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Electrical permits for contractors

This information is for residential and commercial contractors looking for technical information about electrical wiring approval processes. Information for homeowners is also available, including tips to consider when hiring a contractor. Visit our homeowner electrical and plumbing permits web page for homeowner information. 

Request an inspection

There are several options available for booking an electrical inspection. Contractors can log into VISTA to book an inspection. Alternatively, download the 311 mobile app, visit 311 online services or phone 311. Requests for next-day inspection service must be made before 2 p.m.
When requesting an inspection, please provide:

  • a description of the work
  • the permit number (eg. BPYEAR-00000, EPYEAR-00000)
  • the address of the job
  • the inspection type for residential (eg. final, rough)
  • the inspection type for commercial (eg. final, rough, underground, service)
  • site details such as access, pets, work area, etc.

Secondary suites

Visit Secondary suites and backyard suites for detailed information about inspections for electrical permits. Please calculate the electrical load requirements for your suite, and provide this information either to The City or ENMAX, depending on requirements.

Permits

All electrical installations in any new or renovated buildings requires an electrical permit(s). Before the work begins, a certified electrical contractor must apply for the permit(s) and complete the work. Permit applicants must:

  • hold an Alberta Master Electrician Certificate;
  • have a City of Calgary business licence;
  • complete the City Qualified Trade application process

For more information, review the Electrical Permit Bylaw or calculate your permit fees.
When applying, it’s important to identify the electrical permit category and type(s). More than one permit category can be selected for each permit.

Permit categories include:

  • Air conditioning unit
  • Detached garage
  • Electric vehicle charging – greater than 50KW
  • Electric vehicle charging – less than 50 KW
  • Emergency generator install (new)
  • Emergency generator replacement
  • General wiring
  • Hot tubs
  • Pools
  • Secondary suite/backyard suite
  • Service
  • Temporary service

Your job may require multiple permit types. Permit types include:

  • Electrical permit
  • Annual permit (commercial)
    • An annual permit is required if your facility employs a full-time journeyman electrician. An electrical contractor conducting maintenance work at a facility may also apply for an annual permit.
  • Single construction permit (residential)
    • This permit is issued to the builder. A separate electrical permit is required for work that is not covered under the single construction permit.

In addition to the electrical permit, other permits may be required for work involving solar photovoltaic, factory built structures (skid units), communications (phone and data), fire alarms and signs.

An electrical permit and building permit are both required to alter or install a fire alarm.

Permit requirements:

A separate electrical permit is required for:

  • Commercial space
    • Base building (including individual bays, fire alarm, HVAC and emergency lighting).
    • Tenant spaces
  • Multi-family, low and high-rise buildings, the permit scope may include the base building and all dwelling units (buildings consisting of several dwelling units and served by a public corridor or common exit stairs).
  • Each dwelling unit of a multi-family stacked residence and a separate permit for the base building.
  • Each dwelling unit of row housing (dwellings that have individual access to the street).

Services

Submission of plans and drawings

There are three situations where submitting plans and drawings is required:

600 amp services

The City of Calgary requires that plans and drawings be submitted for new construction or service upgrades of 600 amps and higher, including all high voltage installations.

Please email the Plans examination checklist with your application, and ensure that your single line diagram or manufacture shop drawings include the following:

  • fault current at all over-current devices
  • service characteristics and all ratings of over-current devices for all service and distribution equipment
  • all panels and over-current devices to indicate if series-rated combination is used
  • permit application requirement list with permit confirmation email

Underground service conductor installations - commercial

Contractors are required to submit plans for installing underground service conductors, as specified in the Canadian Electrical Code or as calculated by the IEEE 835 standard - Rule 4-004, Ampacity of wire and cable for underground installations.

The IEEE835 standard does not apply to installations supplied from the ENMAX network.

Please submit the Plans examination checklist with your application. For more information, contact 311 and ask for the Technical Assistance Centre (TAC).

Solar photovoltaic

All solar photovoltaic installations within the city of Calgary require a completed  Solar photovoltaic electrical permit checklist.

Shop drawings may be emailed to The City of Calgary.

Underground inspections for single construction permit applications - residential

A City of Calgary safety codes officer will conduct spot checks of underground installations on single-family and semi-detached dwellings in the pre-backfill phase.

The rigid PVC conduit from the coil location to the meter base must be sized as follows. The conduit cannot contain more than two bends.

​Conduit size​ ​Cable AWG ​Type
​53 mm (2 inches)
2 – 2/0 ​USEB 90
​63 mm (2.5 inches) ​3/0 – 4/0 ​USEB 90

Overhead services

Please ensure that exposed service conductors are either higher than windows, doors and porches, or a clearance of one metre or more must be maintained for windows. The service attachment point cannot exceed 5.5 metres from finished grade level.

Existing hot splitters - commercial

When a load is added to an existing hot splitter, the following applies:

  • A disconnect switch marked, “Suitable for Service Entrance Equipment” shall be installed between the existing splitter and the utility service drops. The switch will be called a “Service Supply Disconnect Switch.”
  • The disconnect switch is to be either a standard enclosure, protected by a metal cabinet with metal doors, or an Enclosure Type 3R for outdoor use.
  • The disconnect and metal raceways will be grounded by using the neutral conductor for bonding all metal parts.
  • The disconnect is to be protected from mechanical damage where installed in alleys or similar locations.
  • Fuses shall be sized to the ampacity of the existing splitter or service conductors, whichever is smaller, and shall be of a high rupturing capacity (HRC) type fuse.

Temporary construction services

All temporary services, regardless of size, are to have an HRC fused disconnect switch in front of the meter. ENMAX will not energize any hot sequence metered construction where the service switch is located after the meter. Temporary construction services cannot feed new homes except with special permission.

Illegal bypass of meter

When electrical service conductors are purposely damaged to bypass the electrical service meter or the main over-current device, the service conductors must be completely replaced from the point of connection to the electrical utility power supply. Damaged underground cables must be replaced to the property line and damaged overhead conductors must be replaced to the weatherhead. For extenuating circumstances where the service conductors cannot be removed or replaced, permission from The City of Calgary’s electrical inspection section is required.

Main service panelboard without a main disconnect

Sub-panels cannot be added to an existing service panelboard that does not have a main disconnecting device. These panelboards were originally approved for installation where the number of branch circuits was limited.

Flood plain

When installing services in a floodway or floodplain, the main electrical service must be installed above the flood level in accordance with Calgary’s Land Use Bylaw (1P2007) – see the section titled Building Design in the flood Fringe. Check with a general contractor to see if you are on a floodway or floodplain.

Electrical load calculation

Use the secondary suite electrical load calculation sheet to ensure your current electrical service is adequate. When complete, please email the form to us. If the main electrical service must be increased from 60 amps, 100 amps or 200-amp service, please contact ENMAX.

Energizing of services

Obtaining an electrical permit from The City of Calgary is the first step before beginning an electrical job. In addition to obtaining a permit, it is important to contact ENMAX prior to beginning work. ENMAX instituted a policy restricting electrical contractors from handling meters and cutting secondary supply connections (see meter handling restrictions for more information).  Please review inspection requirements​ on how to energize electrical services.

Please note that a separate permit and inspection must be obtained for residential single construction if the service requirements are greater than 200 amps.

On underground services where repairs or alterations are required on the line side of a hot sequence utility meter, contact ENMAX at 403-514-6100.

For a single family or semi-detached homes in the inner city, please contact ENMAX early in the development process to reduce construction delays. You must confirm that ENMAX has sufficient infrastructure and capacity to provide electrical services to the development. When the development permit is circulated to ENMAX for review, they do not check or confirm if they have capacity to accommodate the proposed electrical service requirements.

 

Emergency

In the event an electrical service is damaged on a residential, commercial or industrial property, the repairs must be completed by a licensed and registered electrical contractor who holds an electrical permit from The City of Calgary.

When a service must be disconnected from the electrical utility, ENMAX meter handling restrictions apply.

In the event your electrical service is not damaged but the power is out, please contact ENMAX Trouble to report an outage at 403-514-6100.

Canadian Electrical Code 2018

The 24th edition of Part 1 of the Canadian Electrical Code will be in force on February 1, 2019 in the province of Alberta. Until then, use the existing 23rd edition of the Canadian Electrical Code.

Requesting a variance

A person may require a variance to use alternate practices not recognized in the codes, or to permit the installation and use of unapproved electrical equipment in a specialized application. Please see the Electrical Variance form to apply.  For further information about variances, see Alberta STANDATA.

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