Customer build program
Underground electrical service for residential construction
The customer build program supports developers and other professionals in the design and construction of underground electrical infrastructure, primarily for residential developments on public and private properties.
The program has been available on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland since 2012.
Through this program, you get access to select, BC Hydro-certified professional electrical engineering firms. These engineering service providers deliver underground electrical infrastructure design, along with project and construction management services, that are in accordance with BC Hydro engineering construction standards and design practice requirements.
We strongly encourage developers to participate in this program. By participating, you’ll benefit from the streamlined involvement and output from the electrical engineering service provider, which helps your project progress more efficiently, and therefore more cost effectively.
How it works
- You select and contract directly with one of the program’s engineering service providers to get underground electrical infrastructure design for your project.
- Designs are reviewed and accepted by us, both prior to construction and prior to energization, to ensure they adhere to BC Hydro civil and electrical standards and BC Hydro design practices.
- Projects are implemented using approved BC Hydro materials, and electrical installations meet BC Hydro safety procedures. Developers may continue to use their civil contractors to install civil infrastructure.
- All work is completed under the supervision and seal of an Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C. Professional Engineer.
If you choose not to participate in this program and instead work directly with BC Hydro distribution design, you’ll be charged a non-refundable design advance of $400 per unit before work starts on the design and estimate.
To be eligible for this program, the project must:
- Be a new residential development proposing to be fed from underground BC Hydro infrastructure.
- 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).
- Have primarily residential electrical infrastructure, but may include other types of construction "embedded" in the development, such as some commercial loads.
- Be single-family dwelling types such as detached homes, townhouses, row homes, duplexes and triplexes.
- Be a fee-owned or strata development.
- Receive service at secondary voltage from BC Hydro underground transformers.
Examples of eligible developments:
- A new, fee-simple 15-lot subdivision with underground electrical infrastructure.
- A new 20-unit townhouse or row home development.
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
Here are some examples of developments that are not eligible for this program.
- 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.
The following external organizations are certified to provide services as part of our 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
700-409 Granville Street
Vancouver, B.C., V6C IT2
604 620 0226
Kiyomi Le, P.Eng., PMP
Site Power Engineering Consultants
Lower Mainland office:
20689 - 56th Avenue,
Langley, B.C., V3A 3Y9
Trevor Stemo, 604 546 1374
107 - 7162 West Saanich Rd.
Brentwood Bay, B.C., V8M 1P6
Mat Bearchell, 250 896 3919
If you have questions about the customer build program, email our team.