Learn how to apply for a residential, multi-family electrical installation permit.

A residential, single-family electrical installation permit provides for the installation and inspection of the following items:

  • New single family dwelling
  • New single-family with an authorized secondary suite
  • New duplex dwelling
  • Additions or alterations to an existing residence
  • Garage or workshop (separate electrical permit required for a detached garage)
  • Secondary suite (a separate permit is required for the suite and must be approved by the building department prior to issuance of permit).
  • Construction of barn or accessory structure
  • All renovations of an existing dwelling
  • All minor/alterations of an existing single-family dwelling
  • Installation of a pool
  • Coach House Feeder Calculations
  • 400Amp 120/240 1ph - Service Isolation Systems

Download the Residential Safety Guidelines form.

Download the permit application and fee schedule from our Forms & Bulletins page, or submit your application online.

Online electrical permit application 

Requirements for Application

Please check the items that are included in the scope of work and also provide any other details that will accurately determine the scope of work this electrical Permit is to cover. Please note that a separate permit will be required for each item (i.e. vacuum, security, data, telephone etc.) if supplied and installed by others and not included in the current permit value.

Separate permits will be required for each residential unit's detached garage and or coach house.

If you have a single residential unit, you will require:

  • One wiring permit for the residential unit plus individual permits for each vacuum, security, data telephone if installed by individual contractors.
  • Each permit application fee will be based on the job value applicable to each individual permit application.

Each permit fee is calculated based on the job value relating to the scope of work covered by each permit application (i.e. residential unit wiring only, residential low voltage job value only, coach house wiring job value only, coach house low voltage job value only, etc.)

On the application you will be asked to indicated what items you're applying for, such as:

  • New Electrical Service to be installed
  • Upgrade of a existing Electrical Service
  • Security System Installation
  • Cablevision
  • Telephone
  • Sound system
  • Computer data cabling
  • Vacuum system
  • Overhead Door control systems
  • Swimming Pool Installation
  • Detached Garage
  • Authorized Secondary Suite


  • Only the Electrical Contractor or project Field Safety Officer (FSR) may call for an inspection.
  • A Contractor's Authorization/Declaration or Compliance Form (CAF) must be submitted for each inspection request.

Puck Lights

Extra-low voltage lighting Installations (puck lights) of the field assembled type shall use fully certified or approved transformers and light fixtures identified for maximum wattage as stand-alone components. They must be installed as per section 12 or 16 of the BC Electrical Code. Modified pre-packaged kits with items certified for component only or component replacement will not be accepted.


Although we enforce all areas of the BC Electrical code and Section 26, we would like you to pay particular attention to islands, peninsulas and dining nook receptacles, balconies, arc fault in sleeping areas etc. These areas are the most frequent causes of concern for the inspector and contractor.

Secondary Suite Electrical Requirements

  • Overhead electrical supply service
  • Underground supply service.
  • Dip service (overhead to intermediate pole then underground to structure)

Special Considerations

Unless the property is zoned to allow a secondary suite, the use of this property must remain as a single family dwelling. Applying for secondary suite rezoning does not constitute approval. The application must go through the rezoning process and when it is approved by Council it will be closed in AMANDA.

Until rezoning approval is finalized, wiring for secondary suite cooking facilities cannot be approved.

Pre-Zoned Areas

New construction in areas zoned for secondary suites must have a combination panel installed in the secondary suite area even if the suite is not to be constructed at the time of the original building construction. All circuits in the suite are to feed from this panel.


The size of the service must be calculated in accordance with Section 8 of the B.C. Electrical Code. A duplex meter base with separate service panels in each unit may be installed or a single service with a sub-panel in the suite.

Recessed Light Fixtures

All recessed fixtures in an insulated ceiling or a floor space between the suite and the rest of the house, whether insulated or not, must be IC-Type (approved for contact with thermal insulation). All recessed fixtures installed in a ceiling required to have a fire resistive rating must have the fire separation maintained around the recessed fixture (boxed in with drywall).

Heating Systems

Often electric heating is chosen to segregate heating systems to address the problem of smoke being distributed by forced air furnaces. This heating must be calculated into the service size. This means that one unit may have a forced air system, and the other an electrical heating system.

Kitchen Outlets

Spacing and circuitry requirements of the current B.C. Electrical Code must be met.

Appliance Circuits

Circuitry requirements of the current B.C. Electrical Code must be met for all installed appliances, including: fridges, freezers, dishwashers, microwaves, dryers, stoves, etc.

Smoke Alarms

The B.C. Building Code provides for a relaxation of the fire separation requirements (only) between the suite and the remainder of the house if two independent (redundant) systems of smoke alarms are installed. Relaxation is from 45 minutes to 30 minutes. One of these systems must use photo electric type smoke alarms.

This means there may be smoke alarms of both the ionization type and photoelectric type in both the suite and the remainder of the house. In most cases this will result in smoke alarms of one system being side by side with smoke alarms of the other systems.

Each system is to have the smoke alarms interconnected so that if one alarm sounds, all alarms of the same system will sound; however ,the two systems must not be connected together. Each system must operate completely independent. In addition, one smoke alarm system is to be connected to the suite panel and the other system connected to the main panel.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

A carbon monoxide alarm is required in the suite per BCBC requirements. This alarm should be located either in the bedroom or in the corridor within 5 metres of the bedroom.

Visit the Building a Secondary Suite page for more information.