Board of Commissioners
of Public Utilities

About the Board



About the Board

The Board is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal constituted under thePublic Utilities Act. Created by statute in 1949 the Board is comprised of four full-time commissioners, appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, including the Chair and Chief Executive Officer and the Vice Chair. The Public Utilities Actgives the Chair and Chief Executive Officer the full authority for the overall operation, management and financial administration of the Board.

The Board’s functional organizational structure, shown in the Organizational Chart below, consists of Regulatory and Legal Services and Corporate Services. Regulatory and Legal Services oversees the Board’s regulatory mandate with responsibility for coordination and management of applications, research, investigations, compliance monitoring, financial/technical reviews and customer complaints. Corporate Services is responsible for management of the administrative functions of the Board, including finance, communications, information technology and human resource services.

Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities
Organizational Chart
At March 31, 2021

The Board is funded through assessments charged to regulated industries/companies or on a cost recovery basis from applicants and/or parties involved in specific proceedings and/or investigations. In accordance with sections 13 and 14 of the Public Utilities Act, the Board levies an annual assessment to regulated entities to cover its estimated general operating expenses for that year. Assessments to each regulated industry/company vary depending on the actual allocation of work performed by the Board in the year.
Public hearings and investigations are funded outside of normal budgeted activities on a cost recovery basis in accordance with applicable legislation. Section 90 of the Public Utilities Act details the costs which may be recovered incidental to a matter.


Mandate and Lines of Business

The Board is responsible for the regulation of the electric utilities in the province to ensure that the rates charged are just and reasonable and that the service provided is safe and reliable. In 2004 the Board assumed responsibility for regulation of maximum prices for petroleum products in the province in accordance with the Petroleum Products Act. The Board is also responsible for the supervision of rates charged by automobile insurers for the various automobile insurance coverages, limited regulation of the motor carrier industry in relation to certain passenger and ambulance operations as well as conducting hearings and other required activities under the Expropriation Act.

The Board's jurisdiction is defined by the following legislation which it administers:

i) The Public Utilities Act, R.S.N. 1990
ii) The Electrical Power Control Act
iii) Petroleum Products Act
iv) The Automobile Insurance Act
v) The Motor Carrier Act
vi) The Expropriation Act
vii) The Act to Amend the Electrical Power Control Act
viii) The Motor Vehicle Transport Act
ix) The Public Utilities Acquisition of Lands Act

These Acts fall under the responsibility of various departments of Government, including the Department of Justice and Public Safety (Public Utilities Act), Digital Government and Service NL (Automobile Insurance Act, Insurance Companies Act, and Petroleum Products Act) and Industry, Trade and Technology (Electrical Power Control Act).

To deliver its regulatory mandate the Board conducts public hearings, technical conferences, stakeholder meetings, compliance monitoring, audits, detailed technical/financial reviews and investigations. Hearings held by the Board in the discharge of its mandate are quasi-judicial in nature and are conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Public Inquiries Act and the Board's regulations - Newfoundland Regulations 39196. Orders issued by the Board have the force of law and can only be appealed to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland, Court of Appeal.



The vision of the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities is excellence in regulation which engenders the trust and confidence of the people of the province.

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