You need an electrical permit to install or alter electrical equipment, including:
- service panels, outlets
- temporary power poles
- signs, street lighting
- baseboard heaters, radiant heat
- wired alarms, vacuum systems, generators
- conduits, cable tie, fibre optics, bonding
Who can apply
The person doing the electrical work — either the registered homeowner or licensed contractor — can apply for the permit.
However, if you're the registered homeowner, you can only apply for a permit and do the work yourself if:
- there is no secondary suite attached to the home
- you live (or intend to live) in the home
- the building (or part of the building) is not used for rental income or commercial purposes
- you are not installing radiant ceiling heat panels
In these instances, only a licensed contractor can apply for a permit.
If you're responsible for the annual safe operation, maintenance, and inspection of an organization's equipment, you can apply for an annual operating permit instead of an electrical permit
How to apply
To apply for an electrical permit:
- Review the requirements on this page
- Prepare electronic copies of any required documents
- Complete the online application form
The application form will open in a new tab so you can continue to view this page without having to exit the form.
Important to know before you apply
- You must receive your permit before the work can begin
- If you're installing a heat pump (other than a mini-split), you’ll also need to apply for a heating permit
- If your work is related to a building permit, you need to have the building permit before your electrical permit can be issued
- If you're a contractor, you must have a valid business licence in the District, and a valid trades qualification certificate
- If you're the homeowner doing the work yourself, you must review these important safety regulations
You'll be asked to include electronic copies of supporting documents with your application. Be sure you have prepared these documents before you start your application. You won't be able to save a partially completed application form and return to complete it later.
Have these documents ready, if applicable:
- Homeowner permit declaration — Required if you're the homeowner doing the work yourself
- Homeowner installation declaration — Required if you're installing a heat pump or air conditioner in a residential property
- Schematic drawings — Required if you're the homeowner installing an electrical heating system yourself, or if you're the contractor in some cases (such as commercial and multi-family home). If you're not sure if you require drawings, contact our electrical inspector to discuss
- Electrical load calculation — Required if you're installing an air conditioner, EV charger, heat pump, or hot tub in either a residential property or a commercial property (different forms apply)
- EV charger documentation — Required if you're installing an EV charger (review our EV installation requirements to confirm the specific documents you need to provide). For more about load calculation, installation requirements, and EV energy management systems, review Technical Safety BC's information bulletin
After you submit your application
- We'll review your application and contact you if we need additional information.
- Once your application has been processed, we'll email you a link to pay the permit fee online. If you prefer not to pay online, you can pay by credit, debit, cash, or cheque by coming to District Hall in person.
- After payment is received and all applicable reviews have been completed, we will contact you.
Having your permitted work inspected
Most work you do with a permit requires an inspection. It is your responsibility to arrange for all inspections at the right time.
Here's how to book an inspection when you're ready:
- For electrical work completed by contractors — Submit a completed authorization and declaration of compliance form
- For electrical work completed by homeowners — Call 604-990-2480
Fees for electrical permits are based on the value of the job, including material and labour. If you are the homeowner doing the work yourself, you must calculate the cost of your own labour when calculating the total cost.
If your application is for a temporary construction, the fee is a flat base rate.
A 'temp to perm' fee will be added to an electrical permit for new construction.
Get your work inspected
Much of the work you do with permits requires a follow-up inspection. It is your responsibility (or your contractor's) to arrange for all inspections at the right time.
You can request your building and mechanical inspections online (with the exception of electrical).