Following guidance from the province's Restart BC Plan and new health and safety regulations from WorkSafeBC, we are taking all necessary steps to protect public health and maintain the safety of our employees.
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
- alarms, vacuum systems, generators
- conduits, cable tie, fibre optics, bonding
Changes to the Canadian Electrical Code will take effect on January 1, 2020. If you submit an application after this date, it will fall under the 2018 Canadian Electrical Code. If you submit your application between Oct 1 and Dec 31, you can choose to use either the 2015 or 2018 code.
Who can apply
The person doing the electrical work — either the registered homeowner or licensed contractor — can apply for the permit, with some exceptions.
Are you the registered homeowner?
If you are the registered homeowner, you are not allowed to do the work yourself if:
- there is a secondary suite in the home
- you do not intend to live in the home
- part or all of your building is used for rental income
- part or all of your building is used for commercial purposes
- you are installing radiant ceiling heat panels
In these instances, only a licensed contractor can apply for a permit.
How to apply
You must apply for your permit before the work begins. For your convenience, you can apply for most electrical permits by email.
- Complete the contractor application form or the homeowner application form
- Email the completed form, and any other required documents (listed below), to firstname.lastname@example.org
- We will process your application, and then email you a link to pay the application fee by credit card
- Once we receive your payment, we will send you your permit
If you do not wish to apply by email, you can drop off your application in person at the District Hall building department counter.
Are you the registered homeowner?
When you apply, you must submit:
- a completed application form
- schematic drawings (if you are installing an electrical heating system)
The schematic drawing and application form will be reviewed by an inspector before your permit is issued.
Are you the contractor?
- have a valid business licence with the District
- have a valid trades qualification certificate
- submit a completed application form
- submit drawings for review (in some cases, such as commercial and multi-family homes)
If you are not sure if you require drawings, contact our electrical inspector to discuss your project.
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 temporary construction, the fee is a flat base rate, and your permit is good for 120 days.
A 'temp to perm' fee will be added to an electrical permit for new construction.
Documents, forms, and checklists
- Contractor electrical permit application form
- Homeowner electrical permit application form
- Homeowner permit declaration
- Electrical annual operating permit application form
- Electrical contractor authorization
- Notice to homeowners doing electrical work
- Bulletin: When do I need a Permit for Electrical Work?
- Homeowner information guide
- Electrical load calculation form
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).