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Do I Need An Electrical Permit?

When do you need an electrical permit in BC, Canada? Well, all electrical work, with some small exceptions, requires a permit whether done by a contractor or a homeowner. An electrical permit gives permission or authorization in writing to perform work regulated by the BC Safety Authority. Contractors must obtain permits and submit an Electrical Contractor Authorization as the work progresses and upon completion of the installation.

Listed below are a few examples of jobs that require an electrical permit in BC, Canada.

  1. Installing or modifying electrical circuits or systems
  2. Adding new electrical outlets or light fixtures
  3. Upgrading or replacing electrical service equipment
  4. Installing or modifying electrical panels or subpanels
  5. Installing or modifying electrical equipment for swimming pools or hot tubs
  6. Installing or modifying electrical equipment for commercial kitchens or food service equipment
  7. Installing or modifying electrical systems in hazardous locations, such as areas with flammable liquids or gases
  8. Installing EV charging stations
  9. Installing or modifying solar panels or other alternative energy systems

An electrical permit in BC is not required for the following:

  1. The replacement of defective fuses, receptacles, switches or lamps with identical types and ratings.
  2. Emergency work

It’s important to note that the above list is not comprehensive and there may be other types of electrical work that require an electrical permit in BC. It’s best to check with your local building department or electrical safety authority to determine if an electrical permit is required for your specific project.

electrical permint in BC, Canada

Who Can Take Out an Electrical Permit?

The person or company doing the work takes out the electrical permit. If you hire someone to do the work, they must obtain a permit. If you’re doing the work yourself, you need to obtain the permit and must reside in a fully detached single-family dwelling.

A fully detached single-family dwelling means any of the following if occupied or intended by the owner to be occupied as a permanent residence:

  1. Any detached building containing only one dwelling unit;
  2. A manufactured home as defined in the Manufactured Home Act;
  3. A recreational vehicle

How much is an Electrical Permit?

The fee for the electrical permit in BC, Canada can vary depending on the specific location and the scope of the electrical work being performed. The Electrical Safety Regulation under the Safety Standards Act of BC sets the electrical permit fees, and the fees are based on the value of the electrical work.

  • For electrical work valued up to $1,000:  $65
  • For electrical work valued between $1,000 and $10,000: $100 plus $7 for each additional $1,000 in value.
  • For electrical work valued over $10,000: $722 plus $4 for each additional $1,000 in value up to a maximum of $40,000 in permit value.

It’s worth noting that these fees are subject to change, and different municipalities may have additional fees or requirements. It’s best to contact your local building department or electrical safety authority for the most up-to-date information on electrical permit fees and requirements in your area.

Electrical Contractor in BC, Canada

Hiring an Electrical Contractor

If you’re re-wiring your home or doing home renovations that require new or altered electrical systems, the best way to proceed is to hire a qualified electrical contractor licensed with the BC Safety Authority.

All licensed electrical contractors are, or employ, electricians who are certified Field Safety Representatives (FSR).  An FSR is the person who will be responsible for the permit issued to the contractor, with the class of the FSR determining the scope of work the contractor is allowed to perform.

All FSRs have demonstrated to the BC Safety Authority that they have the necessary qualifications – and passed a written exam administered by us – before being issued a Field Safety Representative Certificate of Qualification. This allows them to install, maintain, operate and repair electrical products.

Make sure all your electrical work is completed by a trained professional – contact Pacific Star Electric today.

Areas of the Lower Mainland

Depending on the area you live there are different requirements for obtaining a permit.

In Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District, West Vancouver, Maple Ridge the municipalities themselves issue permits and do the inspections. They inspect 100% of the work.

In the remaining municipalities, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Hope, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Abbotsford, Mission, Whiterock, New Westminster, Richmond, Delta, Tsawwassen, Ladner the province issues the electrical permit and does the inspection. 25% of the work is inspected.

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