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Emergency Backup Power System

An Emergency Backup Power System is an independent source of electrical power that automatically operates when the normal electrical power supply is interrupted. Within seconds of a utility outage, an automatic transfer switch senses the power loss, commands the generator to start and transfers the electrical load to the generator, which begins supplying power. Once power returns, the switch transfers electrical load back to circuits and signals the generator to shut off. It then returns to standby mode awaiting the next outage. Most units run on diesel or natural gas.

Work you can do without a permit

No permanent emergency, standby, or optional backup power system work can be performed without a permit or a Licensed Contractor. NYC Administrative Code Section 28-105.4 clarifies work exempt from permit, which does not absolve work from compliance with any other law or rules enforced by the Department. Owners are obligated to comply with requirements of other City agencies. Unless otherwise indicated, no permit required, but a Licensed Master Plumber is required to complete the work:

  • Ordinary Plumbing Work. AC 28-105.4.4 lists work considered ordinary maintenance and repair, including allowable replacement/relocation of plumbing, gas or fire protection piping,  equipment and components, which must be performed by a Licensed Master Plumber.
  • Emergency work. AC 28-105.4.1 clarifies emergency work as work otherwise requiring a permit, performed to relieve an emergency condition. Specialized licensed Skilled Trades may perform emergency work prior to getting a permit as long as it is submitted within two (2) business days after work commences and includes a description of the emergency condition and mitigating measures take:
    • Repair of emergency or standby power system and its components;

    • Repair of gas leaks.

  • Minor Alterations and Ordinary Repairs.  AC 28-105.4.2 defines minor alterations and ordinary repairs for which a permit is not required and work not constituting as such. Also see 1 RCNY §101-14.

When you need to hire a professional and obtain a permit

Emergency backup power system work, including the installation of fuel-burning equipment, associated gas or fuel-oil pumps, tanks, piping, and electric wiring, can only be performed by specialized Skilled Trades and registered Contractors with specialized licenses.

  • Licensed Master Plumber (LMP).  Plumbing work can only be performed by a LMP.  If work exceeds the scope of work detailed in Limited Plumbing Alterations below, a Registered Design Professional must submit documents to the Department for a work permit.
  • Licensed Oil Burning Equipment Installer.  A Registered Design Professional must submit permit documents to the Department for emergency backup power system work performed by a Licensed Oil Burning Equipment Installer.
  • Licensed Electrician.  Electrical work including new installation, alteration, or repair of electric wiring, wiring apparatuses, appliances or equipment requires a separately submitted electrical permit and must be performed by a New York City Licensed Electrician who should coordinate with other members of the project team.  Electrical construction documents are not required to be submitted by a Registered Design Professional, with the following exceptions:

    • Electrical Plan Review plan examination – submitted by an RDP or a Licensed Master Electrician when electrical equipment or installation is at least 1000 KVA.  Read 1RCNY § 34-05 for additional information.

    • Energy Conservation Code (ECC) compliance – demonstrates Lighting Power Density energy code compliance.  (ECC Sections C406.3, C406.3.1, and Table C405.6.2(2))

    • Fire Department Requirements – for any fire alarm system work for review by a FDNY plan examiner, and the periodic testing, inspection and maintenance by either a licensed electrician or registered design professional (FC 604).

  • Registered Design Professional.  A Registered Design Professional must submit construction plans for approval by the Department in order to obtain a work permit, as mentioned above.

  • General Contractor. The owner must hire a Registered Design Professional to submit permit application plans to the Department prior to work being performed by a General Contractor.

The Department encourages anyone hiring a Construction Professional to check both their disciplinary and voluntary surrender records, as well as current license status. Property owners are responsible for any work performed on their buildings and should ensure qualified and experienced professionals that will comply with all requirements of the NYC Building Code and Zoning Resolution are hired.

The Know Your Construction Professional Directory provides disciplinary and voluntary surrender records for licensed Plumbers, Professional Engineers (P.E.) and Registered Architects (R.A.), Registrants and other Skilled Trades. Search our master list of all construction professionals monitored by the Department or search by category:

Limited Plumbing Alterations

Per AC 28-101.5 limited repair to a plumbing or fuel gas piping system:

  • Category – 1
    $35,000 cost limitation per building, including appliances and labor, in any 12 month period for installation of new plumbing or fuel gas piping.

  • Category – 2
    Reroute existing plumbing or fuel gas branch piping to serve the same number of existing fixtures and appliances.

Submission of job filing and obtaining a permit for plumbing work from the Department.

Effective October 15, 2018, all new LAA and Emergency Work Notifications (EWN) must be submitted in DOB NOW: Build. LAA filings submitted in DOB NOW will be permitted in real time.

Starting July 2019, all plumbing job filing and permit requests must be submitted in DOB NOW: Build. Applicants can no longer submit paper filing to the Department. As a result, all stakeholders, such as Registered Design Professionals, Licensed Master Plumber and Owners associated with a job filing will need to first register in eFiling in order to submit a filing or permit request in DOB NOW: Build. If previously registered in eFiling, use the existing eFiling username and password to access DOB NOW: Build. Owners will be required to access the system in order to provide approval for the filing.

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