FAQs - New Construction Service Installation
Effective April 1, 2017
1. I am looking into buying or building on a particular piece of land. Who can answer my questions regarding my new service or if the line will need to be extended?
Call the Engineering Department (970) 887-3378 office staff or stop by the Engineering office to visit with the staff. Area maps are available for viewing for the existing electrical lines. The staff will go over the procedures and provide the necessary documentation at no cost.
2. What is the procedure to apply for residential service (new construction)?
Contact the Engineering Department at MPEI. You will need to complete a Residential Application Form and return it to the Engineering Department along with the applicable non-refundable engineering deposit. (see #7b) This completed form provides us with pertinent information including: billing/contact information, property location, electric load information, and site sketch. We will require a meeting with you (and/or your electrician and general contractor) and a staking engineer at the site of construction. At the meeting you will agree on meter location and the design of the service. Please Note: It shall be the sole responsibility of the customer to confirm if overhead utilities, meter pedestal, or junction boxes are allowed in the area they are building. Should the utility be required to be relocated, the customer shall be responsible for all applicable charges.
3. What is the procedure for upgrading my existing service/or relocating my meter?
Contact the Engineering Department at MPEI. You will need to complete a Service Upgrade and/or Meter Relocation Application and return it to the Engineering Department along with the non-refundable $600 engineering deposit. Once the completed form and engineering deposit have been received, a site visit will be scheduled with a staking engineer to meet with you (and/or your electrician and general contractor). At the meeting the meter location will be agreed upon and the construction responsibilities of the electrician and/or MPEI for the required upgrade or relocation. If the upgrade or meter relocation doesn’t require any work to be done by MPEI, the unused portion of the Engineering Deposit may be returned.
4. Why is a meeting with a staking engineer required?
This meeting serves many purposes. It enables MPEI and the customer to understand what is expected of them for this particular new service. A new service may appear to be very simple; however, there are many factors the staking engineer needs to take into account before an accurate staking sheet and cost estimate can be completed. These may include; the route for the new primary line, the length of the new line, location and size of the transformer, the availability of existing conduit across a road, if any easements need to be obtained and the number of existing meters on an existing secondary electric pole. The required meeting also keeps a new job flowing smoothly through the system by helping to eliminate errors and miscommunications between MPEI and the customer. By doing this, we can help to avoid additional, unforeseen costs and delays.
5. How much will it cost to extend electric service to my lot?
It is very difficult to quote costs for extending the primary line. The cost can vary based on items such as the type of primary line construction, size of the structure, type of heat, hot tub, etc.
Primary Lines - a ballpark-starting estimate for the cost of single-phase primary lines is:
$30/ft to $50/ft. Due to differences in length, equipment, and other variances specific to each project, these prices are
only estimates and may vary. This estimate does not include the costs to be paid by the customer to have a contractor
excavate/backfill and install primary conduit/vaults to MPEI standards. It also does not include secondary service cost.
$3500 to $7000 per pole. Due to differences in length, equipment, and other variances specific to each project, these
prices are only estimates and may vary. Poles can be set approximately every 275 feet, depending on terrain and
For secondary service, refer to pages 1, 2, and appendix in Electric Service Construction Standards, (ESCS), Part 1.
6. Why does MPEI require the customer install all underground primary conduits and vaults?
Many large developers in our service territory requested that we conduct business in this manner. This business practice allows
customers to choose an excavation contractor who specialize in such work and are better equipped for projects in our territory.
This allows provides the customer control of schedules in various weather conditions and improved ability to coordinate the
installation of electric and communication lines in a joint trench. MPEI crews are better equipped, more expert & efficient in the
electrical installation work (cable pulling, splicing & terminating, and installing transformers & switches) than excavation work.
7. What will be the cost to provide electric service to my new home?
a) The cost for a new residence range anywhere from $2,500 - $5,500.There are many variables that affect the cost; the size of
service which determines the Capacity Charge, the transformer costs (size of transformer and number of consumers it will
serves,if any), if the secondary service is overhead or underground, metering options (meter on house verses a meter
pedestal), and the amount of materials and labor needed for your project.A completed load sheet and engineering deposit are
required along with a site visit so an estimate can be prepared and more exact costs can be determined (see #2).
b) A non-refundable Engineering Deposit is required. The deposit is usually between $600-$1000 depending on the number of site meetings and any changes in meter location or any other changes(s) by the customer. The deposit will be applied towards the cost of the job, site visits(s), staking, design, contracts, etc. for a period of one year from the date of receipt.
NOTE: The above totals DO NOT include the customer’s cost of trenching, or the purchase and installation of the conduit, secondary wire, and meter socket. It is the owner’s responsible to verify if overhead is acceptable with the appropriate authorities; county, HOA, municipalities, etc.
8. Why does MPEI require the customer install the underground secondary service from the transformer to the building?
In the past, MPEI was sending a crew to trench a short distance from the transformer to the customer’s property line, and the customer’s contractor was trenching from the property line to the meter location on the customer’s property. The change makes this work more efficient, using only the customer’s contractor to perform all excavation, which provides the customer more control of scheduling their project and minimizes coordination challenges. Either way, the customer was still paying the cost of the entire underground service.
9. What is the “Capacity Charge?
”Growth in our service territory has created a large increase in the demand on the electrical system, which results in the need to increase the “back bone” capacity of the system. The MPEI Board of Directors has decided that the cost of electric facilities required to supply new load growth should be paid by the developers and builders, rather than subsidized by existing members. The capacity charge rate is based on the average cost for substations and feeders in the Mountain Parks Electric, Inc. system. This action will help to minimize future rate increases that would otherwise be needed to finance this growth. If you have any additional questions regarding this or other MPEI related items, please don’t hesitate to contact any of our offices. Refer to the Capacity Charge table in the Electric Service Construction Standards, Part 1.
10. May I pay for my new electric service with a credit card?
You may use a MasterCard or VISA up to the amount authorized by your credit card company.
11. May I pay for my new electric service in installments?
In order to avoid passing on the expenses of a new service to our existing customers, we require full payment in advance. A new service must be paid in full before we will release the job to the Operations Department for construction.
12. Why do I need a building permit?
Grand and Summit counties require that MPEI ask to have a copy of the building permit or a verbal/written “ok” from the County Building Department. MPEI can build a primary line extension, with no meters attached, (such as a subdivision) without a building permit. If meters are involved, a building permit or verbal/written “ok” is required.
13. When will the work be completed?
We will mail you a contract after all staking requirements are met. Upon receipt of the signed contract, payment of all required fees, and a copy of the building permit or a verbal “ok” from the County Building Department, the MPEI Engineering Department will release the project to the Operations Department. You will be able to pick up the required equipment, e.g. MPEI furnished meter pedestal, at this time. The Operations Department schedules the construction work for the portion of the project to be installed by MPEI.
14. When do I receive my temporary meter?
After MPEI receives the contract, fees, a copy of the building permit, or a verbal/written “ok” from the County Building Department, MPEI’s construction is complete, and a release from the State Electrical Inspector, MPEI will connect the meter.
15. When do I receive my permanent meter?
You need to fulfill the same requirements as for a temporary meter connect.
16. Did you receive the meter release from the State Electrical Inspector?
The State Electrical Inspector notifies us daily of the meter releases. If MPEI still needs paperwork, fees or a copy of the building permit, the job will not be released for construction nor will a meter be connected. If all of MPEI requirements have been met and a release from the State Electrical Inspector has not been received, the customer will have to contact the State Electrical Inspector.
17. Do I need to notify MPEI after the State Electrical Inspector has inspected my service?
Normally, the Inspector will notify our office the day after your meter location has been inspected. You are encouraged to call the MPEI Engineering Department the day after the inspection to verify that we have received your meter release.
18. Why can’t I get a refund on part of my line extension construction charges when a subsequent consumer connects onto the line?
MPEI is a member-owned electric cooperative whose main objective is to provide power to our members in a safe and reliable manner at a reasonable and equitable cost. When a member requests power to be extended to his/her property, MPEI will implement a line extension under the applicable Tariffs approved by the MPEI Board of Directors. MPEI is not, however, in the business of negotiating the cost of a line extension between property owners within a neighborhood. Should the property owners desire to work together to share the cost of extending a line, that negotiation should remain among those property owners. MPEI will simply extend power lines as contracted by those owners desiring electric service. Any members connecting to the line subsequently will pay the costs associated with connecting to the existing lines.
19. Can I cross my neighbor’s property for electric service?
After obtaining permission from your neighbor an easement will be needed. MPEI will prepare any easement documents and inform the customer of required landowner’s easements; the customer is responsible to obtain signatures from property owner(s) for all required easement(s) using MPEI documents.
20. How close to a pad-mount transformer can I build my house, condominium, or other permanent building?
MPEI requires 10-feet of separation from the nearest combustible wall or nearest building overhang, as well as from windows, air intake vents, stairs, doors, or other building openings to the transformer vault. A minimum 3 feet of separation is required from non-combustible walls (brick, masonry, slate, tile, concrete, steel, iron, or other fire-rated assembly accepted in writing by the local fire protection official). The safe operation of our electric power system around the general public is our top priority and must be achieved during the entire 50-plus-years anticipated life of transformers and other electrical facilities. Refer t0 Drawing U4 in Electric Service Construction Standards, Part 2 for Minimum Equipment Clearance Guide.
21. How close to an overhead power line can I build my house or other permanent structures?
MPEI does not allow houses or other permanent structures to be built under overhead power lines due to the safety hazards which could result during maintenance activities e.g. removing snow from the roof, or from a broken "energized" conductor. MPEI requires a minimum separation from an existing primary conductor to a new structure of 10-feet measured horizontally from the nearest conductor to any overhang or other part of the structure. The safe operation of our electric power system around the general public is our top priority and must be achieved during the entire 50-plus-years anticipated life of poles, conductors, and other electrical facilities. MPEI is required to meet or exceed the minimum clearance requirements published in the National Electrical Safety Code, which is the industry standard for electric power lines. Refer to Drawing R120 in the Electric Service Construction Standards, Part 2.
22. What is the basis for the construction charge quotation used in a site-specific line extension contract?
Construction charges are based on the estimated labor and materials to complete the project, plus overheads. For projects with construction charges greater than $10,000, MPEI will reconcile the actual cost to complete the project compared to the quoted price. MPEI will refund overpayments in excess of $100 and invoice underpayments in excess of $500.
23. When will I receive my overpayment refund?
Upon completion of MPEI work and if a refund is due as explained in 22., it takes a minimum of 30-days for all labor and material charges to clear MPEI’s accounting system and an additional 30-60 days depending on staff workload to reconcile the actual construction charge with contract payment and process the refund or invoice. MPEI will pay interest on the refund amount from the date payment was received until the refund check is prepared.
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