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ESA inspectors are busy and this would undermine their Authorized Contractor Program

Is it really a good idea to tell the public not to pay electricians until a Certificate of Inspection has been produced? Really?


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November 20, 2014 by Steve Payne

Further on the extensive PR by Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), every time they find an unlicensed electrician.  In a recent press release, the ESA’s director of licensing, Normand Breton, told the public not to “settle the final bill” with an electrician unless they provide a Certificate of Inspection of their work. (See the exact quote in the story here.) Greg P. suggested this approach needs a little refining.  Here is what he says:

“We have to be careful with this one. As an ACP contractor, I can file as a small job and not get the Certificate of Inspection until the following month. ESA inspectors are busy and this would undermine the ACP (Authorized Contractor Program). This may also mean that a COD customer will get off without paying the bill at all, or I will spend forever chasing him for my money. It would make more sense to require that the contractor prove, by way of a notification number, that the permit has been applied for. The customer can validate the notification number by calling the ESA call center.”


Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
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1 Comment » for ESA inspectors are busy and this would undermine their Authorized Contractor Program
  1. Robert Sloan says:

    Yes Greg you are right. The message has to first distinguish between a licensed electrician and a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC). Then stress only “Make sure a permit has been taken out”….not a “Certificate of Inspection” in hand. The short quote or sound byte has to be better thought out. Our terms are usually payment due on completion and we do not forward the Certificate of Inspection until payment is made in full (or at least a cheque in hand). I find as long as your terms are made clear up front almost all clients accept it. In reality the certificate is only perceived leverage….and hardly any guarantee of payment, but on occasion it is a very useful tool. Here’s another recent ESA sound byte guaranteed to ruffle a few feathers….It was said by 2 different seniors people at ESA in a room mostly full of LEC’s…”We are not your quality control”.