Find out when an operating permit is required and how to apply. 

Electrical Operating Permits (EOP) are required for a variety of applications. They ensure that electrical work within the city is done safely and by qualified professionals. Permits are available for the annual maintenance of a regulated product, temporary use for construction purposes or temporary use for entertainment purposes.

Types of operating permits

Annual Electrical Operating Permit

Electrical operating permits are required by law for the operation and maintenance of a regulated product. Equipment owners and operators will work with a licensed Field Safety Representative (FSR) to ensure that their equipment is actively maintained under this permit.

Types of sites requiring an operating permit

The following require an operating permit:

  • Commercial properties
  • Multi-occupancy buildings (e.g., hotels, strata-owned condominiums and apartment buildings, office high-rises and shopping malls)
  • Manufacturing and industrial facilities (e.g., warehouses, recycling plants)
  • Educational facilities (e.g., university, college, public or private schools)
  • Hospitals, nursing homes, or senior centers 
  • Recreational facilities (e.g., stadiums, ice rinks, bowling alleys) 
  • Facilities that operate equipment in hazardous environments
  • Wind farms 
  • Greenhouses 
Equipment requiring an operating permit

Equipment will require an operating permit if:

  • The operation or design of electrical equipment is such that regular or ongoing maintenance is required;
  • The electrical equipment is operated within Class I, Class II, or Class III hazardous locations;
  • The electrical equipment is operated or maintained for emergency service;
  • The electrical equipment is part of a fire alarm system;
  • The supply is greater than 250 kVA;
  • The supply to privately owned equipment, except for high voltage neon signs, is greater than 1000 volts;
  • The equipment is installed for temporary use and the supply is greater than 5 kVA;
  • There is an elevator;
  • There is an electrical vehicle management system; 
  • The Electrical Safety Officer (ESO) requests the owner obtains a permit for the ongoing maintenance and operation of regulated equipment. 
Equipment owners and operators

Owners are responsible for initiating the permit and making sure their permit is in good standing. Owners will work with either an in-house FSR or a contractor, who is certified and in good standing with the TSBC, to ensure they meet the obligations of the operating permit that has been issued to them.

Issuance of the electrical operating permit does not sanction unauthorized construction or unauthorized use of property. The property owner/tenant is responsible to ensure compliance with local Building, Planning, Zoning and Bylaw requirements.

In the case of multi-occupancy buildings, it is the responsibility of each equipment owner to ensure that operation and maintenance is authorized under an operating permit. 

Your equipment must be maintained by a qualified professional. To engage the services of a licensed electrical contractor, find a licensed electrical contractor in your area.

Maintaining your permit

Site reviews must be requested annually. The FSR named on the permit is required to submit a Contractor Authorization Form (CAF) to initiate the inspection at the 12-month mark. Check your permit as it may contain special conditions. 

Annual Electrical Operating Permits are not eligible for extension. They must be reapplied for every year to maintain compliance. 

A new operating permit must be issued prior to closing the current one. Your previous year's permit will be not closed/receive final acceptance until you do the following: 

  1. Have your FSR apply for a new electrical operating permit for the year
  2. Submit a Contractor Authorization Form (CAF) with the maintenance logs attached to close the previous permit. On the CAF, indicate the following in the additional remarks section so the ESO can close the permit: 
    1. This is for the closure of the previous year's EOP. 
    2. The new EOP has been applied for, include the new permit number. 


Temporary Entertainment Operating Permit

If you're planning an upcoming event/production in Surrey, you may require an Entertainment Electrical Operating Permit.

Why do I need a Temporary Entertainment Operating Permit?

Electrical equipment associated with temporary entertainment productions is subject to a great deal of "wear and tear" due to the nature of installation. If not properly maintained and or installed, this equipment is subject to failure, which may pose a risk to persons and property. 

An Entertainment Electrical Operating Permit makes sure your electrical installation is monitored by a qualified professional who is responsible to confirm compliance with applicable codes and standards.

Events and productions that may require a permit

Examples of temporary events/productions which may require an Entertainment Electrical Operating Permit:

  • Film/Television Productions
  • Mobile Concession Stands
  • Festivals
  • Concerts
  • Fairs
  • Carnivals
  • Temporary Amusement setups 
How do I submit my application?

As the event organizer, you are responsible for submitting your Entertainment Electrical Operating Permit Application 2 weeks prior to the date of your event.

The FSR or Licensed Electrical Contractor named on the permit is responsible to ensure the installation is compliant, inspections have been requested and that contact has been made with the ESO. 


Other operating permits

The City of Surrey issues electrical operating permits only. If you have any of the following technologies, you must contact Technical Safety BC. 

Other types of operating permits
  • Boiler and Pressure Vessels
  • Gas
  • Elevating
  • Amusement Devices
  • Passenger Ropeway

If you have an elevator, you must have an active Elevator Operating Permit with TSBC and an electrical operating permit with the City of Surrey. 

How to apply 

Review how to apply for your permit whether you're an electrical contractor or building/equipment owner & operator. 

Electrical contractors

If you are an electrical contractor, you can apply online using our portal. 

Apply online

You can apply using our Online Electrical Permit Portal for your electrical operating permit. 

How to register 

Have you registered for your MySurrey Account? You can begin using our online portal once you've created your MySurrey Account. 

For more information on how to register for your MySurrey Account and start managing your electrical operating permit online, please visit Online Permit Portal Registration Guide

Building/equipment owners & operators

Apply by email 

Complete an electrical operating application and email your form to

Your application will be processed and prepared to receive payment. When your permit is issued, you will receive instructions on how to manage your permit. 

Inspection requests

Complete a Contractor Authorization Form (CAF) and send it to for the following inspection types:

  • Operating permit
  • Annuals for maintenance & operation
  • Temporary construction 
  • Entertainment permit


Roles & responsibilities

Field Safety Representative (FSR)

What is a FSR and why are they needed?

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 Technical Safety BC (TSBC) who will be responsible for the maintenance and operation of the equipment. Electrical contractors must obtain the appropriate permit from a regulatory authority before performing regulated work or using a regulated product.

  • The FSR may be an employee of the owner/operator
  • The FSR may be named on multiple operating permits for different equipment owners. However, they may only represent the interest of one owner/operator at a time when applying for permits or communicating with the City.
What are the duties of a FSR?

The FSR named on the permit, including declarations of compliance, must comply with Section 26 of the Safety Standards General Regulations. Duties include but are not limited to:

  1. Ensuring that the regulated work complies with all requirements under the Act.
  2. Requesting inspections prior to concealing, and or energizing any regulated work.
  3. Ensuring that persons performing regulated work under this permit have the qualifications that are appropriate for that type of work (including supervision ratios).
  4. Disclosing to a safety officer any regulated product or regulated work that creates a risk of personal injury or damage to property.
  5. Certification marking is required for electrical equipment and associated wiring: See BCEC 2-024 Use of approved equipment.
  6. Maintaining permit to active status. Expired permit fees or permit extension fees must be paid, if applicable. In issuing a permit, no determination of compliance with other city bylaws has been made by the City and should the use of land and premise breach any of its bylaws now or in the future, the City reserves the right to enforce those bylaws in accordance with their conditions.


City of Surrey Bylaws

Technical Safety BC 

Acts and legislation 

Who to contact

For operating permits inquiries, including annuals for maintenance & operation, temporary construction and entertainment permits, email