Customer build program
Underground electrical service for residential construction
The Customer Build Program supports BC Hydro customers/developers in the design and construction of underground electrical infrastructure, primarily for residential developments on private property.
The program offers access to selected BC Hydro professional electrical engineering firms, referred to as "external service providers." These service providers are retained directly by customers to deliver underground infrastructure design, along with project and construction management services, all in accordance with BC Hydro engineering construction standards and design practice requirements.
Civil consultants and customers/developers can refer to the list of external service providers below for more information.
How the customer build program works
To take part in the program, which has been operating on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland since 2012, projects must be:
- A new underground residential development.
- Contain a minimum of six units or lots that aren't "stacked" on top of each other (e.g. a three-level townhouse/row home is eligible, but a three-level condominium with separately owned units on each floor would not be eligible).
- Primarily residential electrical infrastructure, but may include other types of construction "embedded" in the development, including some commercial loads.
- Single-family dwelling types such as detached homes, townhouses, row homes, duplexes and triplexes.
- Fee-owned or strata developments.
- Serviced at secondary voltage from BC Hydro underground transformers.
Areas served by the program
The Customer Build Program is limited to communities on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, including the following municipalities and areas:
- All Vancouver Island
- Lower Mainland
- North Shore (North Vancouver, West Vancouver)
- All communities north of West Vancouver including Horseshoe Bay, Lions Bay, Squamish, Furry Creek, Whistler and Pemberton
- Sunshine Coast, including Sechelt and Powell River
- Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody)
- Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge
- Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and points east (Agassiz, Harrison, Hope) to Boston Bar
- Langley, Surrey, Richmond, Delta, and White Rock
Examples of developments that are eligible
- A new 15-lot underground subdivision.
- A new 20-unit townhouse or row home development.
Examples of developments that are not eligible
- Single homes, duplexes or developments with five units / lots or less.
- 10-unit condo development where five units are on the main floor and five units are on the second floor.
- 30-storey tower served at primary voltage with its own unit substation.
- Development outside the Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland communities listed above.
Whose work is affected by the program?
- Customers and developers
- Civil and electrical consultants
- External electrical engineering organizations
- Prequalified BC Hydro line contractors
- Engineering service providers
- Electrical contractors
How the program works
- Customers, developers, etc., select and contract directly with one of the external service providers on the Customer Build Program list.
- Designs are reviewed and accepted by BC Hydro, both prior to construction and prior to energization.
- Projects use approved BC Hydro materials, adhere to BC Hydro civil and electrical standards, BC Hydro design practices, and electrical installations meet BC Hydro safety procedures.
- All work is completed under the supervision and seal of an Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C. Professional Engineer.
- Developers may continue to use their civil contractors to install civil infrastructure.
Why use the program? Benefits and costs
BC Hydro strongly encourages developers to use the Customer Build Program, which provides increased involvement in their project schedule, and associated cost and time benefits. However, BC Hydro will provide design and installation services to customers who choose not to work – through the program – with one of our approved external service providers. Developers opting to work directly with BC Hydro Distribution Design will be charged a non-refundable design advance of $400 per unit before work starts on the design and estimate.
The following organizations are certified to provide services as part of of the BC Hydro Customer Build Program:
1400 - 1185 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6E 4E6
Wasi Sayedain, 604 687 1821 ext. 190, (m) 778 228 9102
Andrew Rotoff, 204 779 7900, (m) 204 223 4304
Suite 200 – 4240 Glanford Ave
Victoria, B.C. V8Z 4B8
Geoff Costin, P.Eng., 250 385 0401, (m) 250 415 5200
Site Power Engineering Consultants
Lower Mainland Office:
20689 - 56th Avenue,
Langley, B.C., V3A 3Y9
Trevor Stemo, 604 546 1374
Tom Burns, 250 896 3919
How to reach us
If you have questions about the Customer Build Program, email our team.