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Risk-based Oversight (RBO)

What is Risk-based Oversight?


RBO Information Webinar for Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) and Municipalities

On March 28, ESA held an RBO webinar for LDCs, followed by a webinar for municipalities on March 29. The one hour-long webinars introduced RBO and ESA’s plans for implementation, followed by a Q&A session.

Learn more about the webinar for LDCs

Learn more about the webinar for municipalities


Results from Fall 2018 RBO Town Halls

In Fall 2018, ESA held 16 Risk-based Oversight Town Halls to speak with LECs about ESA’s move to Risk-based Oversight (RBO), the proposed RBO fee model, and any decisions that have been made about RBO to date.

The report below consolidates the feedback ESA received from contractors at these town halls; it also provides results from a survey completed by town hall participants.

RBO Fall town hall report


Fall 2018 Meeting Materials and Feedback Form

Here is a short video that reviews how RBO works and answers questions that LECs asked during the first round of RBO Town Halls:


This is the town hall presentation that outlines decisions made about RBO and a proposed fee model:

RBO Presentation − Fall 2018

LECs and other stakeholders are invited to review these materials, download the RBO Town Hall feedback template below and provide feedback via email to  

RBO Town Hall Feedback Template

Any personal information you might provide in this consultation process is subject to ESA’s Privacy Policy. The information will be used to assist us in conducting and evaluating the results of the consultation, which may involve disclosing your comments to other participants, institutions and interested parties during and after the consultation. Your name will not be disclosed without your consent.


Results from Spring 2018 RBO Town Halls

ESA held town hall consultations around the province to talk with LECs about ESA’s move to a risk based approach (called Risk-based Oversight or “RBO”)” for electrical wiring by 2020. A video of the town hall presentation and  a report that summarizes the LEC feedback from the town halls is available below.  The report captures the themes and comments ESA received from contractors over 15 RBO town halls and provides results from a survey filled out by town hall participants. 


  risk-based oversight presentation risk based oversight townhall report


Next Steps:

There will be a formal notice and/or consultation for LECs and other stakeholders in Summer 2019.


What is Risk-based Oversight?

ESA is moving to a risk-based approach for electrical wiring by 2020. This means ESA will spend more effort on higher risk electrical wiring work, and less effort on lower risk work, without compromising safety.
Risk-based Oversight means that ESA will use risk criteria to determine what wiring work requires a site visit. Permits will have a risk level assigned to it based on:

  • who does the installation work
  • what the installation is
  • where the installation is

All high risk work must be inspected, and medium and low risk work will be subject to selective inspection. That is, for every two, three, five, or ten installations, one will have a physical site visit by an inspector – but this ratio is still to be determined.

Why is ESA moving to a Risk Based Approach?

We know you would like it to be easier to do business with us. We believe selective inspection and a risk based approach can help address your scheduling concerns as it creates opportunities for ESA to keep you better informed as to when an inspector will or won’t be coming to visit a site. This also means ESA will be able to focus on the work that poses the greatest safety risk to Ontarians, including the investigation of work done by unlicensed contractors.


When will I see this in the field?

We anticipate that Risk-based Oversight will be in field by 2020. We’re still determining how it could work and testing certain parts of the risk-based approach. We’ve also gathered information from LECs across the province in Town Hall meetings to determine how this change could potentially affect their businesses to ensure the rollout is as smooth as possible.