"education program" means an education program about energy conservation and efficiency, and includes the funding of the development of such a program;

"energy efficiency training" means training for persons who

(a) manufacture, sell or install energy-efficient products or products that conserve energy,

(b) design, construct or act as a real estate broker with respect to energy-efficient buildings,

(c) manage energy systems,

(d) conduct energy efficiency and conservation audits,

(e) on behalf of an organization, manage or advise with respect to the conservation or efficient use of energy in the organization's facilities, or

(f) in an organization, educate other persons about the benefits of energy efficiency and conservation;

"energy management program" means a program to assist customers to optimize energy use;

"energy-using product" has the same meaning as in the Energy Efficiency Act (Canada);

"expenditure portfolio" means the class of demand-side measures that is composed of all of the demand-side measures proposed by a public utility in an expenditure schedule submitted under section 44.2 of the Act;

"fiscal year" means the period from April 1 in one year to March 31 in the next year;

"gas-fired" means fueled by natural gas, renewable natural gas or propane;

"Indigenous entity" means any of the following:

(a) an Indigenous governing body;

(b) a non-profit organization that provides services to Indigenous peoples, as defined in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act;

"Indigenous governing body" has the same meaning as in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act;

"integrated dual-energy space heating system" means a space heating system consisting of an electric heat pump and gas-fired equipment all of which are

(a) operated by a single system of controls,

(b) connected to a single heat distribution system, and

(c) either

(i) designed, rated and sold together as a single heating system, or

(ii) combined into a single package and sold together as a single heating system;

"integrated hybrid gas-fired heat pump system" means a space or domestic water heating system, or a space and domestic water heating system, consisting of a gas-fired heat pump that serves as the principal source of heat and another type of gas-fired equipment all of which are

(a) operated by a single system of controls,

(b) connected to a single heat distribution system, and

(c) either

(i) designed, rated and sold together as a single heating system, or

(ii) combined into a single package and sold as a single heating system;

"low-income household" means a household whose residents receive service from the public utility and

(a) the residents have, in a taxation year, a before-tax annual household income equal to or less than the low-income cut-off established by Statistics Canada for that year for households of that size, multiplied by 1.6, or

(b) the account holder receives one or more of the following:

(i) guaranteed income supplement under the Old Age Security Act (Canada);

(ii) allowance under the Old Age Security Act (Canada) for persons aged 60 to 64 with spouses or common-law partners who receive a pension under that Act and are eligible for a guaranteed income supplement;

(iii) survivor's allowance under the Old Age Security Act (Canada);

(iv) disability benefits under the Canada Pension Plan (Canada);

(v) National Child Benefit Supplement;

(vi) shelter aid for elderly renters under the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters Act;

(vii) income assistance for persons with persistent multiple barriers to employment under the Employment and Assistance Act;

(viii) Provincial senior's supplement under the Employment and Assistance Act;

(ix) income assistance under the Employment and Assistance Act;

(x) hardship assistance under the Employment and Assistance Act;

(xi) disability assistance under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act;

(xii) rental assistance provided by the British Columbia Housing Management Commission;

"new building" means a building that is being constructed;

"plan portfolio" means the class of demand-side measures that is composed of all of the demand-side measures proposed by a public utility in a plan submitted under section 44.1 of the Act;

"public awareness program" means a program delivered by a public utility

(a) to increase the awareness of the public, including the public utility's customers, about ways to increase energy conservation and energy efficiency or to encourage the public, including the public utility's customers, to conserve energy or use energy efficiently, or

(b) to increase participation by the public utility's customers in other demand-side measures proposed by the public utility in an expenditure portfolio or a plan portfolio

but does not include a program to increase the amount of energy sold or delivered by the public utility;

"public building" means a school, library, theatre, recreation centre, public hall, church or other building used to provide services to the public;

"public entity" means

(a) a local government,

(b) a first nation,

(c) a society incorporated under the Societies Act, other than a member-funded society as defined in section 190 of that Act, or

(d) a trade union;

"regulated item" means

(a) a product or system that uses energy or controls or affects the use of energy,

(b) an energy-using product,

(c) a building design,

(d) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 228/2011, s. 1 (d).]

(e) a building site design or building site selection plan, or

(f) a community design;

"school" means a school regulated under the School Act or the Independent School Act;

"specified proposal" means

(a) a proposal respecting an amendment to the regulation referred to in paragraph (a) of the definition of "specified standard", if the proposal is published by the government;

(b) a proposal respecting an amendment to the regulations referred to in paragraph (b) of the definition of "specified standard", if the proposed amendment is published in the Canada Gazette;

(c) a proposal respecting an amendment to the regulation referred to in paragraph (c) of the definition of "specified standard", if the proposal is published by the government;

(d) a proposal respecting

(i) a new bylaw, or

(ii) an amendment to a bylaw

referred to in paragraph (d) of the definition of "specified standard", if the proposal has been given first reading by the council of the local authority;

(e) a proposal respecting

(i) a new law, or

(ii) an amendment to a law

referred to in paragraph (e) of the definition of "specified standard", if the proposal has been published by the governing body referred to in that paragraph;

"specified standard" means a standard in any of the following:

(a) the Energy Efficiency Standards Regulation, B.C. Reg. 389/93;

(b) the Energy Efficiency Regulations SOR/94-651;

(c) the building code, if the standard promotes energy conservation or the efficient use of energy;

(d) a bylaw of a local authority, if the standard promotes energy conservation or the efficient use of energy in the Province;

(e) a law passed by a governing body of a first nation, if the standard promotes energy conservation or the efficient use of energy in the Province;

"step" means the requirements of a step, as described in Article 9.36.6.3. or 10.2.3.3. of Division B of the building code;

"technology innovation program" means a program

(a) to develop, use or support the increased use of a technology, a system of technologies, a building design or an industrial facility design that is

(i) not commonly used in British Columbia, and

(ii) the use of which could directly or indirectly result in significant reductions of energy use or significantly more efficient use of energy,

(b) to do what is described in paragraph (a) and to give demonstrations to the public of any results of doing what is described in paragraph (a), or

(c) to gather information about a technology, a system of technologies, a building design or an industrial design referred to in paragraph (a).

[am. B.C. Regs. 228/2011, s. 1; 141/2014, s. 1; 117/2017, Sch., s. 1; 167/2023, s. 1.]

Meaning of "class B demand-side measure"

1.1   (1) A demand-side measure is a class B demand-side measure if it

(a) directly or indirectly encourages the acquisition or installation of gas-fired space or domestic water heating equipment, and

(b) is not excluded under subsection (2) from the definition of "class B demand-side measure".

(2) The following demand-side measures are excluded from the definition of "class B demand-side measure":

(a) a demand-side measure that encourages the acquisition or installation of a domestic water heating system that

(i) consists of an electric heat pump and gas-fired equipment, and

(ii) has a modelled seasonal coefficient of performance equal to or greater than 1;

(b) a demand-side measure that encourages the acquisition or installation of a gas-fired heat pump that has a modelled seasonal coefficient of performance equal to or greater than 1;

(c) a demand-side measure that encourages the acquisition or installation of a gas-fired radiant tube or unit heater for use in a building that is

(i) described in Article 1.3.3.2. or Sentence 1.3.3.3. (1) (d) of Division A of the building code, whether or not the building code applies to the building, and

(ii) used for an industrial occupancy, as defined in the building code;

(d) a demand-side measure that encourages the acquisition or installation of a gas-fired radiant tube or unit heater for use in a farm building, as defined in the building code;

(e) a demand-side measure that encourages the acquisition or installation of an integrated dual-energy space heating system for use in a location in climate zone 6, 7A, 7B or 8;

(f) a demand-side measure that encourages the acquisition or installation of an integrated hybrid gas-fired heat pump system that has a modelled seasonal coefficient of performance equal to or greater than 1;

(g) a demand-side measure referred to in section 3 (1) (a) or (g)

(i) that, by an offer made before January 1, 2028 to provide money or services in kind, encourages the acquisition or installation of gas-fired domestic water heating equipment for use in a building described in Article 1.3.3.3. of the building code, whether or not the building code applies to the building, and

(ii) that does not encourage the acquisition or installation of gas-fired space heating equipment other than

(A) gas-fired space heating equipment described in paragraph (b), (c), (d), (e) or (f), or

(B) by a demand side measure described in paragraph (h) or (i);

(h) a demand-side measure referred to in section 3 (1) (g) that

(i) encourages the acquisition or installation of gas-fired space heating equipment for use in locations in climate zones 6, 7A, 7B and 8, and

(ii) does not encourage the acquisition or installation of gas-fired domestic water heating equipment other than

(A) gas-fired domestic water heating equipment described in paragraph (a) or (f), or

(B) by a demand side measure described in paragraph (g);

(i) a program that

(i) encourages the acquisition or installation of integrated dual-energy space heating systems for use in locations in climate zones 4 and 5, but only if all of the integrated dual-energy space heating systems acquired or installed, when considered in aggregate, are, in the commission's opinion, likely to have an annual average seasonal coefficient of performance equal to or greater than 1.5, and

(ii) does not encourage the acquisition or installation of gas-fired domestic water heating equipment other than

(A) gas-fired domestic water heating equipment described in paragraph (a) or (f), or

(B) by a demand side measure described in paragraph (g).

(3) For certainty, the definition of "class B demand-side measure" includes a demand-side measure that, by an offer of money or services in kind for the purpose of increasing energy efficiency in a new building, may encourage the acquisition or installation of gas-fired space or domestic water heating equipment for use in the new building.

[en. B.C. Reg 167/2023, s. 2.]

Climate zone

1.2   (1) For the purposes of section 1.1 (2) (e), (h) (i) and (i) (i), the climate zone of a location is to be determined, based on the annual number of heating degree days below 18° C at the location, as follows:

(a) if the number is 3 000 or less, the climate zone is 4;

(b) if the number is between 3 000 and 4 000, the climate zone is 5;

(c) if the number is between 4 000 and 5 000, the climate zone is 6;

(d) if the number is between 5 000 and 6 000, the climate zone is 7A;

(e) if the number is between 6 000 and 7 000, the climate zone is 7B;

(f) if the number is 7 000 or more, the climate zone is 8.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the annual number of heating degree days below 18°C at a location must, subject to subsection (3), be determined as follows:

(a) by taking an average over at least 10 years of climatic data from the weather station that is most representative of the location, or

(b) if 10 years of data are not available from that weather station, based on the available climatic data, whether or not from that weather station, that is most representative of the location.

(3) If the name of the location is shown in the column headed "Location" in Table C2 [Climatic Design Data for Selected Locations in British Columbia] of Appendix C to Division B of the building code, the number of heating degree days below 18°C at the location is shown opposite in the column headed "Degree-Days Below 18°C".

[en. B.C. Reg 167/2023, s. 2.]

Application

2   (1) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 326/2008, s. 2 (2).]

(2) Effective June 1, 2009,

(a) subsection (1) is repealed, and

(b) section 3 does not apply to a public utility that is owned or operated by a local government or has fewer than 10 000 customers.

Adequacy

3   (1) A public utility's plan portfolio is adequate for the purposes of section 44.1 (8) (c) of the Act only if the plan portfolio includes all of the following:

(a) a demand-side measure intended specifically

(i) to assist residents of low-income households to reduce their energy consumption, or

(ii) to reduce energy consumption in housing owned or operated by

(A) a housing provider that is a local government, a society as defined in section 1 of the Societies Act, other than a member-funded society as defined in section 190 of that Act, or an association as defined in section 1 (1) of the Cooperative Association Act,

(B) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 167/2023, s. 3 (b).]

if the benefits of the reduction primarily accrue to

(C) the low-income households occupying the housing, or

(D) a housing provider referred to in clause (A),

(E) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 167/2023, s. 3 (e).]

(b) if the plan portfolio is submitted on or after June 1, 2009, a demand-side measure intended specifically to improve the energy efficiency of rental accommodations;

(c) an education program for students enrolled in schools in the public utility's service area;

(d) if the plan portfolio is submitted on or after June 1, 2009, an education program for students enrolled in post-secondary institutions in the public utility's service area;

(e) one or more demand-side measures to provide resources as set out in paragraph (g) of the definition of "class A demand-side measure", representing no less than

(i) an average of 1% of the public utility's plan portfolio's expenditures per year over the portfolio's period of expenditures, or

(ii) an average of $2 million per year over the portfolio's period of expenditures;

(f) one or more demand-side measures intended to result in the adoption by local governments and first nations of a step;

(g) a demand-side measure intended specifically to reduce energy consumption in any of the following:

(i) housing owned or operated by an Indigenous governing body or located on reserve land;

(ii) a public building owned or operated by an Indigenous governing body.

(2) The commission, when considering whether a plan portfolio is adequate under subsection (1), may consider a demand-side measure that is not included in the plan portfolio to be a part of the plan portfolio.

[am. B.C. Regs. 141/2014, s. 2; 117/2017, Sch., s. 2; 167/2023, s. 3.]

Cost-effectiveness

4   (1) Subject to subsections (2.1), (4) and (5), the commission, in determining for the purposes of section 44.1 (8) (c) or 44.2 (5) (d) or (5.1) (d) of the Act the cost-effectiveness of a demand-side measure proposed in an expenditure portfolio or a plan portfolio, may compare the costs and benefits of

(a) the demand-side measure individually,

(b) the demand-side measure and other demand-side measures in the portfolio, or

(c) the portfolio as a whole.

(1.1) The commission must make determinations of cost-effectiveness by applying the utility cost test as follows and in the order set out:

(a) subject to subsections (1.2) and (1.3), the avoided natural gas cost, if any, respecting a demand-side measure, in addition to the avoided capacity cost, is as follows:

(i) in the 2023/2024 fiscal year, the amount is $34.07 per GJ;

(ii) for fiscal years subsequent to the 2023/2024 fiscal year, the amount is calculated on April 1 of each year by multiplying

(A) the amount in effect in the immediately preceding fiscal year, and

(B) the sum of 1 and the annual percentage change for the previous calendar year;

(b) subject to subsection (1.3), the avoided electricity cost, if any, respecting a demand-side measure, in addition to the avoided capacity cost, is

(i) in the case of a demand-side measure of FortisBC Inc., an amount that the commission is satisfied represents FortisBC Inc.'s long-run marginal cost of acquiring electricity generated from clean or renewable resources in British Columbia, and

(ii) in the case of a demand-side measure not referred to in subparagraph (i), an amount that the commission is satisfied represents the authority's long-run marginal cost of acquiring electricity generated from clean or renewable resources in British Columbia;

(c) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 167/2023, s. 4 (d).]

(d) the benefit of the demand-side measure is what it would have been had no step been adopted in the Province.

(1.2) Subsection (1.1) (a) does not apply to a demand-side measure that reduces the use of natural gas but does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with that use of natural gas.

(1.3) Subsection (1.1) (a) and (b) does not apply to a demand-side measure that encourages a switch from the use of oil or propane to the use of natural gas or electricity such that the switch would decrease greenhouse gas emissions in British Columbia.

(1.4) In considering a demand-side measure that, in the commission's opinion, will increase the use of a regulated item with respect to which there is either

(a) a specified standard that has not yet commenced, or

(b) a specified proposal,

the commission, after applying subsection (1.1), may increase the benefit of the demand-side measure by an amount that represents a portion of the avoided capacity and energy costs that, in the commission's opinion, will result from the commencement and application of the specified standard, amendment or new bylaw proposed by the specified proposal, assuming that the standard, amendment or new bylaw comes into force.

(1.5) to (2) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 167/2023, s. 4 (f).]

(2.1) In determining the cost-effectiveness of a class B demand-side measure,

(a) the commission must compare the costs and benefits of the demand-side measure individually, and

(b) the commission must not determine that the demand-side measure is cost-effective unless the application of the utility cost test results in a benefit to cost ratio equal to or greater than 50.

(3) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 228/2011, s. 2 (d).]

(4) The commission must determine the cost-effectiveness of a class A demand-side measure proposed in a plan portfolio or an expenditure portfolio by determining whether the portfolio is cost effective as a whole.

(5) If the commission is satisfied that a public awareness program proposed in a plan portfolio or an expenditure portfolio is likely to accomplish the goals set out in paragraph (a) or (b) of the definition of "public awareness program", the commission must determine the cost-effectiveness of the program by determining whether the portfolio is cost-effective as a whole.

(6) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 167/2023, s. 4 (i).]

(7) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 228/2011, s. 2 (d).]

[am. B.C. Regs. 228/2011, s. 2; 141/2014, s. 3; 117/2017, Sch., s. 3; 167/2023, s. 4]

Transition

5   (1) In this section:

"filed" means filed under section 44.2 (1) of the Act;

"legacy expenditure" means an expenditure

(a) in relation to a legacy measure,

(b) made by a public utility after the test period of the pre-filed expenditure schedule that includes an expenditure on the legacy measure,

(c) to provide to a customer money or services in kind in return for the customer's action

(i) taken in relation to the legacy measure during the test period of the legacy measure, or

(ii) taken in relation to the legacy measure in response to a written commitment to the customer made by the public utility during the test period of the legacy measure;

"legacy measure" means a demand-side measure in relation to which an expenditure is included in a pre-filed expenditure schedule;

"pre-filed expenditure schedule" means an expenditure schedule

(a) referred to in subsection (2) (a), or

(b) accepted before June 30, 2023 under section 44.2 (3) of the Act;

"public utility" does not include the authority;

"test period", when used in reference to a pre-filed expenditure schedule, means the period addressed by the pre-filed expenditure schedule.

(2) In considering the following under section 44.2 (5) (d) or (5.1) (d) of the Act, the commission must apply sections 1, 3 and 4 of this regulation, as they read immediately before June 30, 2023:

(a) an expenditure schedule filed before May 1, 2023 and in relation to which the commission has not, before June 30, 2023, made a final determination under section 44.2 (3) of the Act;

(b) a legacy expenditure that is the subject of an expenditure schedule filed after May 1, 2023.

[en. B.C. Reg. 167/2023, s. 5.]

[Provisions relevant to the enactment of this regulation: Utilities Commission Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 473, s. 125.1.]