GETTING A NEW HOME ALL HOOKED UP
If you are planning on building a new house or a laneway home you will certainly need to hook up to sewer and water, electricity and, possibly, gas. Here are some things you should be aware of right from the start.
First, find out the costs of connection fees and permits so you can plan your budget. Second, check with your city services, BC Hydro and Fortis. Show them the site survey so they can alert you to any concerns that may affect the design or siting of your laneway house.
If there’s an older home on the lot, you might need to update the water line for the sprinkler system or twin the sewer system. It’s important to know these things beforehand.
“We always advise customers to contact BC Hydro before they begin the design process to get a connection estimate,” says Mora Scott from Media Relations and Issues Management at BC Hydro. “The amount of work required will vary for each situation so understanding the cost up front can save customers time and money.”
Later, in the design phase, applicants are required to work with BC Hydro to complete an electrical feasibility study and a physical feasibility study. To proceed with construction, applicants are then required to obtain an electrical permit from the city.
BC Hydro costs associated with a laneway house depend on a number of factors, including height, design and allocation of the laneway house or location on the property. In most cases, BC Hydro will need to add new equipment or upgrade the existing electrical system to provide electrical service to a laneway house. Mora Scott says that, depending on the scope of work required, costs are usually around $500, but they can go much higher for more complex cases.
Homeowners could be prevented from building a laneway house if they don’t meet BC Hydro’s standard connection guidelines.
“For example, clearance requirements from BC Hydro’s electrical infrastructure are there to keep workers and the public safe,” she says. “Property owners or parties acting on behalf of a property owner who make an application for electrical service are responsible for ensuring that a laneway or coach house close to the property line meets minimum clearance requirements.”
For more information about the application process, call BC Hydro’s Electric Service Coordination Centre at 1-877-520-1355.