Changes to electrical operating permit renewals

Effective January 16, 2022, a physical signature is no longer required to perform your annual FSR verification. Learn more about the changes.

What is an electrical operating permit?

An operating permit ensures that a qualified individual is responsible for your technical equipment on your premises. This includes the safe operation, maintenance and inspection of equipment, as well as ensuring that the appropriate records are maintained and available on request by our safety officers.

Why do you need an operating permit?

You need an operating permit to:

  • satisfy requirements for operation and maintenance of electrical equipment specified in the Safety Standards General Regulation, Section 18 and BC Electrical Code Regulation, Rule 2-300; and
  • ensure that maintenance of electrical equipment is monitored by qualified individuals.

Who needs an electrical operating permit?

If you own or manage any of the following sites, it is likely you need an electrical operating permit.

  • An educational facility such as university, college, public or private schools
  • Hospitals, nursing homes, or senior centers
  • Multi-occupancy buildings such as hotels, office high-rises, strata-owned condominiums and apartment buildings, or shopping malls
  • Manufacturing and industrial facilities such as warehouses and recycling plants
  • Recreational facilities such as stadiums, ice rinks, or bowling alleys
  • Facilities that operate equipment in hazardous environments
  • Wind farms
  • Greenhouses
  • Municipal sites

What kind of equipment warrants an electrical operating permit?

An operating permit is required for electrical equipment when:

  • operation or design of electrical equipment requires regular or ongoing maintenance
  • supply to privately owned equipment is greater than 750 volts (except for high voltage neon signs)
  • equipment is operated or maintained for emergency service and/or is part of a fire alarm system
  • rated service capacity of equipment as per the manufacturer’s nameplate rating is capable of handling electrical supply of over 250 kVA (e.g, main service switch, main transforming equipment, electrical panel, or transformer)
  • equipment is operated within the class or zone designations for hazardous locations.

Benefits of having an operating permit

Under the supervision of a FSR, owners can conduct regular maintenance work, including:

  • the installation new equipment, relocation of equipment, or minor alterations such as adding lighting, wiring or plugs, without having to take out multiple electrical installation permits
  • having a qualified person in control of the maintenance of your property’s electrical system;
  • knowing you have done your due diligence as a property owner or manager; and
  • protecting your investment by ensuring that your electrical system is safe and compliant with the requirements of the BC Electrical Code and Safety Standards Act.

Who issues the permit?

Technical Safety BC issues the permit, unless you are located in one of the following areas, where you should check with the municipality or district.

  • Burnaby
  • Maple Ridge
  • North Vancouver
  • Surrey
  • Victoria
  • Vancouver
  • West Vancouver

Learn more about jurisdiction.

Getting a permit from Technical Safety BC

  1. Apply and pay for a permit through your account or using this online form. If you use the form, you will have to submit payment separately through mail, or by calling us. When applying, the form will ask you to identify a Field Safety Representative (FSR). Please be sure to have this information ready.
  2. Once your application is approved, Technical Safety BC will issue a permit number.

How much does a permit cost?

The fee for a permit depends on the type of operations. See the full fee schedule. Technical Safety BC is a not-for-profit organization. Fees associated with permits allow us to work with industry to reduce safety risks through assessment, education and outreach, enforcement, and research.

What is the role of a Field Safety Representative (FSR)?

An electrical FSR is a professionally-qualified individual who is certified by Technical Safety BC, and they are named on every electrical operating permit. They can validate completed electrical work and can provide assurance that the electrical equipment has been safely installed and is being properly maintained. Find an FSR here.

Can I add a new FSR over the course of the permit?

Yes. FSRs can be changed at any time. However, if you have an operating permit and your FSR has changed, you must let Technical Safety BC know by completing the change of FSR form.

Change of ownership information

If you or your company is no longer responsible for the address registered with Technical Safety BC, please fill out our change of ownership form.

What are the consequences if I do not have an electrical operating permit?

Under the Safety Standards Act there is a legal requirement for asset owners to obtain an operating permit when operating or maintaining regulated equipment and/or systems. If there is no operating permit in place this is considered unauthorized operation and/or maintenance of equipment, which is a non-compliance subject to consideration of an enforcement response.