If you’re building a new home or just upgrading your existing service, going underground is a great option and the prevailing choice for most homeowners in the Okanagan. In addition, it may be worth considering installing your electric power meter on a pedestal instead of the traditional location on the side of your home.
Electric Meter Pedestal Thing-a-Majig??? What’s That?
Basically, on every home there needs to be a meter to record the homeowners power consumption. Traditionally, meters were located on the front or side of the home closest to where the power enters the property from the street. Conversely, a meter pedestal is a stand alone remote structure AWAY from the house that the meter is mounted to. Meter pedestals can take the form of a wood pole, pressure treated post, concrete retaining wall, small outbuilding or any other remote structure. Commonly though (and depending on your local Power Utilities regulations), a pre-fabricated metal pedestal is used as depicted below.
What are the Advantages of Underground Electrical Services?
No one likes the ugly eyesore of the electrical meter on the side of their house (except us, we think they are just lovely!). With a meter pedestal, the eyesore can be located away from your home and thus increase its curb appeal.
Access for the Utility Company
If you have a large fenced and/or gated property, maintaining access for the Utility Company to read the meter can become problematic. If the gate is locked, as is the case with a power gate, then they may require a lock box or some other form of access. Even worse, they may require a right of way or easement for the underground portion that runs through your property. Remember: even though you have to pay for it all to be put in the ground to your house, the Utility owns everything right up to and INCLUDING the meter on your home. Some people do not like the idea of the Power Utility having legal access to their property.
Potential Cost Savings
If you are running underground a long distance over the property there may be a cost savings. Consider that with an underground service, you the customer, are responsible for all the excavation, conduit work, backfill, permitting etc. All of which will need to be hired out to a professional electrician among other trades.
The Power Utility, on the other hand, only pulls the cable through the conduit and makes the final connection. Though for what they may charge you, you’d think they had done the whole job! With a meter pedestal closer to the road, the distance the Utility must run is less and often too is their end of the final costs. True, you’re local Okanagan Electrician will still have to finish running the power to your home, but in most cases it will be for the same or less cost than what the Power Utility would charge. At Pilot Electric Services, this has certainly been our experience.
How do I Know if a Meter Pedestal, is right for me?
Generally speaking, if your Penticton, Summerland or Naramata home is more than 200 feet or 60 meters from the nearest power pole and any of the above applies to you, a meter pedestal may be a good option. At Pilot Electric Services, we’ve installed countless underground and overhead services and can present you the full array of options available. Need a 400 amp underground service? We can do that with a meter pedestal too! (Shown here is a 400 Amp custom meter pedestal with weatherproof service disconnect).
I Need a New Underground Electric Service, What Do I Do Next?
Because any new service will have to involve your local power utility, the process can be a bit confusing if you have never done it before. Adding to the challenge, the requirements for each power utility differ from one to another. Even within the jurisdiction of the SAME power utility, requirements me be applied on a case-by-case basis. If all that red tape sounds like a big hassle, don’t worry, our experts will take first-class care of you! When it comes to a good local electrical, flight time counts, and Pilot Electric Services certainly has the training and experience to deliver.
Call us at (250) 496-0003 for all types of Electrical Services in Penticton, Naramata, and Summerland
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