Information Bulletin: Minimum requirements retrofit of fluorescent fixtures

Persona

Technologies

Technologies
Reference number
B-E3 100224 1
Revision Number
Rev 3

Scope

This bulletin provides clarification on permit and certification requirements for work performed on fluorescent light fixtures. Variance procedures for permits in Technical Safety BC’s jurisdiction are provided. Please check with municipal authorities having jurisdiction for local variance processes.

Permit requirements

Under section 11 of the Electrical Safety Regulation, an electrical contractor requires a permit for electrical work, including:

  • replacement of complete luminaires
  • energy efficiency upgrades of existing luminaires

Subject to the conditions of section 18 of the Electrical Safety Regulation, an electrical contractor would not normally require a permit for:

  • replacement of lamps
  • maintenance requiring replacement of existing defective components where there is no change to the characteristics of the luminaire

Certification requirements

The requirement for a certification mark on electrical equipment is found in section 21 of the Electrical Safety Regulation. Alterations to fluorescent luminaires involving energy efficiency upgrades will, in most cases, “result in the product ceasing to meet the standards required to be met by the certification agency that authorized the use of the certification mark.” (see Safety Standards Act, section 68).

To recertify a luminaire that has been altered, contact a certification agency.

As an alternative to recertification, a variance may be requested in accordance with the Safety Standards Act, section 32. Technical Safety BC requirements for a variance are outlined below.

Variance requirements

A variance must be associated with either an operating permit or a contractor installation permit. Variances for acceptance of altered fluorescent luminaires will not be issued under a homeowner installation permit.

  1. Operating permit
    The Field Safety Representative (FSR) must apply for a variance using the variance process. This variance will apply to all work performed under that operating permit. The following terms and conditions will be applied to the variance:

    1. The variance only applies to fluorescent luminaires as part of an energy efficiency upgrade;
    2. All components must be certified for the application;
    3. Luminaires operating above 150V to ground must comply with the disconnect requirements of rule 30-308(4);
    4. Labels on the luminaires must be changed following the requirements of rule 2-100 to show the new electrical characteristics and additionally, to show the permit number and date of work;
    5. All work is noted in the maintenance log.
       
  2. Contractor installation permit
    No fee will be charged for the variance if the permit notes “FL Efficiency Upgrade, Variance from ESR 21 Requested” under the “Description of work” section of the form. A permit is required for each site and must only be for the lighting upgrade project, which may include complete luminaire replacement. If other electrical work is to be performed, that work must be requested on a separate permit.

    Issuance of the permit confirms approval of the variance request with the following terms and conditions:

    1. The variance only applies to fluorescent luminaires modified as part of an energy efficiency upgrade;
    2. All equipment and components must be certified for the application;
    3. Luminaires operating above 150V to ground must comply with the disconnect requirements of rule 30-308(4);
    4. Labels on the luminaires must be changed following the requirements of rules 2-100 and 2-102 to show the new electrical characteristics, and additionally, to show the permit number;
    5. The contractor’s final declaration must include a statement that all labels have been modified as required.

Installation instructions

Always follow manufacturer’s recommendations that are supplied with the ballast.

Provincial Safety Manager

References:

Safety Standards Act, Sections 32, 68
Electrical Safety Regulation Sections 11, 18, 21