When you need electricity for your business—perhaps you’re developing rural land, transitioning off of generators, or you’re already connected and need more power—chances are you need an electrical service connection to the public utility electrical grid. Often just referred to as “the grid”, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) operates the grid in most of Northern California, including Humboldt County, CA.
“McKeever Energy & Electric worked closely with PG&E to keep our grid connection project on schedule and on budget. They actually finished early.”
~ Property Owner, Steenberg, LLC
The Pros and Cons of the Grid
The biggest advantage of the grid is that you can access a large amount of power with the flip of a switch. The grid is often your most reliable and affordable source of electricity, especially when you have large equipment (such as water pumps) that draw a surge of power all at once.
Flip a switch. Use what you need, on demand. PG&E maintains it.
All of that convenience comes at a cost, however. The grid is a beast to maintain—just imagine all of those power plants and substations generating and delivering power through a vast network of wires and poles snaking across the state.
Connecting to The Grid can be Complicated
Because the grid provides backbone infrastructure for our whole community, and electricity can be dangerous, the process to design, engineer, and install an electrical service is a thoughtful—and rather complex—one. PG&E faces a lot of demands on their available resources for maintenance and new connections, which makes it difficult to anticipate when they can deliver a new service.
Fortunately, a process called “Applicant Install” was created, allowing property owners to take charge of the timeline—including who does the work—and their budget. Applicant Install reduces the workload for PG&E to the minimum requirements. In most cases, PG&E will reimburse you for the work that the utility service would have completed.
That’s Where We Come In
McKeever Energy & Electric can install your connection to the grid—in a reliable timeframe—to grow your business. When you choose the “Applicant Install” route, our team will take care of all the steps for you—including feasibility, design, engineering, and construction. With clear plans, we can get you energized and on the grid within a year. That’s less than half of the time that PG&E requires.
Our Commitment to Service
At McKeever Energy & Electric, we know how time translates into cost and profit. That’s why we’ve done our best to simplify the Applicant Install process, so you can focus your time and energy on running your business. Our team will guide you through the Applicant Install process in three phases: discovery, design, and construction.
Phase I: Discovery
During the discovery phase, we’ll gather information to understand your project goals. We’ll also visit your property to review the utility capacity and infrastructure accessibility. You’ll receive a Discovery Report that lays out the feasibility of your project, including:
- The most efficient route to energization;
- How much power you could access;
- A list of all the required information;
- A fixed budget for the design, engineering and permitting; as well as
- A ballpark cost estimate for the construction phase, and for the timing of when you’ll be powered up.
Phase II: Design
In the design phase, we’ll complete a detailed load calculation, using your complete list of appliances, site plan, and building layout. We’ll also prepare a permit application for PG&E and your local building department. By the end of this phase, you’ll have permits, a construction cost, and a timeline.
Phase III: Construction
The final phase! Most clients are within three months of energization by the time they enter this phase. It’s time to order the transformer and switchgear (as per PG&E’s specifications). At this point, PG&E will give you a contract and require payment for the remaining elements that only they can do. They will also let you know how much you can expect to be reimbursed for the cost of the project.
Now, our specially trained journeyman electricians will build your connection, trench your conduit and wires, install your transformer and switchgear, facilitate inspections, and work closely with PG&E to ENERGIZE!
As we move through all of the phases, the team at McKeever Energy & Electric will give you updates, including options that align with your budget, required documents, and permits. We’ll also suggest ways to reduce the cost or expedite the timing.
“These electrical grid connection projects are complicated. The McKeever Energy team communicated key information so that I could make choices that were good for my business—like expediting the transformer and panel.”
~ Property Owner, Steenberg, LLC
At McKeever Energy & Electric, we’re here to energize your business on the grid (or off the grid, actually, that’s Part II)—and it all starts with a conversation. We’re just a phone call, text, or email away. Let’s electrify your dreams!