ESA Licensing FAQs
- Will I still be able to take out an application for inspection if I do not hold a valid Electrical Contractor or Provisional Electrical Contractor licence after January 1, 2007?
- If you are doing work on your own home or if you are an occupant in a residential dwelling you will be permitted to take out an application for inspection for that property only; or
- If you are operating as an Electrical Contracting business you must hold an Electrical Contractor’s Licence or a Provisional Electrical Contractor’s Licence to take out an application for inspection.
- Am I permitted to quote on electrical work if I don’t have an ECRA/ESA contractor’s licence?
No. You must have an Electrical Contractor Licence to bid on electrical work.
- Can a licensed contractor sub contract electrical work?
Yes, but only to another ECRA/ESA licensed electrical contractor.
- Will a separate licence be required in each municipality?
No, commencing July 1, 2006 the ECRA/ESA Licence replaced any Electrical Contractor and Master Electrician licensing requirements so that a single licence permits electrical work to be done throughout Ontario.
- Do HVAC Contractors need an Electrical Contractor Licence?
HVAC contractors do not need an Electrical Contractor’s Licence at this time to perform work which is permitted under their qualification as defined by the Ontario College of Trades.
- Why can a home owner take out permits?
At this time, a home owner may take out permits as a homeowner isn’t operating an electrical contracting business and therefore is exempt from the licensing regulation.
- Will contractors from outside the province require an ECRA/ESA Licence?
Yes they are required to obtain an ECRA/ESA Licence. Click here for more information.
- What qualifications does a contractor outside of Ontario have to meet to obtain an Electrical Contractor’s licence?
Contractors coming from outside Ontario must meet the same requirements as contractors working in Ontario. Please click here for more information. There are some licensing exemptions depending on the type of work that is being done. A list of the exemptions can also be found at the bottom of the page of the above link.
- If I’m from another province or country, do my qualifications meet the requirements to obtain a licence?
Please refer to Ontario Regulation 570/05 for the specific requirements. Individuals who carry the Interprovincial certificate of qualification must contact the Ontario College of Trades before working in Ontario, Ontario College of Trades (1-855-299-0028 or 647-847-3000).
There are some licensing exemptions depending on the type of work that is being done. Click here for a list of the exemptions which can be found at the bottom of this page.
- I’m a contractor from Quebec and I was told there was an agreement related to the qualifications that are accepted for electricians to work in Ontario.
Individuals from Quebec who carry the “Certificat de compétence- compagnon” are allowed to work as electricians under a licensed electrical contractor in Ontario. There are some licensing exemptions depending on the type of work that is being done. A list of the exemptions can be found here.
- If I have my Master Electrician’s Licence in another province, is it transferrable in Ontario?
No, the Masters licence from any other country or province is not accepted in Ontario. An individual who would like to get their Master Electrician’s licence in Ontario must meet the Master Electrician Licence requirements which includes passing a Master Electrician exam given by the Electrical Safety Authority.
- How much will the ECRA/ESA Licence cost per year?
The Electrical Contractor's License cost is $395+HST ($446.35) The Master Electrician License cost is $80+HST ($90.40).
- How do I verify that my application has been completed in full before I submit it to ECRA/ESA?
There are checklists provided on the second page of the application forms. Please make sure that you have included all the required information/documentation from the checklist before submitting your application to ECRA/ESA or you risk having it sent back as incomplete.
- How long will it take to receive my ECRA/ESA Licence?
Every effort will be made to process all completed applications within 4 weeks from the date they are received by ECRA/ESA’s customer service centre.
- Can I take out a permit immediately after I send you my application?
No. You will be able to take out permits once you have received your Electrical Contractor Licence in the mail.
- Does a Sole Proprietor require a Ministry of Revenue number?
Any contractor who is in the business of selling products is required to have a Ministry of Revenue number.
- Why does ESA need a Government tax number and what is this for?
The business registration number that is asked for on the Electrical Contractor Licence application is needed to verify that the business is a registered business in Ontario, as required by the provincial Government.
- What is WSIB?
WSIB stands for “Workplace Safety & Insurance Board”. It is a service that companies must register with if they have employees. The registration confirms that the company has insurance coverage for their employees should a work related injury occur.
- How do I obtain $2 million liability insurance?
The ESA does not associate directly with insurance companies regarding liability coverage for Contractor Licensing. You may want to refer to the Yellow Pages.
- Where does my ECRA/ESA Electrical Contractor Licence need to be displayed?
An electrical contractor shall prominently display the ECRA/ESA Electrical Contractor Licence number (ie:7999999) in all correspondence, contracts, advertisements, on business vehicles and, generally, in all situations where they are communicating with the public. This also includes yellow page ads and websites.
- Do I have to place my Electrical Contractor number on my vehicles? What is the standard size, location, etc.?
Yes, Ontario Regulation 570/05 requires that an electrical contractor shall prominently display the Licence number in all correspondence, contracts, advertisements, yellow pages, website, on business vehicles and, generally, in all situations where they are communicating with the public within 90 days of the date of issuance of their licence.
- Do I have to display my ECRA/ESA Master Electrician Licence number?
No, you do not need to display your ECRA/ESA Master Electrician Licence number. Only An electrical contractor shall prominently display the ECRA/ESA Electrical Contractor Licence number ie: 7999999 in all correspondence, contracts, advertisements, on business vehicles and, generally, in all situations where they are communicating with the public. This also includes yellow page ads and websites.
- If I contract out any Electrical work, can I put in my company’s advertisements that we do/offer electrical work?
No, if your company is a “general contractor”, your advertisements must say that you only use ECRA/ESA licensed electrical contractors to perform the electrical work.
- Why do I have two licence numbers?
If you have a licence issued under a seven digit number that begins with a 6 (ie 6999999), this is your Master Electrician licence number. The Master Electrician (ME) Licence is issued to individuals who have met the ME requirements. The ME Licence is a requirement for an individual who wants to be the designated ME for an electrical contracting company.
If you have a licence issued under a seven digit number that begins with a 7 (ie 7999999), this is your Electrical Contractor Licence number. The Electrical Contractor Licence is issued to a company that is permitted to engage in performing electrical contracting work in Ontario.
- Does ESA provide a T2202 Tax Receipt for the Pre-Master Electrician course?
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency stipulates that the program must be taken at a designated educational institution, such as a university or college, or at an institution certified by the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD). The ESA does not fall into any of these categories at this time.
- How can I file a complaint against a licensed or unlicensed contractor?
Please click here for the complaints process.