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It seems like service changes can be profitable. A solar co. is offering $500.00 per panel on a piece work basis. They do everything except the change itself. Seems a little low to me. How can I market and get my own service upgrades. I know you can make $1000.00 to $2500.00 and up on residential service change outs.
 

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$500 is ridiculous. The materials are close to that.

We do a fair number of service upgrades (2-3/week) and charge $3300- $3700 plus permit. It's higer than many but people will pay it and more and more contractors are charging close to this amount. I know several EC's down here who used to charge $1800-$2500 and they started charging over 3K and realized that they can get it. If you're gonna lose them at $3200, you'll lose them at $2500 too. The cheapies will always be too cheap and will hire the person willing to do it for wages. It's too much work to do for less IMO. Especially now.

Lately they have become a HUGE pain. SDGE used to take 3-5 days to get a service order and now they are taking up to 3 weeks. Also we used to do our own disconnect/ reconnects on overhead services and the city and SDGE looked the other way. We did this because it can take up to 6 weeks to get a date for a disconnect/reconnect and you can't schedule it until after the service order is in hand. All the sudden they decided to enforce getting a disconnect/reconnect for all services and it is taking FOREVER to get it on the schedule and they are now requiring an inspection before the stucco is patched with the lathe paper in place. Our stucco repairs increased a lot because now the guy has to go out twice.

We used to win a job and be able to do it the next week, now we can't do the work for 2 months and it's a killer. The inspectors are almost all new and are making us nuts. Even if the customer has no power they do not care and won't expedite the work. We had a couple of emergencies where we did the work because it needed to be done then had to go back on the disconnect /reconnect date a month later, disconnect, sit and wait for hours for the inspector, then call for reconnect as if the work was done that day. It is totally stupid.

They are a whole lot more of a hassel then they used to be and almost all are requiring multiple trips for one thing or another.

Someone at SDGE told us that it's the solar companies who are causing all the delays. Not sure if that is true but they are extremely backed up.

$500 is horrible. They are usually an all day job especially when you have to wait for the inspector and the line crew to reconnect. Why would you even consider doing it for $500? That's $62.50/hr if you do it alone and don't have to make multiple trips. The solar companies are charging at least $2500.
 

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THE "BIG RED MACHINE"
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all that time sitting around give the customer time to fin:no:d somebody cheaper
 

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I don't particularly like playing with unfused wiring with a very high fault current. But I must admit, it's nice being able to disconnect and reconnect ourselves. No dealing with the PoCo, no dealing with the inspector. I'll usually schedule the inspection for a few days after we finish the job.

I don' t know how you guys coordinate yourselves with the city inspector and PoCo, but it must lead to a lot of wasted time.
 

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I don't particularly like playing with unfused wiring with a very high fault current. But I must admit, it's nice being able to disconnect and reconnect ourselves. No dealing with the PoCo, no dealing with the inspector. I'll usually schedule the inspection for a few days after we finish the job.

I don' t know how you guys coordinate yourselves with the city inspector and PoCo, but it must lead to a lot of wasted time.
It is a huge waste of time, time that we bill for. Pricing on these would not be as expensive if we didn't have to do it the way they are done. The whole process is a nightmare, I almost hate doing them.

We are given a timeframe between 8-12 for a disconnect from the POCO. They usually show up between 8-10. We must have an inspection before they will reconnect power. We cannot request specific times, or even morning/afternoon for many of the jurisdictions. This creates a huge issue. If the POCO doesn't show up till 11, and then the inspector shows up at 12, we're screwed, no power that night for the HO.

It has happened twice to us this year, and it is unnecessary IMO. A better system needs to be implemented, but that will never happen.
 

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It has turned into an unbelievable nightmare. We have to pass inspection and the inspector has to release the meter before we can call for reconnect. It is supposed to be before 2 and I cant tell you how many times the inspector shows up right at 2 since they know thats the cutoff. 1/2 the time the inspection is passed and we are scrambling around because they forget to release it to the utility right away. The line crews are cool and usually accommodate us but it is so stressful. You cannot reach a live person with the city if the inspector isn't there or SDGE says they haven't gotten the release yet. When they started enforcing the disconnect/ reconnect rules recently Jim had conversations with a number of Sr.people both at SDGE and the city. They all absolutely INSIST that no way does it take 4-6 weeks to schedule a disconnect/ reconnect but that is total BS. We sold a job on Jan 27 that we could not get scheduled until March 6 and they say they cannot expedite. We have 3 this week all sold in Jan. 2 are the same day (that's gonna be a blast :( ) but we have to take what we can get. There are 18 jurisdictions here and each one is different. There are a couple that are real easy to work with and a couple that are absolute nightmares. The rest are somewhere in between.
We wont leave a customer without power though. We'd reconnect it ourselves if its overhead. The utility people are cool, its the inspectors who are the pain.
 

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Yeah, I would be pissed and stressed out if I had to deal with all that. I HATE having to rush and having deadlines like that.

Service changes are one of my favorite jobs. On most of them I assemble the PVC riser/meter pan here in the basement and then bring it to the job. We demo the old service, attach the riser, and reconnect to the PoCo within the first hour. Then I will take temp power out of the meter pan.
 

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They used to be our favorite but not any more.

When the city sprung the news on us it really hurt our cash flow because we were used to doing the work quickly. The silver lining is that now we have more jobs on the schedule further out and it makes predicting cash flow and staffing easier.
 

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our big utility is regulated so issues can be addressed through the state PSC. As electricians we can come together and approach the city council to have issues addressed. Have a hundred upset electricians on a Tuesday night council meeting and you will see action. a lot of our utilities are coops and they are easy to work with allowing us to pull the meter when we arrive.
 

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our big utility is regulated so issues can be addressed through the state PSC. As electricians we can come together and approach the city council to have issues addressed. Have a hundred upset electricians on a Tuesday night council meeting and you will see action. a lot of our utilities are coops and they are easy to work with allowing us to pull the meter when we arrive.
I wish it was like that here. We have a whole lot of upset EC's.
We sued the city over an inspector years ago and the threat of going to the mayors office or getting an attorney involved works real well but dont want to make that threat unless we are ready to follow through.

They are public employees and work for us, not the other way around. Sometimes they need to be reminded.
 

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I'm not a fan of the service changes that much anymore. If I have three service calls in a day, I can make more money on that without all the running through hoops and stress.

Not to mention now, we have that whole upgrading the plumbing fixtures in the house to efficient fixtures, whenever a permit is pulled. (Service changes excluded). Also, some of the jurisdictions are now making us hard wire smokes/co detectors on service changes if we have attic access. It is making it difficult to do anything other than change an outlet these days!:eek::eek:
 

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Switched, I don't know what you are charging for service calls or what you used to charge for service changes. But for me, service changes are far more lucrative than running 3 service calls in a day. One of the reason I like service changes is because I can charge a premium.
 

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For us the small service calls can be more profitable than service changes. They are bigger $ but lower margin.
 

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How many of you have changed a service from 100a to 150a or 200a, knowing full well there was absolutely no logical compelling reason for it to be done?
 

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How many of you have changed a service from 100a to 150a or 200a, knowing full well there was absolutely no logical compelling reason for it to be done?
I've upgraded services for every reason out there, whether it's a good reason or not.

Because the panel looks ugly, because the panel brand reeks of danger, because the insurance company said to, because the customer thought they needed more power, because the home inspector said to, because a breaker was tripping, because the lights dimmed, etc. etc. etc.

I will always be honest with the customer and tell them that they may not need a service upgrade or it might not help their situation. But if they still want it, they get it :thumbsup:
 

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We usually give them an option for 100, 125, or 200. Let them choose. With underground, we don't have much of a choice unless they want to go the route of replacing their service lateral, which almost no one wants to go to the expense of.
 

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It seems like service changes can be profitable. A solar co. is offering $500.00 per panel on a piece work basis. They do everything except the change itself. Seems a little low to me. How can I market and get my own service upgrades. I know you can make $1000.00 to $2500.00 and up on residential service change outs.
More than likely this is no more than a panel change is to comply with 690.8 to accommodate the solar install, where the majority of their profit is

~CS~
 

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I think the OP is ask how to market for these? I usually will put a ad in the local paper and ask questions like? Breakers griping all the time? Lights dimming? Sounds like you need more power.....��. Just kidding good question.
 
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