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  • Ontario Electrical Safety Code - Directors Order on Rule 8-102 Voltage Drop

Ontario Electrical Safety Code - Directors Order on Rule 8-102 Voltage Drop

ESA, as the regulator of electrical safety in Ontario, is constantly reviewing the current electrical safety requirements to ensure the regulatory framework continues to provide the appropriate balance between the need to ensure safety while supporting modernization and eliminating unnecessary encumbrance on industry. ESA has reviewed the existing requirement for voltage drop in single dwelling units and on November 5, a Director’s Order will be issued, amending OESC Rule 8-102. 

The amendment changes the existing OESC rule re: voltage drop requirements for lighting and general use branch circuits in residential single dwelling units. The change applies to new construction of single dwelling units. 

These changes are effective February 3, 2014. 

For complete details of the consequential amendment to the OESC, please refer to the Director's Order.


The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is a private, not-for-profit corporation designated by the Minister of Consumer Services under the Safety and Consumer Statutes Administration Act, 1996 to administer and enforce Part VIII of the Electricity Act, 1998 and regulations made there under.

ESA, as the regulator of electrical safety in Ontario, is responsible for regulating the safe use of electricity and electrical products and equipment in Ontario and to serve the public interest as it relates to electrical safety.  The ESA is accountable to the Minister through an independent Board of Directors and an Administrative Agreement. 

As an organization, ESA’s overall mission is to improve electrical safety for the well-being of the people of Ontario.  Its long-term vision is an Ontario free of electrical fatalities, serious injury, damage and loss.  Given finite resources, ESA works in conjunction with its electrical safety partners that make up the integrated electrical safety system to fulfill its mandate. 

ESA’s approach is to identify significant harms and to take appropriate measures to prevent, mitigate, or eliminate them. Using this approach, ESA has developed its 2011-2015 Strategic Plan Getting to Zero: A Commitment to Safety, which establishes the strategic initiatives and 5-year goals for the organization.  ESA’s 5-year vision is to achieve a 30% reduction in electrical contact and fire fatalities within Ontario. 

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Electrical Safety Codes

The Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) is developed by the Canadian Standards Association. It has been developed on a 3 and 4-year cycle since 1927. The CEC is a voluntary document and its requirements can only become mandatory when adopted into legislation or regulation by a government entity. Ontario adopts the CEC as one part of the OESC. The other part of the OESC consists of a series of Ontario-specific amendments, which include a set of Ontario-specific administrative rules.  In some cases, Ontario amendments exceed those found in the CEC, in other cases they differ depending on specific circumstances within the Ontario context.

ESA is designated by Ontario Regulation 89/99 as the responsible authority for the purposes of administering and enforcing Part VIII of the Electricity Act, 1998 and regulations made there under, including Ontario Regulation 164/99, which adopts, by reference, the Canadian Electrical Code together with specific Ontario amendments and is referred to as the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC). 

To ensure that the OESC reflects changes in technologies, and responds to reports of electrical incidents, the OESC is updated every three years.  However, amendments to the OESC may be warranted in between the three years cycle in order to respond to changes in the marketplace.  As such, a Statutory Director may, in writing, pursuant to subsection 113(5) (a) of the Electricity Act, provide notice through issuance of a Director’s Order to amend the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. 

The authority given under subsection 113(5)(a) provides ESA with the regulatory flexibility to support regulatory activities and the facilitation of marketplace changes. Since the Director’s Order functions as a temporary condition or requirement, typically amendments made through this process are formalized in the next code cycle.

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Your Turn

 The public consultation period is now over. ESA appreciates your effort to provide input through this public consultation. We would like to thank-you for taking the time to review the Propose Directors Order and for providing your comments and feedback.


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ESA Feedback 

ESA consulted with Stakeholders to gather comments and feedback on the proposed Directors Order to Amend Rule 8-102.

A second consultation was undertaken on the revised proposal from June 3 to June 24, 2013, following the same consultation process as with the original proposal. ESA received no formal written feedback from stakeholders regarding the revised proposed amendment.

To confirm stakeholders had a chance to review and were satisfied with the revised proposal, ESA reached out to the stakeholders who had previously submitted comments during the original consultation. Upon review of the revised proposal, these stakeholders either expressed their support or understood the need for the proposal, or had no additional comments

To view ESA Response on each comment received during the initial consultation, and the revised Directors Order, click here

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