There is limited choice for utilities in Vancouver due to both infrastructure and provincial and federal regulations. For the most part, utilities can be paid month to month, or on pre-authorized payments.
Heat, Hot Water and Electricity
Hydro is provided primarily by BC Hydro and Power Authority, serving more than 1.7 million customers. This company is a Crown corporation, and is regulated by the British Columbia Utilities and Gas Commission. Approximately 56,000 and 54,000 gigawatt hours of electricity is generated annually.
With over 900,000 customers, Terasen Gas is the key supplier of natural gas in British Columbia. Previously, there was no option to purchase natural gas from another supplier, but due to new regulations, you can purchase natural gas through either Terasen Gas, or through another supplier.
Internet, Phone and Cable Providers in Vancouver
A few major communication companies provide the majority of television, internet, and phone/cell phone service in Vancouver. With the limited competition in the industry, these major companies have the ability to set the market rate for the services, without major levels of competition benefitting the consumer.
Provides phone, cell phone, dial-up, high-speed internet, and now television service throughout British Columbia. A number of Telus stores exist, primarily designed to sell cell phones, but to also help with payment and service questions.
As a relative newcomer to the Vancouver market, Bell is growing in size, and is a major sponsor of the 2010 Games in Vancouver. Providing primarily cell phone and television service, Bell is continuing to grow their reach on the Vancouver and British Columbia marketplace over the next few years.
Formerly just a cable provider, Shaw has expanded to also provide internet, digital phone service, and expanded cable in Vancouver. With the option of packaging their phone/internet/cable services to receive discounts, Shaw is increasing their stake in the Vancouver community.
Phone, Cable and internet providers are regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Click for more information about the CTRC.