September 1, 2022
As part of the Electrical Safety Authority’s (ESA) ongoing efforts to help reduce illegal and unsafe electrical work, ESA inspectors will be conducting blitzes in Toronto to educate homeowners on the requirement to file a notification of work and identify any safety hazards that may have occurred from unlicensed electrical work.
As part of the targeted safety blitz, ESA staff will be reviewing City of Toronto building permits obtained within the last 12 months to identify locations that may have had electrical work completed and no notification to ESA exists.
During the blitz, ESA will take an “education-first approach”, but is prepared to investigate and if justified, lay charges that may result in fines to repeat offenders and those willfully not complying with the safety rules. If convicted, individuals could face significant fines, up to $50,000.
If you are hiring someone to do electrical work in Ontario, by law, they must be a Licensed Electrical Contracting (LEC) business. Electrical work is an important part of any renovation plan and always best left to an LEC business that has the expertise, training and equipment to do the job safely.
Only LEC businesses can provide you with an ECRA/ESA licence number that proves they can operate their electrical contracting business in Ontario. This licence number should appear on their vehicles, business cards and estimates. Ask to see it before you agree to have them perform any electrical work.
“Ontarians are not always aware of the risks associated with hiring unlicensed contractors for their electrical work,” says Soussanna Karas, Director, Licensing at Electrical Safety Authority. “Hiring a Licensed Electrical Contracting business is not only the law, but it provides peace of mind that the work will be done right and there won’t be any surprises that affect your wallet or you and your family’s safety. LEC businesses will help handle all the details when it comes to the electrical work, permits and inspections to make sure a renovation is safe.”
When hiring someone to do electrical work:
- Ensure the contractor holds all required qualifications and licences – including an ECRA/ESA licence for electrical work. You should also ask for their references.
- Check that the contractor has secured all appropriate notifications to the Electrical Safety Authority and requested an inspection.
- Advise the contractor that you expect a copy of the ESA Certificate of Acceptance from them once the electrical work is complete.