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Safety at Home

Renovating your home

When you complete any home renovation project that involves electricity, you must have the electrical work done by a licensed electrical contractor. The work must be inspected to ensure that the job has been done properly and safely to meet the standards of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.

Inspections are performed by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). The ESA is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the safe use of electricity and electrical equipment in Ontario.

Always hire a licensed electrician to do the electrical work in your home

Always hire a licensed electrician to do the electrical work in your home

  • If you are having someone do electrical work in your home, they must be a licensed electrical contactor. Ask the contractor to see their Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)/ECRA licence number. For more information, visit the Electrical Safety Authority's website at www.ESAsafe.com
  • Be sure you and your contractor follow all local building codes, the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, and all bylaw and permit requirements.
  • A permit for electrical work must be obtained within 48 hours of when any electrical work begins.
  • All electrical work must be inspected and approved by the ESA. This inspection must be done prior to covering any wiring with drywall or any other wall/ceiling materials.
  • Once the inspection is complete and approved, the permit holder will receive a certificate of inspection from the ESA.
  • Check the wiring requirements of your major appliances such as electric ovens and clothes dryers, and ensure they are wired by a qualified electrician whose work is inspected by the ESA.
  • Power tools should have either a three-prong plug or double insulation. Keep all tools and cords in good condition and never use power tools on wet grass or other wet surfaces.

Upgrading your electrical service

There can be many reasons for deciding to upgrade the electrical service in your home. You may be adding extra living space, air conditioning, more appliances, a swimming pool or a sauna, or you may decide to replace your existing screw-in fuse type electrical panel with a circuit breaker type panel.

We recommend that the following guidelines be used to plan this work:

  • A licensed electrical contractor is required to display their Electrical Safety Authority/ECRA licence number. Ask to see it.
  • An electrical permit needs to be taken out within 48 hours of when the electrical work starts.
  • The electrical contractor that you hire will coordinate the planned work with both the ESA and Alectra Utilities. A service layout may be required.
  • As a guideline, please allow a minimum of three working days for us to schedule our work.
  • On the date and time that is chosen to perform this work, Alectra Utilities will disconnect the electrical service to your home.
  • Your electrical contractor will complete their work and have the ESA inspect the work.
  • Once the inspection is complete, you will receive a certificate of inspection from the ESA.
  • The ESA will then contact Alectra Utilities (assuming the ESA has approved the completed work), and provide us with a Connection Authorization. This allows us to reconnect the electrical service to your home.

Learn more by visiting the ESA website.