ESA Introducing Administrative Penalties as of April 1st


March 9, 2023

As of April 1st, 2023, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) will have the regulatory authority to issue Administrative Penalties. This authority is an important step forward in the organizations efforts to address illegal and unsafe electrical installations across the province. 

Administrative Penalties

  • What are Administrative Penalties? They are an Order to pay a financial penalty for non-compliance with a specified requirement of the Electricity Act or its Regulations. 
  • Who Could Get an Administrative Penalty? ESA will use these penalties as an additional tool to address the underground economy. Where appropriate, the penalties will also be part of their escalation response for other types of non-compliance.
  • How is ESA Addressing Non-Compliances Now? Currently, ESA addresses non-compliance through tools such as provincial prosecutions, licence suspension, licence terms and conditions, warning letters, defects and other administrative actions. Administrative penalties will be used in addition to these tools and may replace them, in instances where a penalty is a more appropriate response.
  • Who Will Issue Administrative Penalties? They will be issued by way of an Order by either a General Manager or the Director of Licensing. They will not be handed out by our inspectors. 
  • How much are the Penalties? Each penalty can be up to $10,000 per infraction. There can, however, be multiple penalties per infraction. For example, someone who is outfitting a commercial space and installs lighting without an electrical contractor licence and a notification for the work could have two administrative penalties issued against them.
  • What Contraventions may be Subject to a Penalty? Examples of contraventions for which ESA can issue an Administrative Penalty include: conducting electrical work without a licence, advertising electrical services without a licence, repeated failure to comply with licencing requirements, working without filing a notification (permit) with ESA, and hiring or sub-contracting an unlicensed contractor.

The ESA administrative penalty program was developed in consultation with stakeholders, including the ECRA AC and other advisory councils. The framework includes a tiered penalty structure, an opportunity for recipients to be given notice and an opportunity to respond, as well as a formal appeals process. ESA takes this new authority seriously and is committed to providing an opportunity for a party to correct their conduct before a penalty is issued. This is especially true for their licensed community. Monies collected through this program will go directly toward funding electrical safety, consumer awareness, and educational programs.

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