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Electrical Permits

electrical permits

All electrical installations in new buildings and renovations require electrical permits. A certified electrical contractor must apply for and complete the work. To be eligible to apply for contractor electrical permits, you must:

  • Hold an Alberta Master Electrician certificate
  • Have a City of Calgary business licence
  • Complete an online Qualified Trade Application

Many common questions about electrical permits can be answered by The City’s Technical Assistance Centre. Inquiries about building, plumbing, electrical or heating, ventilation and air conditioning code or construction methods, building safety and fire regulations, please contact 311 and ask to speak to a safety codes officer in the Technical Assistance Centre.

In some cases, homeowners may apply for permits if they own and live in the home and are completing the work themselves. Under the same criteria, homeowners, who reside or intend to reside in their home, can now apply for electrical and plumbing permits for approved secondary suites. There are no required drawings or forms to apply for electrical and plumbing permits; simply bring ID, proof of ownership (in cases where the property has been purchased recently) and a cost estimate to the Planning Services Centre, located on the 3rd Floor of the Municipal Building.

For more information, view our view our Homeowner electrical wiring guide, or contact our Technical Assistance Centre.

Recent Updates

Wireless switching

Wireless switching is the use of a radio receiver typically wired into a light fixture, electrical device or otherwise connected to the electrical system of a building. The radio receiver’s memory may be programmed by a variety of means and will then respond to a compatible switch or remote control. For example, this could operate a light fixture with the use of radio frequency.

Residential applications

Wall Switches: Rules 30-500 to 30-510 Luminaires in Residential Occupancies

Canadian Electrical Code (CEC), Part 1 rules 30-500 to 30-510 outlines requirements for wall switches in residential occupancies. A wall switch may include any form of wall mounted lighting control, including wireless, provided the following conditions are met:

  • Wall switches are permanently mounted in a location as per the requirements of the CEC (Part 1) and the Alberta Building Code.
  • Electrical equipment is approved the CEC (Part 1, Rule 2-024).

For more information please refer to ELECTRICAL SAFETY Information Bulletin STANDATA, Section 30.

Commercial applications

Wireless switching is acceptable as per the electrical code and the manufacturer’s specifications and instructions, but not in lieu of code-required wall switches located in the same room as the luminaire it controls. An electrical permit is required.

ENMAX infill requirements

When developing a single family or semi-detached home in the inner city, please contact ENMAX early in the development process to eliminate construction delays. You must check that ENMAX has sufficient infrastructure and capacity in place to provide electrical services to the development. Prior to construction, as the developer or builder of the project, you must confirm the proposed electrical services can be installed.

Please note: When the development permit is circulated to ENMAX for review, they do not check or confirm the proposed electrical service requirements.

Please contact ENMAX at

Secondary suite electrical load calculation

Are you developing a secondary suite or laneway house? Use the secondary suite electrical load calculation sheet to make sure your current electrical service is adequate. When completed, please submit the form to If it has been determined that the main electrical service has to be increased from a 60 amp, 100 amp or 200 amp service, please contact ENMAX.

Underground service conductor installations

Beginning April 1, 2016, contractors will be required to submit plans for the underground service conductor installation, as specified in the Canadian Electrical Code or as calculated by the IEEE 835 standard, when the permit is initially obtained. These plans are required for commercial, commercial – multifamily and industrial sites where the service conductor sizes are 1/0 and larger. By reviewing the plans proactively, we are able to ensure the Canadian Electrical Code standards are being met from the get-go and prevent issues arising later on.

The IEEE835 standard does not apply to installations located in the downtown core and supplied from the ENMAX network.

For more information, contact 311 and ask for the Technical Assistance Centre (TAC).

Permit information

We’re committed to providing you with a timely response on your permit application.

Permit types:

  • Electrical permit
  • Fire alarm (electrical permit and building permit required)
  • Annual permit
  • Single construction permit (issued to builder)

Additional permits may be required for solar, factory built structures (skid units), hot tubs, air conditioning units, garages, sheds and more.
An annual permit is required if your establishment employs a full time electrician. An electrical contractor that is doing maintenance work at a facility may also apply for an annual permit.

Permit requirements:

A separate permit is required for each:

  • Commercial space
    • Base building (this permit may include the individual bays of services, fire alarm, HVAC and emergency lighting).
    • Tenant spaces.
  • Multi-family low-rise and high-rise buildings, the permit scope may include 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 multi-family stacked (dwellings that have individual access to street).
  • Each dwelling unit of row housing.
  • Each dwelling unit of town housing.


  • All commercial retail unit numbers must be listed in the scope of work on the permit.
  • “All units” may be listed in the scope of work on the permit. When notifying inspections, unit numbers must be listed and identified on meter.

Submission of plans and drawings:

The electrical inspection section requires plans and drawings for new construction or service upgrades on services of 600 amps and larger and all high voltage installations.

A single line diagram and manufacture shop drawings are required to be submitted with the following information included:

  • Fault current at all over-current devices
  • Service characteristics and all ratings of over-current devices at all service and distribution equipment
  • All panels and over-current devices to indicate if series-rated combination is used
  • Check off sheet from link included with permit confirmation email

The shop drawings may be emailed to The City of Calgary at

Requesting an inspection

Inspection appointments are booked by contacting 311. Requests for an inspection must be made between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

When requesting an inspection, please provide:

  • Permit number (eg. BPYEAR-00000, EPYEAR-00000)
  • Job address
  • Type of inspection (eg. final, rough, progress, underground, service and occupancy)

Electrical inspections are now available on the 311 Calgary Mobile App for booking or through 311 online services. Download the 311 app or visit to book an inspection.

Please note:

  • Inquiries regarding specific jobs may be referred to the area inspector.
  • For problems that cannot be resolved with the area inspector, or if the area inspector is not available, please contact the Senior Inspector.
  • Inquiries regarding plans can be made by contacting 311 and asking for the Technical Assistance Centre.


Energizing of services

Electrical services (except single family) will not be energized unless they have been inspected and labelled.

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 to 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 Electrical Inspection Section is required.

Temporary construction services

All temporary services, regardless of size, are to have a HRC fused disconnect switch in front of the meter. Enmax will not energize any HOT Sequence metered Saw Service.

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.

Working on energized electrical services

On underground services where repairs or alterations are required on the line side of a hot sequence utility meter, contact ENMAX first line response at 403-514-6000. Reconnection will be completed, provided a permit has been issued.

On overhead services, the utility service drops may be disconnected at the service head and temporarily reconnected when work has been completed. They may also be temporarily reconnected; however only when using the required and approved splicing method.

When repairs or alterations are required on the load side of a hot sequence utility meter, the meter may be removed.

Please contact ENMAX prior to beginning work.

Overhead services (residential infill dwellings)

Please ensure that the exposed service conductors that are not higher than windows, doors and porches. Clearance must be 1 metre or more. The service attachment point shall not exceed 5.5 metres from finished grade level.

Flood plain

When installing services in a floodway or floodplain, the main electrical service must be installed above the flood level. Check with a general contractor to see if you are on a floodway or floodplain.


Please check that your electrical rooms comply with Rule 2-310 of the Canadian Electrical Code. For services rated 1200 Amp or more, or over 750 Volts, a working space of 1.5 metres is required.

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 HRC type fuse.

General wiring

Breaker termination

Breakers should not be installed and terminated on the rough-in stage of construction because these circuits are being accidentally energized. This has resulted in flashes in outlet boxes and contact with energized wires. We do not recommend this procedure.

Hydro massage bathtubs

Acceptable forms of access to pump motors are:

  • Removable panels.
  • Removable one-piece skirts, provided they are friction fit and are siliconed around the perimeter.
  • Removable section of the tub skirting with visible screw holes.

Underground inspections – single construction permit application only

All underground inspections must be notified for inspection.

The Safety Codes Officer will conduct periodic spot checks of underground installations on single family and semi-detached dwellings.

Violation of the current installation practices will result in the electrical contractor being placed on notice. Any recurring violations may result in withdrawal of backfilling privileges.

If backfilling occurs while the electrical contractor’s privileges have been withdrawn, the underground installation will be exposed at the contractor’s expense.

Special note:

As a general guide, the rigid PVC conduit from the coil location to the meter base should be sized as follows. Please keep number of bends to a minimum.

Conduit size

Cable AWG


53 mm (2 in)

2 – 2/0


63 mm (2.5 in)

3/0 – 4/0


Installation of decorative Christmas tree lights in public areas

The electrical inspection section has received a number of requests to investigate incidents where citizens have received electrical shock from the lighting of Christmas trees.

Generally, incidents have occurred where lights have been installed in public areas and the lamp was damaged, leaving exposed live lamp filaments.

To alleviate the problem, we recommend that all decorative Christmas tree lighting below 2.1 metres (82.5 inches) installed in areas accessible to the general public be on a circuit protected by a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter of the Class A type.

Please contact 311 if further information is required.

Information and forms

Helpful links