New electrical installation permit fees for renewable energy systems

Solar panels

On January 1, 2019, we are introducing a new set of lowered fees for electricity production and storage systems, such as renewable energy systems (s.64 of the Canadian Electrical Code), generators, and batteries.

Starting January 1, 2019, you will notice a few changes when you fill out an electrical installation permit application form. You will no longer need to include the cost of electricity production and storage systems in your permit value. For example, if you are installing solar panels, instead of declaring the price of the solar panel in the permit value, you will indicate that you are installing an alternative energy system on the installation permit, and select “solar panel” from the list.

In 2019 the following fees will be added as a separate installation permit category to the electrical fee schedule. As these fees are effective on January 1, 2019, all permits issued between now until December 31, 2018, will pay the regular electrical installation permit fees in the existing fee schedule.

New electrical installation permit fee (type of work) Residential Commercial
Electricity production/storage system with other electrical work (e.g. wiring a house plus installing solar panels), or with an active installation permit. $110, plus other permit fees $221, plus other permit fees
Electricity production/storage system without other electrical work and without an active permit (e.g. just installing solar panels). $172 $283

Systems primarily intended to produce or store electricity to be used off site (e.g. a utility), and systems that power industrial equipment and other large commercial operations (e.g. a sawmill), are excluded from these fees and would continue to be included under the current installation permit fee structure.
The following examples show how the fee is applied:

  • ABC Electrical Contracting has been hired to install solar panels on a single family dwelling or multi-unit residential dwelling. They are not doing any other electrical work on that building, and they hold no active electrical permits for the building. ABC Electrical Contracting will pay $172 for the electrical installation permit for the solar panel installation

  • XYZ Electrical Contracting has been hired to do electrical work on a new home. They are installing 125A service to the home, wiring the home, and installing solar panels and a Tesla powerwall. XYZ Electrical will pay $110 for the solar panel and battery installation, plus $401 for the wiring and service installation.

  • Jane Doe Electrical Contracting has been hired to install a wind turbine on a commercial building. Jane Doe Electrical does not have an active electrical installation permit for the  building and is not doing any other electrical work. Jane Doe Electrical will pay $283 for the wind turbine installation.

  • John Doe Electrical Contracting has been hired to do $250,000 worth of work to wire a multi-unit apartment building, and also install backup diesel generators. John Doe Contracting will pay $110 for the generator installation, plus $2,610 based on the $250,000 electrical installation permit value. Note that the $250,000 permit value does not include the cost of the generator.

These fees will cover the cost of safety officer travel to the permit site and the time that safety officers take to answer your questions about connecting electricity storage and production systems. A portion of these fees also covers provincial safety oversight improvements, such as adoption of the Canadian Electrical Code, educational programs, and improvements to our online systems and services.

Technical Safety BC consulted renewable energy installers, electrical contractors, and other stakeholders, between July 4 and August 17, 2018, on the proposal to introduce these electricity production and storage system connection fees. Thank you to those who provided input. Read more about the consultation.

For more information or assistance, please contact us via email at or by phone at 1 866 566 7233.

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