Account Blocking Overview

ESA has the ability to block an ESA account for issues related to: 

Licensing 
Outstanding defects 
Credit

A block means we can't accept new notification applications and existing work can’t be scheduled. ESA may use a block when other attempts to resolve the issues are unsuccessful or when a licence has been suspended or removed. ESA will always try to work with customers to resolve issues before using a block. 

Here are the situations and steps that may lead to a block. Depending on the case, ESA may need more interaction with you. 

Licensing 

The Licensing Department may block an account if you fail to properly renew a licence. A block may also apply if your Designated Master Electrician licence is invalid or you lost the designation. Other reasons are failure to maintain requirements of a licence; and the result of disciplinary proceedings. 

A) License renewal: 

Situations include: 

  • failure to submit declaration forms for renewal
  • failure to pay licence fee
  • failure to submit licensing package (once every five years)

Core Process: 

Declaration Year 

  1. 30 days before your licence term ends, ESA sends you a declaration notice and renewal fee invoice.
  2. 10 days before your licence term ends, ESA sends you a reminder notice if you have not yet renewed.
  3. On the date your licence expires, ESA issues a Notice of Proposal to Suspend the licence. You can prevent the suspension by submitting your documentation and fee.
  4. 15 days after the licence expires, ESA issues a Notice of Suspension and blocks your account. You can have the suspension lifted by submitting your documentation and fee. A late fee may apply.

Full Renewal (once every five years) 

  1. 90 days before expiry, ESA issues a renewal form. 
  2. 30 days before expiry, ESA issues an invoice, if you haven't yet submitted your payment.
  3. On the date your licence expires, ESA issues a Notice of Expiry and blocks the account. You can have your licence reinstated by submitting your documentation and fee. A late fee may apply.

Loss of Designated Master Electrician

Core Process: 

  • First Notice: ESA issues a Notification to the Licensed Electrical Contractor, allowing 5 days to respond and provide proof they have a new Designated Master Electrician in place. 
  • The Registrar may provide a 60-day extension if you apply for it and your request meets requirements. You may also get a second 60-day extension based on circumstances.
  • Second Notice: ESA issues a Notice of Proposal to Suspend the Licensed Electrical Contractor’s licence if no valid Designated Master Electrician is assigned. 
  • After 15 days, if a Designated Master Electrician has not been assigned, ESA issues a Notice of Suspension to the Licensed Electrical Contractor. ESA suspends the Contractor’s licence and blocks the account.

B) Invalid Designated Master Electrician (such as expired or suspended Master Electrician’s licence):

Core Process: 

  1. ESA sends a Declaration or Renewal correspondence to the Master Electrician.
  2. First Notice: ESA issues a 5-day notice to the Licensed Electrical Contractor, giving notice of potential licence suspension if the Designated Master Electrician fails to renew. 
  3. Second Notice: ESA issues a Notice of Proposal to Suspend if no valid Designated Master Electrician is assigned.
  4. After 15 days, ESA issues a Notice of Suspension, suspends the Contractor’s licence and blocks the account.

C) Failure to meet requirements for an Electrical Contractor’s Licence 

Ontario Regulation 570/05 requires Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians to meet and maintain a set of requirements. If you don't meet any of these requirements – such as failing to maintain liability insurance or WSIB, or being in default with the Ministry of Finance – ESA will suspend your licence. 

Core Process: 

  1. When ESA becomes aware that you haven't maintained your licence requirements, we issue a Notice of Proposal to Suspend the licence to the Licensed Electrical Contractor.
  2. After 15 days, if the licence still does not meet the requirements, ESA will issue a Notice of Suspension. We suspend the licence and block the account.  

For more information and guidance on the requirements of Licensed Electrical Contractors and Designated Master Electricians, see the ESA/ECRA Guideline to the Duties and Responsibilities of Licensed Electrical Contractors and Designated Master Electricians available on ESA’s website here.

D) Disciplinary Proceeding 

Account blocking can occur as part of disciplinary proceedings, depending on the circumstances. A block might occur as a result of suspension or removal of a licence. However, you would receive plenty of notice in the context of a disciplinary proceeding before this would happen. 

Outstanding Defects 

ESA can apply an account block when defects are uncorrected for a significant period of time (35 days or more). An Inspector might use this option if there is a history of ignoring defect correction timelines. Or, it might apply if there are problems at multiple sites, or serious Life and/or Property defects are left uncorrected.  

Core Process: 

  1. ESA issues a defect notification to contractor/ customer. 
  2. After 21 days without corrective action, ESA issues a follow-up notice to the contractor/customer flagging the outstanding defects. 
  3. Another 14 days without corrective action (35 days in total) triggers an additional defect processing fee.
  4. If not addressed, the Inspector can recommend an account block to the Senior Inspector. 
  5. ESA makes three attempts to contact the contractor, Designated Master Electrician or other customer to warn of an impending block. 
  6. After the third attempt, ESA leaves voicemail or email warning of an imminent block.
  7. ESA blocks the account. 

An Inspector can accept a verbal commitment to correct the defect shortly (i.e. within a few days) to lift the block. 

Credit Block 

Credit blocks apply when an account is in collection, but the customer has not made or met payment arrangements or isn't responding to collection efforts. 

ESA will also freeze accounts when outstanding owed amounts are being passed to a collection agency for recovery. This also applies when the customer has declared bankruptcy. 

Core Process: 

  1. Issuing of invoice/ statement.
  2. Issuing of past due notice.
  3. Issuing of final past notice.
  4. Passing of item to third-party collection agency.
  5. Blocking of account. 

ESA may lower credit limits as a first step if you are past due on your account. This allows you to get inspections done on open permits, while limiting your ability to increase the debt owed to ESA. If you are a customer in good standing who needs a credit limit increase, ESA initiates a credit increase approval process. Most are approved; it is rare that ESA would deny a limit increase due to credit or payments history. 

Core Process:

  1. You exceed your credit limit.
  2. A Customer Service Representative alerts Accounts Receivable and, if required, starts the credit increase approval process.
  3. If we can't increase your credit and you owe overdue amounts, ESA can block your account. 

If you have a question or complaint related to Account Blocking, send it to: 

Electrical Safety Authority 
Customer Service Centre 
400 Sheldon Dr, Unit 1 
Cambridge, ON  N1T 2H9 

Phone: 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233)
Fax: 1-800-667-4278
Email:  esa.cambridge@electricalsafety.on.ca