COMMERCIAL ELECTRICAL PERMIT

Commercial Electrical Permits

A commercial electrical permit is required for the following work on a commercial building or structure.

  • Renovate and repair existing electrical systems.
  • Extend or modify an existing electrical system.
  • Installation of a new electrical system.

Please see Permit Home for the definition of commercial structures and work types. Please see work not requiring a permit for work that can be performed without a PLI permit. Please visit our Contacts page for the Construction Inspector's contact information.

New Construction Work Scopes:

The new construction work type applies to the installation of systems in a new building. The applicant shall identify one or more of the following work scopes: 

  • Service, Distribution System, Power, and Lighting: installation of service, distribution system, power, and lighting. Installation of an exterior generator and/or transformer is not permitted under this work scope.
  • Equipment – Exterior: installation of an exterior generator and/or transformer.
  • Low Voltage System (50v Or Less): installation of any low voltage system that operates at 50V or less. 
  • Communication Antenna System: installation of a communication antenna system with exterior equipment.
  • Ground Mounted Solar PV Array: installation of a PV array that is mounted on the ground and/or not on the roof of a building.
  • Roof  Mounted Solar PV Array: installation of a PV array that is mounted on the roof of a building. Installation is limited to buildings with a valid certificate of occupancy.
  • Phased Work - Core And Shell: installation of systems associated with a phased building permit with a core and shell work scope. Work associated with the fit-out is not permitted. Selected in addition to one or more other work scopes.
  • Phased Work - Fit-Out: installation of systems associated with a phased building permit with fit-out work scope. Work associated with the core and shell is not permitted. Selected in addition to one or more other work scopes. 
  • Sign Electric Work: installation of power for signs. 
  • Swimming Pool: installation of grounding and bonding systems for a swimming pool, spa, or hot tub. 
  • Temporary Utility Service/Generator: installation of a temporary utility service and/or generator associated with the construction of the building.

Addition / Alteration Work Scopes:

The addition/alteration work type applies to the alteration of existing systems or installation of new systems in an existing building. This work type excludes the work associated with the first fit-out of tenant space in a new building. The applicant shall identify one or more of the following work scopes: 

  • Power: installation or modification of power devices.
  • Lighting: installation or modification of lighting system.
  • Service and/or Distribution System: installation or modification of service and distribution system. Installation of an exterior generator and/or transformer is not permitted under this work scope.
  • Service Reconnect In-Kind: reconnection of an existing previously approved electrical service in-kind (same location, phase, amperage, and service equipment). 
  • Equipment – Exterior: installation of an exterior generator and/or transformer.
  • Low Voltage System (50v Or Less): installation of any low voltage system that operates at 50V or less. 
  • Communication Antenna System: installation of a communication antenna system with exterior equipment.
  • Ground Mounted Solar PV Array: installation of a PV array that is mounted on the ground and/or not on the roof of a building.
  • Roof  Mounted Solar PV Array: installation of a PV array that is mounted on the roof of a building. Installation is limited to buildings with a valid certificate of occupancy.
  • Phased Work - Core And Shell: installation of systems associated with a phased building permit with a core and shell work scope. Work associated with the fit-out is not permitted. Selected in addition to one or more other work scopes.
  • Phased Work - Fit-Out: installation of systems associated with a phased building permit with fit-out work scope. Work associated with the core and shell is not permitted. Selected in addition to one or more other work scopes. 
  • Sign Electric Work: installation of power for signs. 
  • Swimming Pool: installation of grounding and bonding systems for a swimming pool, spa, or hot tub. 
  • Temporary Utility Service/Generator: installation of a temporary utility service and/or generator associated with the construction of the building.
  • Emergency Work – Service: replacement of electrical service or equipment condemned by PLI and/or required to maintain safe occupancy of an occupied building. A permit limited to this work scope has an SLA of 7 business days. 
  • Emergency Work – Other: replacement of electrical equipment condemned by PLI and/or required to maintain safe occupancy of an occupied building. A permit limited to this work scope has an SLA of 7 business days. 
  • Removal of System/Equipment: removal of a system and/or equipment that is not replaced. 

Minor Alteration Work Types:

The minor alteration work type applies to the alteration of existing systems in an existing building with a valid certificate of occupancy. The applicant shall identify one or more of the following work scopes: 

  • Service Reconnect In-Kind: reconnection of an existing previously approved electrical service in-kind (same location, phase, amperage, and service equipment). 
  • Low Voltage System (50v Or Less): installation of any low voltage system that operates at 50V or less. 
  • Work on Existing Lighting Circuits: modification of branch circuit wiring, lighting controls and wiring, and light fixtures (luminaries), if the overcurrent protection is not modified.
  • Work on Existing Power Circuits: modification of branch circuit wiring and power devices, if the overcurrent protection is not modified.
  • Sign Electric Work: installation of power for signs. 
  • Single Branch Circuit (max 30A): installation of a single branch circuit with a maximum amperage of 30 that serves lighting and/or power devices and does not exceed the capacity of the panelboard
  • Temporary Utility Service/Generator: installation of a temporary utility service and/or generator associated with the construction of the building or a PLPLI-approved temporary event and/or structure.

Permit Process:

See these web pages for additional information regarding the permitting process:

Please see Other Agency Coordination for processes related to other agencies that may relate to your permit scope.  For commercial electrical permits:

  • Zoning Development Review application (ZDR) submission is required for the following new construction and addition/alteration work scopes:
    • Communication Antenna System.
    • Equipment – Exterior.
    • Ground Mounted Solar PV Array.
    • Development of a property in a regulated floodplain requires a PLI Floodplain permit.
  • PA Department of Health (DOH)
    • Required for a structure regulated by the PA Health Care Facilities Act.
  • Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire (PBF)
    • Work that includes transponders used for emergency responder radio coverage
    • Solar PV Array work scope.
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