Building & Renovating
Building and Renovating
Whether you’re building a new home or completing a renovation, we’re here to help. We’ve created a simple guide to identify the steps required to safely connect electrical service to your new construction or renovation project.
- Apply for required permits and hire a certified electrician
- Contact us and book an appointment to discuss your power needs with one of our planners
- Our planner will help create ‘to-do’ lists – one explaining what site prep is required (along with potential costs) and another outlining what your project needs from us
- Please keep us informed as your project progresses. When your ‘to-do’ list is complete, we can schedule our work
- When ready, your electrician will contact our permit center or go online to schedule the required inspection(s)
- Once final inspection has been passed, we will schedule a technician or crew to visit your site and turn on your lights!
More information about each step
1. Apply for a building or renovation permit and hire a certified electrician
Before construction or renovations begin, you must submit building plans to your local Municipal Affairs office and obtain a permit number. Before we start any work on your project we require that permit number.
You are also required to hire a certified electrician who will work with us to apply for wiring permits, coordinate electrical inspections and supply temporary electricity for construction if you need it.
Depending on your type of project, a few other actions that may be required at this time include:
- Marking or staking your house and driveway location
- Identifying the approximate distance from the closest power pole to your building site (or the length of your driveway)
- Determining if your contractor will require temporary power service
2. Contact us to book an appointment to discuss your power needs
When you’re ready to get started, and depending on your type of project, either you or your electrician will need to contact us to book an appointment to discuss your power needs.
For new construction, you’ll contact our customer care centre at 1-800-428-6230. For renovations, your electrician will contact our permit centre at 1-800-428-6230. In both cases we’ll require your contact information (including email address), the site address and your permit number if you have it.
During this appointment, we’ll discuss your project details like:
- What energy products are you interested in? Will they reduce your electricity usage and save you money?
- Do you have a certified electrician who will work with us to supply temporary electricity during construction, apply for wiring permits and coordinate electrical inspections?
- What is the distance from your site to the nearest pole?
- How long is your driveway?
- Have you determined your home heating type?
- What is the size of your service (in Amperes)? If you don’t know this your electrician can help answer this for you.
Our customer care associate will schedule a time to talk or meet up with a Nova Scotia Power Planner to determine next steps. This conversation will help us identify things like where power lines will be installed on your property (if required), determine how long the work will take to complete and begin the process of identifying connection costs.
Under normal circumstances, we supply — free of charge — up to 92 meters of pole and service line installation from an approved attachment point. Other potential costs could include tree trimming, temporary power connections, grant of easement, rock removal to enable pole installation and inspections. A cost estimate will be provided.
3. To-do lists
During or following your conversation with a planner, we’ll provide you with a summary of actions, or to-dos, that need to be completed (some by you and some by us). Some questions and actions that may follow your conversation include:
Preparing a right-of-way for power line installation
You are responsible for clearing the right-of-way of tall trees and/or shrubs that could pose safety hazards or could grow and damage electrical equipment. The right-of-way must be cleared to adhere to our trim width requirements. A planner will review right of way requirements for your site. Typical clearances are 12 meters (40 feet) for high voltage lines, and 5 meters (16 feet) for service lines that goes to your house. This gives the tree enough room to sway with the wind or bend with the weight of snow and ice without threatening an outage.
Do you require temporary power during construction?
If so, your electrician will take care of the installation and you will require approval from one of our wiring inspectors before it can be connected.
Is a grant of easement required?
These documents are necessary if we need to access property that is not owned by you. In addition, we also require a grant of easement for multi-pole line extensions on your own property. You are responsible for completing the grant of easement form, signing it or having it signed by the neighbour who has the property right-of-way, and registering it at the Land Registration Office. A property sketch must be attached to your grant of easement.
How do I get a property sketch?
The Association of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors can provide you with a location certificate of the property and a sketch. They are the only group authorized in Nova Scotia to certify the boundaries of your property. If your property has been migrated to the new land registration system, an authorized lawyer will have to register the document for you. Otherwise, you can go to the Land Registration Office, file a form, and pay a fee to have your document registered
Does rock need to be broken for pole installation?
To install poles, we might need to break rock. You may choose to hire someone to break the hole open or we will send one of our contractors at your cost.
4. Please keep us informed as your project progresses
As you work through your specific to do list, be sure to contact our Care Centre so that we know when you are ready for us to schedule our work for your project.
As your certified electrician progresses through their work they will contact us to book the required inspections for your project.
Once we know that your to-do list is complete and the final wiring inspection has passed, we will be able to safely complete our work to supply power to your site.
5. Complete required inspections
Your certified electrician will apply for all required wiring permits and coordinate all inspections. There are three possible electrical inspections that could be required based on your project:
This inspection will happen after all electrical work is complete and before drywall or insulation is installed.
Service Entrance Inspection
When power is ready to be connected, a wiring inspector will examine your electrical panel, metering equipment and electrical service mast.
After all electrical work is completed, a wiring inspector will do a final review of electrical devices' safety in your home and ensure that all plugs, switches and light fixtures are CSA approved (Canadian Standards Association).
After your final inspection is complete and accepted, a final inspection sticker will be applied to your electrical meter.
6. Turn on the lights!
Once your project has passed the final inspection, we will schedule a crew or technician to run the service wire to your home and/or install your electrical meter.
Then you can turn on the lights.