Notifications and Inspections
If you’re planning a renovation that involves new electrical wiring or devices or repairing/replacing old ones, follow the law and do it safely. Here’s what you need to know about notifications (“permits”) and electrical inspections.
The Ontario Electrical Safety Code (the Code) requires almost all electrical work be reported to the Electrical Safety Authority by filing a notification of work (or “permit”). An electrical notification of work creates a permanent record of the electrical work that has been done in your home and it triggers a review process by ESA.
The person doing the work (you or a Licensed Electrical Contractor) should file the notification before the work starts.
Hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor
Electrical work is dangerous and can put you and your loved ones at risk. Leave your electrical work to the professionals. In Ontario, if you hire someone to do electrical work in your home, by law, it must be a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC). It is the only way to be sure that your electrical work is safe and legal.
Your LEC will file the electrical notification of work and request an inspection. They can also provide the ESA Certificate of Acceptance for your insurance company. Remember to ask for a copy. Learn more about Hiring a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
If you hire a general contractor, confirm that a Licensed Electrical Contractor will do the electrical work. Learn more about Working with General Contractors.
Hire someone who can legally do electrical work in Ontario.
Planning to do the work yourself?
Homeowners have the option to DIY electrical work in their home but must file a notification of work with ESA. More about Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Electrical Work.
How to file a notification:
1. Download a Notification form.
2. Call the ESA Customer Service Centre at 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233).
To confirm requirements and fees, call 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233). Fees vary according to the type of work you’re doing. Learn more about fees.
You need to request a notification for inspection when your electrical project has reached a milestone. An electrical installation must be inspected before it’s concealed or buried. If you already filed a notification, you may submit an online Request for Inspection to ESA. For faster service, call the Customer Service Centre at 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233).
The inspection/review process may vary depending on the project. ESA's evaluation of safety risk may result in an inspection being deemed unnecessary.
A complicated installation might need an inspection at several stages. New or renovated homes may need one of three types of inspections:
- Service — For service upgrades, relocation, or replacement the Utility will need to disconnect the power and it will need to be inspected before the power is restored. What is a service inspection?
- Rough-in — All branch circuit wiring and outlet boxes are installed, and before wiring is hidden by insulation, vapour barrier, drywall, etc. What is a rough-in inspection?
- Final — After completion of the electrical installation and all defects (if any) have been corrected. What is a final inspection?
If the work doesn't comply with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, the Inspector will issue a “defect notice” outlining the necessary corrections to comply with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.
Learn more about notifications and inspections:
If your electrical work has been reviewed and passed, ESA will issue a Certificate of Acceptance to the person who filed the notification. It’s an important document for insurance purposes, resale, and peace of mind.
If your contractor filed the notification, ask for a copy of the certificate for your records. You can also call 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233) to request a copy.