On March 21, 2012 an electrical contractor was convicted in a Windsor Ontario court of numerous charges related to performing electrical work without an electrical contractor's license and failing to make arrangements for the inspection of electrical work by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). He was found guilty on seven counts of performing electrical work without an electrical contractor's license, seven counts of failing to apply for inspection, four counts of failure to procure a connection authorization, and one count of falsely representing himself as a licensed electrical contractor. The total fine was $19,000 for the violations plus $4,750 as a victim impact surcharge.
Under Ontario Regulation 438/07, Licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians, only Licensed Electrical Contractors are permitted to contract to perform electrical work in Ontario.
"Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous players out there who present themselves as being able to do electrical work when they don't hold the appropriate license and they don't follow the rules and regulations. If you hire them, you may end up with unsafe electrical wiring, or may need to arrange to have a licensed electrical contractor make repairs to their work," said Scott Saint, ESA's VP and Chief Operating Officer. "We remind anyone considering hiring someone to do electrical work to follow 'the three Cs': check to ensure the contractor holds a valid electrical contractor license; confirm that they are arranging the appropriate inspections from ESA; and call ESA at 1-877-ESA-SAFE (1877-372-7233) if you suspect someone is misrepresenting themselves."
ESA reminds consumers of the requirement to ensure that anyone you hire to perform electrical work has a valid ECRA/ESA Electrical Contractor Licence. This will ensure that the Electrical Contractor you have hired:
is fully insured
uses qualified electricians to perform the electrical work you require
will arrange for permits with the ESA
can deliver an ESA Certificate of Inspection
can provide references
will prepare a written cost estimate of the work
I agree that people should be licenced, however I previously did some work at a client's home where he had provided the permits and had the ESA inspect the work, only to get zapped when I touched a switch and there were many mistakes that we both noticed throughout the project. What this tells me is that the ESA took the homeowners for a ride as well. For the money they charged we should expect more. Who's policing the authority?
My point is the ESA makes a big deal out of licensed electricians to take your money but at the end its homeowners beware!
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