Electric vehicle charging stations, renewable energy systems, fuel cells all addressed in new Canadian electrical code

CSA Standards has released the 2012 Canadian Electrical Code (CEC), Part 1. The 2012 CEC is the 22nd edition of Canada’s primary standard for electrical installations and includes more than 180 updates and revisions – the most comprehensive set of changes ever – including future-looking developments toward sustainable technologies that help address climate change issues, as well as several considerations addressing the safety of Canada’s children.

New and extensively updated sections focus on renewable energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic installations and wind-generated electricity, new requirements for electric vehicles and home-based vehicle charging stations, as well as tamper-resistant receptacles for child care facilities.

“New sustainable technologies such as electric vehicles, solar panels and power generating wind turbines have never been more prevalent,” says Bonnie Rose, president, CSA Standards. “With major manufacturers bringing these products to market in greater numbers, they can no longer be considered simply emerging technologies, but part of our daily lives. Electrical safety surrounds Canadians every minute of every day, and CSA’s 2012 Canadian Electrical Code is grounded in sustainability and safety improvements that will undoubtedly have a positive impact on future generations.”

The 2012 CEC makes tamper-resistant receptacles in child care facilities mandatory.  Unless otherwise defined by a regulatory authority having jurisdiction, this requirement applies to all facilities providing care to children seven-years-old or younger.

Unique installation requirements for a variety of renewable energy systems including wind and fuel cells are addressed in the 2012 CEC. Hydrokinetic generation systems that convert tidal or ocean current into energy, and micro-hydro systems that are very small versions of hydro power stations that convert the energy of streams and creeks into usable electricity are also covered. Lastly, existing requirements for solar power have been updated considerably to reflect new technologies, techniques, and calculations.

CSA’s 2012 Canadian Electrical Safety Code may also be considered a roadmap for the enhanced safety and success of electric vehicles. As electric vehicles become more commonplace, increased standardization has become critical to help ensure that charging infrastructure is properly addressed in terms of safety, capacity, and consistency.  The 2012 CEC fulfills this need through new and enhanced rules addressing the safety, load calculation, and installation of electric vehicle charging equipment. This includes commercial applications for fleet vehicles and home installations such as a residential garage or car port.

“Developing standards is vital to the adoption of green technologies,” says Bob Oliver, CEO of Pollution Probe, a national, non-profit organization that exists to improve the health and well-being of Canadians by advancing policy that achieves positive, tangible environmental change. “The strides CSA Standards is making toward the development of standards and codes for renewable energy and sustainable technologies, such as the new 2012 Canadian Electrical Code, will help make these technologies safer and provide Canadians with more choices for sustainable energy sources as demand for these products by environmentally conscious Canadians continues to grow.”

About the 2012 Canadian Electrical Code, Part I

Each year in Canada, up to 800 people experience electrical accidents in the workplace. The CEC Part I covers the installation and maintenance of electrical equipment for operation at all voltages in buildings, structures, and premises (including factory-built relocatable and non-relocatable structures).

The 2012 Canadian Electrical Code, Part I, includes numerous updates:

  • Garage doors: A receptacle must now be provided for each cord-connected overhead garage door opener in residential garages for all new constructions.
  • Splash pads: Splash pads are now classified as pools, and the CEC mandates protection such as ground fault circuit interrupters where applicable.
  • Roof top outlets: New commercial or industrial buildings will require a roof-top receptacle in order to help heating ventilation and air-conditioning technicians to safely maintain roof top equipment using power tools. 
  • Outdoor outlets: New “in-use” weatherproof covers will be required to protect outdoor receptacles from wet weather, even when electrical devices are plugged in.
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