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Not so fast, says Greater Toronto ECA: Risk-based Oversight will cost you

July 8, 2020 | By Anthony Capkun

July 8, 2020: The recent launch of Risk-based Oversight (RBO) by Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority for inspection of electrical wiring notifications will effectively raise residential inspection fees in the Greater Toronto Area by roughly 25%, says the Greater Toronto Electrical Contractors Association.

“For our member contractors in the housing sector in the GTA, the launch of the new [RBO] program will result in an additional, across the board, $1 million in fees collected by ESA… fees that eventually are passed on to the home buyer,” says Bob O’Donnell, executive vice-president of the Greater Toronto ECA.

The new RBO program eliminates the previous Authorized Contractor program, which offered qualified electrical contractors a 25% discount on wiring inspection fees. Most electrical contractors in the Greater Toronto Area housing market were on the Authorized Contractor program because of their qualifications and record of minimum deficiencies.

The premise of this new program—that physical inspection requirements are based on a risk assessment of an electrical installation—is similar to the Authorized Contractor program, with the exception that the fee discount is eliminated.

“I might add that, for these contractors and home buyers, there does not appear to any additional services provided,” added O’Donnell.

ESA says its new Risk-based Oversight program will help reduce the burden on Ontario businesses while allowing ESA to focus on work that is higher risk while targeting the underground economy.

Electrical contractor members of Greater Toronto ECA employ about 800 workers and wire over 20,000 homes in the GTA annually.

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