Mandate of the Board

The Yukon Utilities Board (Board) receives its mandate from the Public Utilities Act, its regulations, and Orders in Council. These documents can be found in the “Legislation” section of this website.


What We Do

The Board acts as a rate-setting tribunal for two public utilities.

The Board establishes just and reasonable rates for the provision of electricity by Yukon Energy Corporation (YEC) and by the Yukon Electrical Company Ltd., operating as ATCO Electric Yukon (AEY). YEC is a Crown corporation (publicly owned and operated by the Government of Yukon) and its rates are set by the Board independent from the government.

The Board fulfills its mandate through public hearings. The processes involve reviewing information, researching, consulting with experts, carefully deliberating on information received from the utilities and interveners during hearings. The Board considers the record of each proceeding, provides public dissemination of notices of upcoming Board activities, including rate and facilities applications, and issues its decisions on the Board’s website.

When considering a rate application, the Board reviews the financial requirements of the utility, such as fair return and impacts on the customer. The Board must consider both the sustainability of the utility and the recovery of rates from customers through reasonable charges for utility service.

The Board also requires the public utility to establish, construct, maintain, and operate any reasonable expansion of its existing services and it determines the conditions that may be imposed by a public utility to establish, construct, maintain, and operate an expansion of its existing services.

The Board hears and adjudicates complaints from customers regarding the service provided by YEC and AEY.

What We Don’t Do

The Board does not oversee or manage the daily operations of the utilities. It also does not deal with matters that are not within the Board’s jurisdiction ­– for example, Yukon Water Board matters.

Utility Rates

The Board strives to ensure that Yukoners have safe electricity service at just and reasonable rates. When applying for an increase in rates all utilities under the YUB's jurisdiction must justify all the components of the revenue requirement to support a requested rate increase. Those costs are considered and analyzed in detail by the Board and include but are not limited to:

• The cost to build, operate, and maintain the utility’s facilities;

• The cost to finance debt incurred from building the utility’s facilities;

• The cost for depreciation and amortization expenses;

• The costs for financing general debt incurred by the utility; and

• Any other costs to provide affordable and reliable service to utility customers.

The Board is a quasi-judicial agency in the Yukon. It ensures independent and objective analyses of proposed rates. The Board operates at arm’s length from government and weighs the financial needs of the utility with the needs of ratepayers in its rate-setting decisions. This independence from government processes for approval of rates is fair, open, and transparent.

Utility Facility Projects

The Board has limited oversight over the capital expenditures of Yukon public utilities. The Board may be instructed by the territorial government to provide recommendations about capital projects. For example, in 2014 the Board conducted a comprehensive examination of YEC’s proposed liquified natural gas facility at the government’s request and submitted the resulting report to the government. However, the Board may order the exclusion of certain capital costs in its calculation of appropriate rates to be charged to Yukon consumers.

Capital development plans figure prominently in the Board’s decision-making regarding rate adjustments for both Yukon public utilities. New capital expenditures often require a utility to incur more debt, seeking an increase in consumer rates in order to pay it down. As such, the Board examines the utility’s business case to ensure that there is acceptable support for such expenditures.

Regulatory Policy

The Board carries out its mandate based on enabling legislation. The legislation grants the Board significant authority to analyze the accounting practices and financial position and statements of public utilities it regulates.

Through directions specified in its orders, the Board instructs utilities on acceptable practices and procedures. In addition to the enabling legislation, these regulatory policies are aided by the Board’s staff and expert advisors.

The Board is further aided by its continued connections with other utility regulators and administrative tribunals. These connections are facilitated by the Board’s membership in the Canadian Association of Members of Public Utility Tribunals (CAMPUT). Through these connections, the Board strives to offer innovative regulatory policies and solutions that are consistent with national trends in utility regulation.

Hearing Process

There are two typical methods of review of information through a public hearing. An application can be processed in writing or through an oral hearing. It is at the Board's discretion to decide the appropriate method or venue for adjudicating an application.

All Board hearings proceed in accordance with the Board’s Rules of Practice available on the website.

As a quasi-judicial administrative tribunal, the Board maintains a publicly open and accessible hearing room to adjudicate applications.

Written proceedings review all documentary evidence, arguments, and reply arguments that are submitted to the Board from the applicant, interveners, or other third parties.

Oral hearings are held in a public forum accessible to all. A more formal approach to the application is taken, which means that witnesses may be called to testify and be cross-examined by all parties. The hearing proceeds in a relatively uniform manner. It begins with an application from the utility and a public notice informing citizens of the date and time of the hearing as well as the matters of interest set to be examined. A pre-hearing conference may be subsequently held to determine which individuals and groups will act as interveners during the official hearing, with potential interveners applying to the Board. The hearing commences, with examination of the utility taking place at variable times depending on the relative complexity and significance of the matter under scrutiny.

The typical hearing process involves the utility, the Board members, Board counsel and staff, interveners, and any witnesses. Then the parties present their arguments and reply arguments, either orally or in writing.

In both written and oral procedures, the Board’s decision is a result of a review of the information available at the time of the close of record for a proceeding. The Board issues its regulatory decisions by way of a Board Order. These decisions are subject to a review and variance process and/or an appeal process. While a news release may be issued, it is up to the media to be informed of the Board’s decisions through the website.

Public Participation 

As an open and transparent quasi-judicial body, the Board welcomes and encourages public participation in its hearings. Public participation ensures that all issues and perspectives come to the Board’s attention in a transparent process. Hearings allow the Board to make a fully informed decision with significant public input. As such, there are several ways for the public to become involved in any public hearing before the Board: 

A member of the public may become involved as an intervener. Interveners are individuals or groups who want to take a position on an application before the Board by attending the hearing, providing information and/or evidence, questioning the applicant, and potentially providing a closing statement of position at the end of the hearing. Interveners are expected to participate actively in the hearing process, including by answering questions posed by the Board and its advisors, as well as the applicant or other parties. An individual or group must apply to become an intervener and their costs to participate may be paid by the applicant if the Board directs costs to be awarded. The interveners must show that they can provide information that will be of benefit to the Board when it enters into deliberations.

At some hearings the Board may make it possible for someone to become involved as a presenter. A presenter is someone who wants to make a statement to the Board about the application being reviewed in a public hearing. Presenters may attend the hearing but are not required to participate in the same way as an intervener. Presenters may be required to pre-register with the Board and they should notify the Board before or at the start of the hearing of their intention to present. Presenters are encouraged to also provide a written copy of their presentations.

A member of the public may become involved as an interested citizen. Any member of the public may attend Board hearings.

 For other common questions regarding the hearing process, see the FAQs section of the website.

 The Application

The hearing process generally begins when a regulated utility applies to the Board for a decision on a matter within the jurisdiction of the board – for example: rates, facilities, or complaint regarding an electric utility in the Yukon. The hearing may be a written hearing process or an oral hearing.

Applications for rate changes must demonstrate to the Board that a change is appropriate and in the public interest.

Applicants must provide information to support their requests, provide supplemental information when required, and respond to pre-hearing questions from the Board and interveners. Information provided before and during the hearing is examined by the Board is made available to the public online and through the Board office, unless that information is confidential or falls within Yukon’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPP).

Notice of Public Hearing

The Board is mandated to inform the public about issues to be reviewed at a public hearing. Notices of public hearings are typically published in Yukon newspapers and may be posted within a community impacted by the decision. Notices may also be mailed or electronically transmitted to individuals, groups, or associations that have expressed an interest in the issues.

A notice typically provides the following information:

• A brief explanation of the issues;

• An indication of the potential impact on ratepayers;

• The time, date, and place of a pre-hearing conference and/or the oral hearing; and

• The procedures to be followed during the hearing.

Pre-hearing Conference

Prior to convening an oral public hearing on a rate application from a major utility, the Board may hold a pre-hearing conference. During a pre-hearing conference, the Board may address procedural or substantive issues that are relevant to the hearing. A pre-hearing conference process may include, for example:

(1) The Board seeks to outline the issues to be addressed during the hearing;

(2) The Board identifies interveners and presenters who are both interested and relevant to participate in the pre-hearing conference. While presenters are not required follow the same process that goes into determining

(3) The Board sets a schedule for the exchange of information between the applicant, the Board, interveners, and any other interested parties;

(4) The Board addresses any opening motions that may be made by the applicant, interveners, and any other parties;

(5) As a result of the pre-hearing conference, the Board determines any process that may be necessary for the oral hearing.


At the outset of a public hearing, the applicant and interveners are asked to summarize their positions. The application is examined by the Board, its advisers, and any interveners. The applicant and interveners are then given an opportunity to make a final statement at the end of the hearing. Other parties may present at the hearing. When the hearing is over, the Board considers the evidence and a decision (Board Order) is issued. Hearings are recorded and transcribed, and transcripts are made available on the Board’s website.  
During the course of a hearing, interveners, presenters, and the Board may inquire about a broad range of issues impacting the application under review. The Board is bound by its mandate and enabling legislation, which grants it broad powers with respect to the oversight of public utilities under its jurisdiction.

Board Orders

Board Orders state the Board’s decision, reasoning, and directions that the utility must follow. Orders are issued in writing and are made available on the Board’s website. Board decisions are legally binding subject to appeal by the Yukon Court of Appeal on questions of law and jurisdiction.

In limited circumstances, the Board will reconsider (review and vary) a decision based on a timely request of the applicant or interested parties, or on the Board’s own initiative.