Information Bulletin: Electrical Safety Regulation application to public utilities

Persona

Technologies

Technologies
Reference number
IB-EL 2017-04

This Information Bulletin is being issued by a provincial safety manager pursuant to section 30 of the Safety Standards Act.

Scope
This Information Bulletin provides guidance on the interpretation and application of the Electrical Safety Regulation (ESR) in respect to the electric power utilities’ customer service connections.

Introduction
The exemption under Section 3(1) of the Electrical Safety Regulation does not specifically cover varying scopes of electrical installations on private property associated with evolving configurations of customer utility supply service connections. Historically, electric utilities in British Columbia have required utility customers to supply, install and maintain all material and equipment as customer owned infrastructure for customer service connection. Accordingly, this work has historically not been considered as being exempted under ESR, s. 3(1). Changes to utility practices and requirements for utility connections have often resulted in confusion by designers, installers, and inspection authorities, regarding the delineation between regulated and exempted electrical work, and a lack of clarity regarding the appropriate design and installation standard to be applied. These conditions resulted in a review with respect to this work and its relationship to the exemption. Directive D-EL 2017-01 and this bulletin are intended to establish clarity on the demarcation point for regulated electrical work that requires a permit and work on customer owned infrastructure for the purpose of utility distribution of electrical energy that comprise utility exemption per Electrical Safety Regulation Section 3.

Utility requirements
Based on applicable utility standards, the customer shall supply all ducting for the utility supply conductors, pull boxes and cable pull pits. Moreover, in the past few decades utilities required customers to provide highly prepared switchgear rooms and transformer alcoves to facilitate the installation of utility owned equipment inside customer owned buildings. This requirement evolved in response to certain zoning bylaw changes, which allowed zero clearance building development to the property line.

Most recently, electrical utilities are implementing engineered grounding standards, which require equipotential bonding for exposed pad-mounted equipment, as the most effective means for ensuring public safety. Accordingly, the utility requires its customers supply, install and maintain customer owned grounding, bonding and gradient control conductors associated with the utility high voltage distribution equipment placed on private property and inside customer owned buildings.

Electrical utility infrastructures (utility owned, and customer owned and maintained) are built to the applicable utility standards, inspected by the utility inspectors, and utility assumes liability for design, installation, operation and public safety.

The confines and demarcation of Section 3(1) utility exempt infrastructure are defined by utility civil and electrical drawings associated with specific site installations and are restricted to infrastructure directly related to the exercise of its function as a utility with respect to the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy.
A. For illustration purposes, examples of typical exempted utility service connections are provided in Appendix A.

 

 

Ulrich Janisch
Provincial Safety Manager, Electrical

 

 

References:
B.C. Reg. 100/2004        Electrical Safety Regulation, Section 3
Directive D-EL 2017-01   Exemptions to Public Utilities

TABLE A.1

Utility Service 

Service Type

Electrical work exempted under ESR, s. 3(1) and built to utility standard(s).

Electrical work requiring a permit, and compliance with BC Electrical Code.

Primary Services - Overhead Utility Supply

Utility O/H line supply to customer owned O/H primary service line

Utility point of connection:

Utility cable terminations. (Typically at customer’s first pole or H-Frame pole.)
 

Utility work: O/H line utility supply to customer first pole.

Private O/H line construction, load-break switch at first pole, HV grounding, and transformers.
 

Operating permit required upon completion and connection to utility supply, with Class A or Class LI field safety representative.

 

Subject to inspection by Technical Safety BC or local government inspection authority.

Utility O/H line pole dip to customer owned pad-mounted primary service kiosk

Utility point of connection: Utility cable terminations in cable compartment at customer kiosk.
 

Utility work: O/H line pole dip and ducting on public corridor, customer owned and maintained U/G utility supply ducting on private property.

Installation of customer owned service kiosk, HV grounding, all transformers, equipment and wiring after utility point of connection.
 

Operating permit required upon completion and connection to utility supply, with Class A or Class LI field safety representative.
Subject to inspection by Technical Safety BC or local government inspection authority.

Utility O/H line pole dip to U/G primary service inside customer owned building

Utility point of connection: Utility cable terminations in compartment at customer owned primary service.
Utility work: O/H line pole dip and ducting on public corridor, customer owned and maintained U/G utility supply ducting on private property and inside customer building.

Installation of customer owned building HV service, HV grounding, all equipment and wiring after utility point of connection.
 

Operating permit required upon completion and connection to utility supply, with Class A or Class LI field safety representative.

 

Subject to inspection by Technical Safety BC or local government inspection authority.

 

TABLE A.2

Utility Service 

Service Type

Electrical work exempted under ESR, s. 3(1) and built to utility standard(s).

Electrical work requiring a permit, and compliance with BC Electrical Code.

Primary Services - Underground Utility Supply

Utility U/G supply to customer owned pad-mounted primary service kiosk

Utility point of connection: Utility cable terminations in compartment at customer kiosk.
 

Utility work: U/G ducting on public corridor, customer owned and maintained U/G utility supply ducting on private property.

Installation of customer owned primary service kiosk, HV grounding, all equipment and wiring after utility point of connection 
 

Operating permit required upon completion and connection to utility supply, with Class A or Class LI field safety representative.

 

Subject to inspection by Technical Safety BC or local government inspection authority.

Utility U/G supply to customer primary service inside building - Single and Dual Radial Supply

Utility point of connection: Utility cable terminations in compartment at customer building primary service box.
 

Utility work: U/G ducting on public corridor, customer owned and maintained U/G utility supply ducting on private property, customer owned dual radial switches and HV gradient control conductors around dual radial switches.

Installation of customer owned building primary service, dual radial switches for utility use, all HV grounding inside customer building, all equipment and wiring after utility point of connection.
 

Operating permit required upon completion and connection to utility supply, with Class A or Class LI field safety representative.
 

Subject to inspection by Technical Safety BC or local government inspection authority.

U/G supply to customer primary service inside building – Open Loop Supply

Utility point of connection: Utility cable terminations in compartment at customer building primary service.
 

Utility work: U/G ducting on public corridor, customer owned and maintained U/G utility supply ducting on private property, Open Loop Supply switchgear, HV grounding and precast concrete vaults on public corridors and private property, Switchgear Room inside customer building (customer owned and maintained for BC Hydro exclusive access) including customer owned HV grounding and bonding and cable pull pit.

Installation of customer owned building primary service equipment, HV service grounding, Switchgear Room ancillary equipment, all equipment and wiring after utility point of connection.

Operating permit required upon completion and connection to utility supply, with Class A or Class LI field safety representative.

 

Subject to inspection by Technical Safety BC or local government inspection authority.

 

TABLE A.3

Utility Service 

Service Type

Electrical work exempted under ESR, s. 3(1) and built to utility standard(s).

Electrical work requiring a permit, and compliance with BC Electrical Code.

Secondary Services - Overhead Utility Supply

Single phase 120/240 V secondary service

Utility point of connection: Utility conductor terminations. Typically at customer owned mast(s) O/H drip loops.


Utility work: O/H line utility supply to customer owned service mast(s).

Service mast, meter socket and all wiring after utility point of connection, including service grounding and bonding.
 

Operating permit: See directive.

 

Subject to inspection by Technical Safety BC or local government inspection authority.

Three phase 120/208 V and 347/600 V secondary services

Utility point of connection: Utility conductor terminations. Typically at customer owned mast(s) O/H drip loops.


Utility work: O/H line utility supply to customer owned service mast(s).

Service mast, meter socket and all wiring after utility point of connection, including service grounding and bonding.
 

Operating permit: See directive.

 

Subject to inspection by Technical Safety BC or local government inspection authority.

 

TABLE A.4

Utility Service 

Service Type

Electrical work exempted under ESR, s. 3(1) and built to utility standard(s).

Electrical work requiring a permit, and compliance with BC Electrical Code.

Secondary Services - Underground Utility Supply

Single phase 120/240 V service fed from BC Hydro pad-mounted transformer

Utility point of connection: Customer owned meter socket.


Utility work: U/G ducting on public corridor, customer owned and maintained U/G utility supply ducting on private property, utility owned transformer, concrete pad, bollards and grounding, customer owned bonding; concrete encasement of duct below meter socket.

Installation of customer owned meter socket, LV service grounding, all LV equipment and wiring after utility point of connection.
 

Operating permit: See directive.

 

Subject to inspection by Technical Safety BC or local government inspection authority.

Three phase 120/208 V and 347/600 V secondary service fed from BC Hydro PMT

Utility point of connection: Utility cable compartment in customer service box.


Utility work: U/G ducting on public corridor, customer owned and maintained U/G utility supply ducting on private property, utility service ducting inside building, utility owned transformer, concrete pad, bollards and HV grounding, customer owned grounding and bonding; concrete encasement of secondary service ducts inside customer building.

Installation of customer owned secondary service box, secondary service grounding, all LV equipment and wiring after utility point of connection by Class B electrical contractor
 

Operating permit: See directive

 

Subject to inspection by Technical Safety BC or local government inspection authority.

 

IB-EL 2017-04-1

 

IB-EL 2017-04-2

 

IB-EL 2017-04-3

 

IB-EL 2017-04-4