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Old 07/21/2010, 04:35 PM   #1
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Shop is close but I ran in to a little frustration this week thought I'd vent. Shop is up and all done short of the overhead door and a concrete pad out front, thought I'd get the power hooked up so they have some power for the installation of the overhead door. Prior to the building of the shop I contacted the power company and asked what I needed to do to get power once the shop was up. I was told that I had the option of coming off a power pole right next to the shop which has my transformer on it however that would require a second meter. The other option was to dig a trench from the house through the driveway, yard, sprinkler system etc all the way out to the shop, not a great option for me. So I asked what the differences were, I was told I would have to consider the second meter as a commercial building as they couldn't allow 2 residential meters on the same address? What? Either way I'm going to have two meters at the same address. This would cost me $15 a month for the second meter and I'd have to pay commercial rates for the electrical use. I came to terms with that as I don't plan to use a lot of power so I decided to come off the pole and pay the additional costs even though I thought it was stupid. They told me as soon as I had a meter box on the building and the building had walls and a roof to call back and they would come hook it up.

So I met their requirements exactly as they stated them to me and put the meter on at a cost of $160 for the meter box, plumbed in the conduit to the pole and called. Then they inform me I have to have a specific link bypass meter box because it's a commercial building, you have got to be kidding, first it isn't a commercial building, it's a freaking residential shop, the insane reference to the commercial is your stupid idea not mine. I find out the reason for the bypass meter is so they can service the meter without interrupting power to my "Commercial Business" OMG, they don't want to cause power outages to my business? I could care less if they service my RESIDENTIAL shop and shut the power off, in the 20+ years I've lived here they have serviced my meter on the house by upgrading it once, power was off for a whopping 10-15 seconds. "Sorry no acceptions on commercial buildings. You need the $300 bypass meter box." Why the hell didn't you tell me that in the first place when I called specifically to find out what my requirements were? Can't return the $160 meter box because we have punched out the hole and hooked up the conduit already. They called back after they found out they didn't inform me of the required need for the link bypass meter and left message on my phone that they may be able to help reduce some of the costs. I think they should incur the entire cost of the new box and installation, it's their F-Up not mine.

What ever happened to "Common Sense" when the rule is clearly assanine. Even they agree it's stupid and I don't need it.

Just to spite them I may now rent a mini X and dig the trench and they can shove the $15 a month fee along with losing the higher rate they would charge if I was commercial.

Pisses me off that they can't get you straight when you call to insure you are doing it right the first time.

Sorry for venting, anyone have similar issues when dealing with this kind of crap?

Cory
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Old 07/21/2010, 06:55 PM   #2
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Sounds like a California thing.... Good luck.

66 Shelby GT 350, 55 Chev Nomad my sons 07 Shelby GT#4208. SOLD Candy Apple Red 390GTAuto w/air - Now in Australia.
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Old 07/21/2010, 07:05 PM   #3
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I am a contractor and it sounds like the usual public utility BS. Marty

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Old 07/21/2010, 07:14 PM   #4
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Might want to see if you can 'move' your primary meter to your 'detached garage', and then run power through the trench to your house. All in one line.

Yeah, you have to be careful what you call outbuildings in some areas.

Scott Behncke
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Old 07/21/2010, 07:21 PM   #5
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Glad you shared that.

Unfortunately, in this day and age it seems that we need to assume everyone we speak to at any agency, utility, or company, got his or her job solely by being a moronic inbred second cousin of someone in upper management. With that cynical thought in mind always, always, always. always get the name of a person at any utility or company who tells you anything. That way you have the upper hand and can demand the person is formally written up.

I learned that with the cable company (Comcast) a couple years ago. Luckily, I had the rep's name so his supervisor understood right away that I knew what I was talking about and I was armed with evidence she could not hide or refute.

Last edited by Mosesatm; 07/22/2010 at 06:45 PM..
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Old 07/21/2010, 11:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hookedtrout View Post
Shop is close but I ran in to a little frustration this week thought I'd vent. Shop is up and all done short of the overhead door and a concrete pad out front, thought I'd get the power hooked up so they have some power for the installation of the overhead door. Prior to the building of the shop I contacted the power company and asked what I needed to do to get power once the shop was up. I was told that I had the option of coming off a power pole right next to the shop which has my transformer on it however that would require a second meter. The other option was to dig a trench from the house through the driveway, yard, sprinkler system etc all the way out to the shop, not a great option for me. So I asked what the differences were, I was told I would have to consider the second meter as a commercial building as they couldn't allow 2 residential meters on the same address? What? Either way I'm going to have two meters at the same address. This would cost me $15 a month for the second meter and I'd have to pay commercial rates for the electrical use. I came to terms with that as I don't plan to use a lot of power so I decided to come off the pole and pay the additional costs even though I thought it was stupid. They told me as soon as I had a meter box on the building and the building had walls and a roof to call back and they would come hook it up.

So I met their requirements exactly as they stated them to me and put the meter on at a cost of $160 for the meter box, plumbed in the conduit to the pole and called. Then they inform me I have to have a specific link bypass meter box because it's a commercial building, you have got to be kidding, first it isn't a commercial building, it's a freaking residential shop, the insane reference to the commercial is your stupid idea not mine. I find out the reason for the bypass meter is so they can service the meter without interrupting power to my "Commercial Business" OMG, they don't want to cause power outages to my business? I could care less if they service my RESIDENTIAL shop and shut the power off, in the 20+ years I've lived here they have serviced my meter on the house by upgrading it once, power was off for a whopping 10-15 seconds. "Sorry no acceptions on commercial buildings. You need the $300 bypass meter box." Why the hell didn't you tell me that in the first place when I called specifically to find out what my requirements were? Can't return the $160 meter box because we have punched out the hole and hooked up the conduit already. They called back after they found out they didn't inform me of the required need for the link bypass meter and left message on my phone that they may be able to help reduce some of the costs. I think they should incur the entire cost of the new box and installation, it's their F-Up not mine.

What ever happened to "Common Sense" when the rule is clearly assanine. Even they agree it's stupid and I don't need it.

Just to spite them I may now rent a mini X and dig the trench and they can shove the $15 a month fee along with losing the higher rate they would charge if I was commercial.

Pisses me off that they can't get you straight when you call to insure you are doing it right the first time.

Sorry for venting, anyone have similar issues when dealing with this kind of crap?


Welcome to my world, common sense is long gone when it comes to electrical installations.
they, "the inspectors", make me draw a black line on the white wire when it is hooked up to a three way switch. they seem to think someone will confuse it with a neutral wire.
and different power companies have different requirments. it's lots of fun.
did you think about going overhead from the house to the shop????
i didn't catch how far it was, but it would save the digging.

jbart
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Old 07/22/2010, 06:35 AM   #7
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I have all of their names along the way so I'm good that way and I think they realize they forgot to tell me the requirement so they are going to do something to help reduce the costs, haven't heard what yet expecting a call today.

As for overhead, I'm leaning toward the idea of the meter on the shop and pulling the wires to the house as was mentioned, my son (an electrician) suggested the same thing, the current overhead (from the pole next to the shop) to the house droop down so far I can't bring concrete trucks under them etc. Be nice to get rid of the overhead entirely.

We'll see what their offer is, if it's not good enough I'll cut them out on the additional meter charges as well as the increased commercial rates and do one meter, one way or another.

Cory
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Old 07/22/2010, 06:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ruppstang View Post
I am a contractor and it sounds like the usual public utility BS. Marty
Exactly, some dumb a$$ makes a rule that applies in specific situations and then it becomes the law and applies even when it makes absolutely no sense and instead of allowing exemptions that can be signed off so you don't have to apply something that makes no sense in your application they all blame it on the guy above them, "My hands are tied"...well get closer to the cliff and I'll help you out.

Cory
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Old 07/22/2010, 11:27 AM   #9
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Got my call today, they informed me if I'll change it over to the $300 link bypass meter they will wave the $1100 commercial hook up fee. Wow, another small factor they failed to inform me in the beginning, they can't honestly think I would pay $1400 to avoid the $300 fee it would cost to have a backhoe dig me a trench over to the house to tie in? This has been pretty unreal.

Cory
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Old 07/22/2010, 07:04 PM   #10
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I believe

I think what they are really telling you is that they don't want to do it.

In the long run I think you will be happier with a single meter and a lower electricity bill.

You may make it without friends; but with them, you can do anything.
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Old 07/22/2010, 07:14 PM   #11
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I believe

I think what they are really telling you is that they don't want to do it.

In the long run I think you will be happier with a single meter and a lower electricity bill.
I think you are correct in that I'll be happier, hate to dig up the yard, through the sprinkler system, tear the fence down, through the phone line, through driveway, through the power line to the small shop, through the sidewalk but it will be a one time pain in the butt and then one bill with the lower electricity like you said which will certainly be better and more cost effective long term. Funny thing is they will have more work if I go this way, they will have to tie in the electricity exactly the same either way I do it, the difference is now they will have to move my meter out to the shop and hook it up there and then take down all the wires from the power pole to the house which they would not have to do the other way around and when Mr. Meter Reader comes he will have a royal pain in the butt reading the meter in the winter and more difficult time getting to it in the summer, right now he doesn't even have to get out of his truck because it's right next to the drive way, not in the future.

While talking to the power company today they said they have to do commercial with two meters because someone in the future could start a business out of the shop. I said so, if I do it the other way (residential underground) I'm going to start a business next year out of the shop just because this pissed me off and I'm not telling them so whats the difference, heck my wife has run a business out of the house for the past 10-15 years, a licensed day-care, what the heck difference does it make to them other than we use more power so they make more money.

All I know is when business gets big it loses sight of common sense and ends up with some many ridiculous rules even they can't manage them right.

In spite of all the pain I do realize it isn't the guy I'm dealing with that's to blame and I do like Rocky Mt. Power, they do provide good service, it's just big business.

Cory
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