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How electrical design projects work

Are you looking to set up an electrical connection in a multi-residential, commercial, industrial or single-residential structure that goes beyond the scope of our express connect projects?

Through the process outlined below, our electrical designers can help you design, plan and implement more complex electrical connection solutions.

Electrical design projects may include installing, replacing or moving our infrastructure including power lines, poles, transformers, service boxes or fuses to help you get connected.

The easiest way to start and manage your electrical design project is through MyHydro. It allows you to view project status and milestones, and share documents with our design team. Learn how to manage your projects using MyHydro [PDF 828 KB].

1. Getting started

Discuss your electrical design project with an electrician, electrical consultant or development project representative who's experienced with our electrical connections requirements.

  • Service location, including the design project address and GPS coordinates.
  • The identification number on our assets located closest to your project. This could be a pad-mounted transformer or pole.
  • The estimated number of amps and volts needed.

2. Application and intake

Discover how to submit a request for an electrical design project online, or over the phone. This includes collecting relevant drawings and documents, and completing application paperwork.

Start a request

  • Gather any available drawings and documents.
  • Submit a request for an electrical design project online by logging in to MyHydro.
  • Alternatively, you can make a request by calling 1 877 520 1355.
  • Review and discuss the initial application. If appropriate, we'll expedite the request by deeming it an express connection.
  • Verify that you meet all of the requirements to initiate an electrical design project connection.
  • Request any documentation and drawings you may already have available that will help us with the design review.

3. Pre-design

Work with our team to determine project feasibility and the scope of electrical design work. You can manage your electrical connection project online using MyHydro.

Manage projects

  • Log in to MyHydro and give your team representatives access to the project so that they can view and update information.
  • Coordinate with other utilities, including TELUS, to arrange for their designs, costs, and construction scheduling.
  • Meet the requirements of our distribution technical standards and guides within your project design. If site-specific constraints prevent you from meeting our standards, submit a variance request.
  • Provide any requested updated or additional supporting documentation and drawings.
  • Review project feasibility and determine preliminary scope of our work.
  • Request updated or additional supporting documentation and drawings.
  • Advise on project requirements that may need more time in the design or construction phase, such as construction permits, service agreements or Statutory Rights-of-Way [PDF, 178 KB].

Payment:  We'll send you a design deposit invoice that must be paid before the project can proceed to the next stage.

You should submit a Request for distribution standards variance form [PDF, 114 KB]  if:

  • Your electrical connection request does not meet our distribution technical standards and a standard solution cannot be found and;
  • The request doesn't impact safety, reliability, or increase the associated costs incurred by us for installing, operating, maintaining and replacing the equipment.

You can apply for a variance from distribution technical standards project for either our assets or customer-owned assets. Keep in mind that submitting this request later in the design phase can lead to project delays.

Learn more about the variance process [PDF, 86 KB]

4. Design

Here our team will create a detailed electrical connection design for your project. We'll also ensure your request meets our technical standards and requirements.

  • Obtain any necessary agreements required to complete your project as requested by our team.
  • Provide updated or additional supporting documentation and drawings as requested by our team.
  • Advise us of any changes to your project requirements or timeline.
  • Provide any updated revisions of drawings already provided to us.
  • Schedule on-site meetings to verify any site restrictions, requirements or risks.
  • Confirm project requirements and communicate responsibilities.
  • Complete a detailed design in coordination with your project team.
  • Request updated or additional supporting documentation and drawings.

5. Pre-construction

Work with an expert to identify and address any environmental concerns at your service location. Pay for project work, obtain permitting and submit documents.

  • Provide the documentation that we requested during the design stage.
  • Submit payment for invoiced design costs.
  • Identify any site-specific environmental and archaeological sensitivities and requirements.
  • Inform us once mitigation of any site-specific environmental and archaeological sensitivities is complete.
  • Meet electrical room and area of installation requirements.
  • Prepare a cost invoice for your project.
  • Obtain any permits necessary for our construction.
  • When necessary, provide detailed civil drawings with specifications after all payments have been received.

Payment:  We'll send you a design and construction invoice that must be paid before the project can proceed to the next stage.

To ensure our crews can work efficiently and safely, the electrical room and area of installation must be:

  • Accessible by our crews. This includes providing key(s) to the electrical room(s).
  • Free of obstacles and building materials. This may involve removing and/or trimming trees and vegetation as required on both public and private property.
  • Well-lit.

Learn more about the requirements in our distribution technical standards.

6. Customer construction

This stage only happens if construction, such as underground civil work and/or non-BC Hydro-owned pole construction is required. In some parts of the province, municipalities may require construction on public property to be performed by us.

  • Provide record drawings of all civil work that will be completed by your civil contractor.
  • Schedule a pre-job conference with a civil inspector to review all drawings, project specifications, materials lists and instructions for picking up civil materials supplied by us.
  • Pick up and deliver BC Hydro-supplied civil material to the construction site within 90 days of the pre-job conference date.
  • Work with a qualified contractor to construct infrastructure on public and private property as outlined by construction requirements and the Canadian Electrical Code.

We'll perform an inspection to confirm your construction meets our standards and that it's safe to proceed to the next stage.

7. BC Hydro construction

It's time to schedule construction and provide site access to our team, so we can get electrical design project work underway.

  • Provide access to our crews if construction is on private property and/or construction sites. See Electrical room and area of installation requirements.
  • Schedule and construct the civil infrastructure required to be built by us.
  • Schedule and construct all electrical infrastructure in preparation for establishing your project's electrical connection.

8. Energization

You'll install the electrical equipment. Then we'll do a site inspection, install the electrical meters, schedule energization and help you get connected.

  • Install revenue meters and associated metering equipment.
  • Provide site inspection for our approval.
  • Schedule and energize connection.

If a metering installation is required as part of your project, it must meet the electric metering requirements [PDF, 352 KB].

We'll perform an inspection to ensure your construction meets our standards and is safe to proceed.


If we energized your site with temporary construction metering, permanent meters will be installed when you've completed the necessary work to meter the individual units or areas. This usually applies to larger multi-residential connections as well as commercial connections or industrial services.

Your metering installation checklist:

Our metering installation checklist:

  • Provide site inspection to ensure it meets our electric metering requirements.
  • Install revenue meters and associated metering equipment.
  • Schedule meter installation.

Ready to get connected?

Initiate a request online through MyHydro or call 1 877 520 1355.

How long will my electrical design project take?

Our goal is to connect you as quickly as we can but there are factors that could impact the time it takes to get connected:

  • Scope of the project.
  • Your project's timeline.
  • Availability of required civil and/or electrical materials.
  • Registration of required statutory rights-of-way.
  • Review processes by authorities having jurisdiction.
  • Environmental and archeological permitting processes.
  • Weather conditions, including extreme climate events.
  • Timeliness of document submissions.
  • Timeliness of design deposit and/or construction invoice payments.
  • Impacts to other customers where a power outage is required (typically 15 additional working days).

Our design team can provide you with an estimated timeline once all factors have been identified.