Range of costs for running power to a property?


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Old 05-03-10, 02:43 PM
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Question Range of costs for running power to a property?

Hi all, I'm in the early stages of designing a house and looking at potential properties.

I'll be looking for a minimum of 5 acres somewhere in the Willamette Valley (Western Oregon) and probably within 40 minutes of Salem, OR.

In a lot of the listings I see, there's no power to the property, and it says something along the lines of "power nearby." Of course, buyer beware...one man's "nearby" is another man's 10 miles.

Assuming I find a place where the power truly is nearby though, what kind of costs am I looking at to have that power run to the property, complete with the temporary box and meter, etc?

Thanks
 
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Old 05-03-10, 02:55 PM
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..................Call the Power Company................
 
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Old 05-03-10, 03:07 PM
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You need to have a power company engineer evaluate the site to see where the nearest power is, how much you need and what kinds of materials and labor it will require. They will probably want a rough estimate of the proposed building square footage and which major appliances will be electric (A/C, range, heat, water heater, spa, etc). They will also need to know if you want overhead or underground service. They might be able to do this over the phone if they have good schematics of the nearby lines.

What you eventually end up paying depends a lot on your local laws and power company policy. Usually they cover part of the cost and you cover part of the cost, but the size of those parts vary widely around the country. There will also be a split between their labor and your (or your contractor's) labor. They should have some pretty detailed engineering documents they can send you about who covers what cost under their policy, but it may be hard to interpret unless you're working with a contractor already.
 
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Old 05-03-10, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
You need to have a power company engineer evaluate the site to see where the nearest power is, how much you need and what kinds of materials and labor it will require. They will probably want a rough estimate of the proposed building square footage and which major appliances will be electric (A/C, range, heat, water heater, spa, etc). They will also need to know if you want overhead or underground service. They might be able to do this over the phone if they have good schematics of the nearby lines.

What you eventually end up paying depends a lot on your local laws and power company policy. Usually they cover part of the cost and you cover part of the cost, but the size of those parts vary widely around the country. There will also be a split between their labor and your (or your contractor's) labor. They should have some pretty detailed engineering documents they can send you about who covers what cost under their policy, but it may be hard to interpret unless you're working with a contractor already.
Wow, a real answer! Thanks...I thought you were going to tell me to call the power company. <snort>

I keed, I keed...actually I took buzz_mn_58's advice, and called Salem Power, who quoted $6.40 a foot for underground. I'm assuming if it was a long distance they would do overhead (probably closer to $2 or $3 a foot) and then at some point drop to underground near the property?

That's for single phase. 3-phase was $14.00 a foot. I don't think I'd need 3-phase.

So placing the temp meter and box sounds like it's included in the price of the line run. Thanks for the info on the variables.
 
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Old 05-03-10, 03:58 PM
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Unless ascetics or ice is a major factor go with an overhead drop. It is usually free for up to a certain distance. If it is beyond a certain distance they may require you to install one or more poles. Ask how far they will run a drop for free and just plan your house inside that distance.
 
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Old 05-03-10, 04:28 PM
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Most of the time the single phase supply useally handle most of the new home construction unless the POCO did have the rules for the X amout of amps once you get over that level you have to go with three phase or they will special order a transfomer.

I am not sure what your POCO will state on the X amout of amparge for single phase but I do know most POCO useally have a cutoff line between 400 to 600 amp range that where it get instering.

Mine POCO in wisconsin any home over 400 amp service will have to use 3 phase supply unless it get a engineer approved for very large single phase supply.

But plan ahead if you going have pretty good size shop like woodworking or machine shop or whatever it will be that will be good time to address it now espcally if you going with underground lateral runs the overhead runs is a drop in bucket.

The last house I did work for my customer he have very serious woodworking shop in there and end up putting in three phase supply { he have 400 amp three phase supply due alot of equiment do have three phase motours in there } but there is one nice clevat { gotcha } you can NOT have both single phase metering and three phase metering at the common point so what I did with the customer place I got rid of single phase load centre and wired up three phase load centre for both resdentail and woodworking shop.

Just give you a head up so you can able plan it ahead of the time.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-03-10, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric G. View Post
who quoted $6.40 a foot for underground. I'm assuming if it was a long distance they would do overhead (probably closer to $2 or $3 a foot) and then at some point drop to underground near the property?
Either of these is good up to a few hundred feet. Beyond that, they will need to either set pole(s) for overhead service or bring in an underground primary and set a pad-mount transformer (green box) somewhere near the house. This is where the cost can add up when you get more than several hundred feet from the poco.

That's for single phase. 3-phase was $14.00 a foot. I don't think I'd need 3-phase.
Three-phase is rarely used at a house unless you have some serious electrical requirements.

So placing the temp meter and box sounds like it's included in the price of the line run.
Generally not. Your electrician will need to erect a temporary mast, pole or tripod and set a construction box according to the power company spec. They will then install the drop to the temp box and set a meter.
 
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Old 05-03-10, 07:56 PM
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Thanks for all the answers everyone...that will be helpful to keep in mind as I'm looking at properties.
 
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Old 05-04-10, 05:29 AM
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One other thing to keep in mind long-term is that if you are the only customer on a long run, through an area that is wooded, subject to icing or lightning, you should figure in the cost of standby power. At least talk to "neighbors" and find out how often they have power failures and how long it takes to get restored after.
 
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Old 05-04-10, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ArgMeMatey View Post
One other thing to keep in mind long-term is that if you are the only customer on a long run, through an area that is wooded, subject to icing or lightning, you should figure in the cost of standby power. At least talk to "neighbors" and find out how often they have power failures and how long it takes to get restored after.
Good idea! I'm hoping I'll end up finding something with power already, but if there is a long run involved, I'll ask around (and have backup).
 
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Old 05-04-10, 07:42 PM
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Yeah that one thing if you are on the end of the spur on the grid system it will be wise idea to have a stand by generator set up.

I know it did happend pretty often so I allready set up two diesel generators that help a bit.

Merci,Marc
 
 

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