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Electrical Operating Permit

An operating permit is required by law in BC if you're operating or maintaining some types of equipment. Operating permits confirm that maintenance of your equipment is monitored or performed by qualified individuals. These individuals are responsible for technical safety inspection, operation and maintenance requirements, while ensuring that work records for equipment are kept up to date.*

Having qualified individuals responsible for the operation and maintenance of your property's technical equipment protects your investment by providing oversight of your site's safety.

If you're the owner or managing agent of one of the following types of premises, you'll probably need an operating permit for one or more technologies:

  • Commercial properties
  • Industrial plants
  • Multi-unit office or residential buildings
  • Manufacturing facilities
  • Schools, hospitals and municipal facilities

The City of Surrey's electrical section is mandated through administrative agreement with the Province to enforce the Safety Standards Act and Regulations of BC. The requirement for obtaining operating permits is found in the Safety Standards General Regulation (B.C. Reg. 105/2004)

Determining if you require an electrical operating permit

BC Safety Authority Directive No.: D-E3 070801 7 states that an electrical operating permit is needed if:

  • The supply is greater than 750 volts when privately owned (excluding neon signs);
  • The supply is greater than 250kVA;
  • Installation is for a temporary entertainment site where an installation permits not obtained;
  • Required by an Electrical Safety Officer

How to get an electrical operating permit in Surrey

Electrical operating permits are issued to the owner and or managing agent of the electrical equipment. The operating permit must name a Field Safety Representative (FSR) certified by the BC Safety Authority who will be responsible for the maintenance and operation of the equipment.

The FSR may be an employee and may be named on multiple operating permits for the same owner but may only represent one owner at a time.

An acceptable alternate is for the owner and or managing agent to engage the services of a licensed electrical contractor to be responsible for the operating permit. Find a licensed electrical contractor in your area through the BC Safety Authority.

Download a copy of our Electrical Operating Permit Application for further details.

Other types of technologies requiring operating permits

The City of Surrey issues electrical operating permits only. Contact the BC Safety Authority regarding operating permit requirements for the following technologies operated within the City of Surrey:

  • Boiler and Pressure Vessels
  • Gas
  • Elevating
  • Amusement Devices
  • Passenger Ropeway

Benefits of an electrical operating permit

An electrical operating permit is a tool that helps to promote a safe work environment while protecting your investment. Poorly maintained electrical equipment is prone to failure. In addition to creating possible fire/shock hazards, equipment failure may result in costly down time associated with equipment repairs and or replacement.

An additional benefit is minor electrical installation can be performed under an electrical operating permit eliminating the addition cost associated with obtaining individual installation permits. The requirement for physically inspection will be waived for these minor installations in most instances as the FSR is required to maintain an accurate log book and submit a declaration of compliance for each minor installation. 

This content was created, referencing BC Safety Authority "Operating Permits" handout BRC-7015-00 (2012-13). If you have any questions on your obligation , visit The Safety Authority's section on Operating Permits.

Contact the City of Surrey's Electrical Section by eMail at or by phone at 604-591-4240 for more information on electrical operating permit requirements and or application procedures.