Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Electric Service

As we've made the move to our property there are a few items that I'll be blogging about to hopefully save everyone else time, headaches and money. These items were not provided in one place so unfortunately it ended up costing us significant money (in the thousands) and probably over 50-100 extra hours of driving, calling and doing additional work. Each state, county and utility is different but make sure to ask these questions on the front end, especially if you're moving a mobile home on the property.

1. What is the base installation cost, including Membership Fees, Transfer/Connect Fees?

2. Are a certain number of feet included in the installation and how much is the cost per foot after that amount?

3. Are there restrictions before service can be installed or do certain items void the 'free' feet?

4. What easements and paperwork are necessary prior to allowing service installation to be scheduled?

5. Where are you planning on tapping into to feed the service to my property?

To describe the reasoning a little further let me provide examples to each number above.

1. This was described on the up-front as well as being outlined on the Membership Application that we received so this should be an easy one.

2. In our case 300 feet was free of charge and after that it was $5/ft (as of March 2008).

3. We found out right before they went to install that because our mobile home still had the tow hitch on it they usually would not give any free footage but instead would charge us for every foot they had to connect. We did have the axles removed and had spent the money getting the home moved however we were not aware of this until they did the site survey right before installing. Even though the axles were removed as originally discussed this hitch almost created a real cost problem for us.

4. & 5. When we originally looked at the property prior to the end of the period where we could rescind the offer and only loose $100 I personally called the electric company I was told that it wasn't any problem getting electric as our neighbors to the north and east had electricity so no problem. Once we scheduled and said we were ready to go we were told we needed to get an easement from the neighbors to get the hookup done. After talking with our neighbors to the north told us no but they would allow us to tap into the pole by the street, no problem except the electric company said we would have to cut off all trees along the property lines to 12' or less if we wanted to tap into the north. So that would be approx. 600 feet of trees to trim. So we switched to plan B and tracked down our neighbors to the east and after a week of waiting said no problem however we couldn't get them to call the electric company and give their okay as well as helping us get the easement. I told them I would carry all the paperwork around and pay all fees I just needed them to sign. All combined this took 2 weeks off just to the point of getting permission and we're still waiting for them to follow up with helping us get the easement.

The good news is with a few calls and just treating others with respect we were able to get things done and hooked into the north property because another neighbor made the call. It pays to be nice and respectful to your neighbors.

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