Permits and Inspections

Electrical Safety Authority

The following excerpt is from the Electrical Safety Authority's website:

The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) regulates and promotes safety in Ontario. To do so, ESA:

  • Anticipates, identifies and targets the leading causes of electrical-related harm

  • Verifies compliance with Part VIII of the Electricity Act and its associated regulations

  • Promotes awareness, education and training; aiming to make the public aware of potential electrical harm

  • Works with Licensed Electrical Contractors, utilities, manufacturers, safety partners and other stakeholders to improve electrical safety in Ontario

The Ontario government has given ESA a mandate to improve public electrical safety. ESA administers Part VIII of the Electricity Act and oversees these four related regulations:

  1. The Ontario Electrical Safety Code

  2. Licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians

  3. Electrical Distribution Safety

  4. Electrical Product Safety

The Ontario Electrical Safety Code requires that most electrical work needs to be reported to the Electrical Safety Authority by filing a notification of work. ESA should be notified within 48 hours of when electrical work starts.

If you decide to hire Wiljan Electrical, we will file the notification, calculate the fees, and book your inspection. Unless you have made alternative arrangements with Wiljan Electrical, it is the homeowner's responsibility to be present or have someone representing them be present for the inspection.

If you are doing your own electrical work, you will need to file the notification. To confirm requirements and file a notification, call 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233). Fees vary according to the type of work you’re doing and are subject to higher costs than having it filed with a licensed electrical contractor.

Risk-Based Oversight

After filing a notification and completing the electrical work, traditionally, an inspector from ESA would visit the site to inspect the electrical work. However, ESA has decided to change this approach. Below outlines the new approach that will be used by ESA.

The following excerpt is from the Electrical Safety Authority's website:

What is risk-based oversight (RBO)?

Starting July 6, 2020, ESA will look at the risk involved in electrical wiring work to determine when to visit a site. This is called "Risk-based Oversight" (RBO). This means spending more effort on high-risk electrical wiring work and less on low-risk work, without compromising safety.

ESA will assign a risk level to notifications based on:

  • who does the installation work

  • what the installation is

  • where the installation is.

ESA recommends a site visit for all high-risk work. Medium- and low-risk work will be subject to selective site visits.

Why is ESA moving to a risk-based approach?

ESA wants to make it easier to do business with homeowners. They believe this approach will help address homeowner's scheduling concerns. ESA will be able to keep the homeowner better informed about when an inspector will visit a site. They also be able to focus on the work related to the greatest safety risks, such as investigating work done by unlicensed contractors.

Summary of RBO Process