The changing electrical sector: A new edition of the Canadian Electrical Code

For over 90 years, CSA C22.1:21, Canadian Electrical Code, Part I, has been updated to keep up with sector challenges and improvements. And 2021 is no exception.

Over 320 volunteer experts have contributed to the 2021 Code providing recommendations and best practices relating to safety, construction, efficiency, new technologies and the environment. This work has resulted in over 200 updates to the Code. But what are the most significant changes and why?

Energy Storage Systems

According to National Resources Canada, 6.3% of Canadian energy comes from renewables with wind and solar photovoltaic energy the fastest growing sources of electricity. These industries rely on energy storage systems during times of low demand, and supply energy during times of high demand or low production. With updated guidance on energy storage installation and maintenance, the Code helps to support renewable power generation, infrastructure, and safety.

Climate Change Adaptation

Previous editions of the Canadian Electrical Code have had no requirements for climate change adaptation. In Canada alone, the World Resources Institute has predicted flood damage costs of US$6.6-billion to urban areas by 2030. As a result of a climate change adaptation initiative between CSA Group and the National Research Council of Canada, the Code now contains new requirements for electrical installations subject to damage from flooding.

Buildings Housing Livestock

Barn fires can be tragic events for farmers, and the loss of livestock, buildings and equipment can be devastating in many ways. Based on data from the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, there are approximately 80 reported fires involving barns housing livestock with an estimated loss of CAN$18.5-million each year. Approximately 40% of all barn fires are caused by electricity as ignition source. Requirements in the 2021 Code for buildings housing livestock aim to help increase safety and reduce the risks of barn fires and loss of animals.

Get the resources you need

CSA Group provides a variety of 2021 Canadian Electrical Code packages to help users understand new requirements and apply the Code. View our 2021 Code Packages.