Performing electrical work for utility infrastructure

Discussions between BC Hydro, BCSA, and authorities having jurisdiction with respect to BC Hydro’s Customer Build (CB) Program have determined that permits are not required for electrical or civil work performed under BC Hydro’s Customer Build Program. These projects are designed and built for the sole purpose of becoming part of the utility’s distribution system and built to BC Hydro Civil and Electrical Standards and Specifications. The entire project is directed and controlled by the utility and is exempt under Electrical Safety Regulation Section 3.1.

All BC Hydro pre-qualified electrical line contractors performing work under the Program will have BC Hydro documentation on to enable safety officers to clearly identify the work as a Customer Build project.

This exemption does not extend beyond work performed under the scope of the Customer Build Program, and does not include other work (such as street lighting, telephone and cable ducting) that may be installed concurrently or coincidental to these projects.

Services to individual meter bases or electrical rooms continue to follow the requirements for BC Safety Authority and Municipal Electrical Authority authorization prior to energization.

Building owners and developers should also note that concrete encasements of service ducts located inside customer owned buildings remain within BCSA's jurisdiction. Registered users of BC Hydro's extranet can visit BC Hydro's Equipment Advisory EA2017-015 for full details.

The Customer Build Program applies only to residential development, such as single dwelling and townhouse projects with a minimum of six lots or units but may include developments where commercial loads form a minor portion of the load. The Program is limited to communities on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, including the following areas:

  • All Vancouver Island

  • Sunshine Coast

  • Horseshoe Bay to Pemberton

  • Lower Mainland

  • Fraser Valley east to Boston Bar



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