glemieux
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Re: Your decision to go E-9B (with PG&E)?

Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:35 pm

A little over a month later and I'm back with an update if anyone is interested...

PG&E and my electrician drove away today and the second meter is finally installed! The installation was quite a nightmare from the standpoint of getting PG&E and the Berkeley city inspector together at the appropriate times. There was massive miscommunication somewhere internally for the both of them. PG&E came out a day early to cut the power. Luckily I was running late for work and waved him off before he got set up and thankfully they arrived not too late on the correct day. Then the city inspector, one known for being notoriously bad tempered and unhelpful (as related to me by other electricians and a realtor), showed up only 15 minutes after the power was cut to do the final inspection instead of at the end of the day. He flat out refused to come back and actually filed his report as the work having been done improperly! It wasn't even halfway done! Needless to say, his reputation seems spot on. To top it off, when I called up the city to see if I could get someone back out later, both the admin assistant who took my call and the supervisor straight up yelled at me and accused me of being the problem. The gloves came off then...

After that very frustrating call a very helpful and friendly city inspector (shocker!) came over and left a very detail and laborious note for PG&E approving the work and giving them permission to turn the line back on. Problem was, PG&E had already come and gone that afternoon as scheduled. Calling up PG&E's customer service they said someone was dispatched (as requested by our electrician) and would be there at some time that night, ETA unknown.

That didn't happen. The next morning, after another frustrating call to PG&E's customer service line they told me to call my project manager. He lit a fire under someone and they were out within the hour and had the power back on to the house. Installation finished. Whew!

As much as this was a colossal cluster, the electrician that Ecotality assigned us was fantastic (and not just relative to the service from PG&E and Berkeley's Building and Renovation department). The company is Napa Electric and I highly recommend Brandon, the project manager, and Patrick the electrician, for this work. Brandon was always prompt in returning calls and email, was effusive with information and updates, especially when coordinating the schedule with PG&E and the city, and was the first on the phone to both with all the above problems. Patrick always showed up right on time (awesome as he was coming from Napa) and his workmanship looks great. He easily handled the few last minute requests and questions that we fired at him. Very please with Napa Electric, overall.

Additionally, I do have to give a nod to my PG&E project manager, Terrance. I should have called him last night, instead of trusting the customer service rep. The rep seemed kind of vague on the details; that should have been my clue that it wasn't going to happen as expected. He's also helping us file a claims form to see if we can get some sort of compensation for the inconvenience that not having service during the overnight caused.

Leading up to all this took the bulk of the time between early December and now. The timeline was pretty skewed by the holidays so I'm pretty sure everything went forward as soon as it could have happened. Terrance had PG&E service people out to check the installation location a day or two after I submitted my application. They took pictures and Brandon coordinated with him as to where to install the second meter. Unfortunately, the location of the house meter is now actually violating PG&E's standoff requirements for how far away from other structures and the gas line a meter/panel can be. This and a poorly located gutter downspout, forced us to install the second meter farther away from the existing meter and gas line than I would have liked. I guess I should be grateful that PG&E didn't demand we relocate the old setup as well! At least Brandon didn't charge us extra when this update came down from PG&E after we had signed the work contract.

Now all that's left is making sure I'm really on the E-9B rate. Hopefully that's a slam dunk (comparatively). I'll let you know how that goes when I get my first bill.
Last edited by glemieux on Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Your decision to go E-9B (with PG&E)?

Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:46 pm

So what were your total out of pocket costs for the second meter project if you don't mind sharing?
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glemieux
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Re: Your decision to go E-9B (with PG&E)?

Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:15 pm

Spies wrote:So what were your total out of pocket costs for the second meter project if you don't mind sharing?


$2672. Ecotality subsidized $1200, so the total cost overall was $3872.

The main bulk of the cost was for the total hardware cost at $2k. There was an additional $500 for the 60 feet of line that had to span between the meter and the EVSE install location, which were on complete opposite corners of the house (first 10 feet is "free", so it was $10/foot). The rest of the cost was travel, permit, admin fee, etc.

My only regret is that I should have had the $2k in hardware broken out in more detail. After seeing the behemoth of a panel that they installed for the second meter I'm thinking they could have gone with something smaller/less expensive.
Last edited by glemieux on Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nubo
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Re: Your decision to go E-9B (with PG&E)?

Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:28 pm

glemieux wrote:...the electrician that Ecotality assigned us was fantastic (and not just relative to the service from PG&E and Berkeley's Building and Renovation department). The company is Napa Electric and I highly recommend Brandon, the project manager, and Patrick the electrician, for this work. Brandon was always prompt in returning calls and email, was effusive with information and updates, especially when coordinating the schedule with PG&E and the city, and was the first on the phone to both with all the above problems. Patrick always showed up right on time (awesome as he was coming from Napa) and his workmanship looks great. He easily handled the few last minute requests and questions that we fired at him. Very please with Napa Electric, overall.


Thanks for the tip. I'm in Vallejo and will be looking for an electrician soon; will check these guys out.

I'd love to have a separate meter for TOU. Our AC load in the summer is atrocious so I don't think E9A is the way to go. Too bad it is so expensive to implement a meter. And bureaucracy makes my blood boil so there's that. But, we'll see.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

glemieux
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Re: Your decision to go E-9B (with PG&E)?

Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:01 pm

Nubo wrote:Thanks for the tip. I'm in Vallejo and will be looking for an electrician soon; will check these guys out.

I'd love to have a separate meter for TOU. Our AC load in the summer is atrocious so I don't think E9A is the way to go. Too bad it is so expensive to implement a meter. And bureaucracy makes my blood boil so there's that. But, we'll see.


Glad to help promote a good company, especially after all the crap.

Yeah, we got lucky on our timing for installing the second meter. We had the budget margin and no upgrades to the house on the near horizon (knock on wood). That and the "ROI" on E-9B after doing a rate comparison vs E-9A (and E-1) leaned heavily in favor of E-9B for our usage. Should pay for itself in 2 years. Now I'm just hoping that PG&E doesn't change the rates so drastically that it makes more sense to be on E-9A or what ever they call it. At least if they change to their current proposal this year, I'll still pay off the meter with savings on E-9B; it would just take longer.

You know, I really like Berkeley, but holy crap that was one of the worst customer service experiences I've ever had in dealing with city/county/state/federal government bureaucracy. I'm not sure why Berkeley mandates that inspectors have to stick to a specific section of Berkeley, either. Looks like I'll get this inspector whenever I have to do electrical work. Do other cities do this? If so I almost wish realtors would include this information when a house goes on the market ("Great views, up-and-coming neighborhood, city inspector who isn't a complete asshat!").
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mxp
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Re: Your decision to go E-9B (with PG&E)?

Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:31 am

glemieux wrote:
Spies wrote:So what were your total out of pocket costs for the second meter project if you don't mind sharing?


$2672. Ecotality subsidized $1200, so the total cost overall was $3872.

The main bulk of the cost was for the total hardware cost at $2k. There was an additional $500 for the 60 feet of line that had to span between the meter and the EVSE install location, which were on complete opposite corners of the house (first 10 feet is "free", so it was $10/foot). The rest of the cost was travel, permit, admin fee, etc.

My only regret is that I should have had the $2k in hardware broken out in more detail. After seeing the behemoth of a panel that they installed for the second meter I'm thinking they could have gone with something smaller/less expensive.


Did you pay for the once off PG&E fee for the 2nd meter ? I think it was something in the order of $250.

Anyways, do post up your external panel pics of the 2 turrets. I will try and upload my pics tomorrow.

tschaubal
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Re: Your decision to go E-9B (with PG&E)?

Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:36 pm

Hi

Anyone from Fremont, CA who has installed the meter for E9-B. I am pretty confused about the whole process.
I got the Blink Charger installed from Ecototality/ Meandel Electric ( the contracting company who was assigned by Ecototality)

It will be great is someone from Fremont has done the work, so i can talk to your personally.

Thanks
Tushar

glemieux
Posts: 33
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Re: Your decision to go E-9B (with PG&E)?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:29 pm

mxp wrote:Did you pay for the once off PG&E fee for the 2nd meter ? I think it was something in the order of $250.

Anyways, do post up your external panel pics of the 2 turrets. I will try and upload my pics tomorrow.

Yup, the $250 was really the thing that got the balling moving from PG&Es side.

Here's our setup:

Closeup of the second meter. I forgot to open it up and take a picture of the 2 breaker switches inside.
Image

View of the second meter in which you can see the conduit coming from the junction box on the other side of the fence.
Image

Other side of the fence and view of the older house meter.
Image

Location of the gas meter wrt to the house meter. You can see how close it is to our tool shed.
Image

Close-up of the house meter and the junction box.
Image
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tschaubal
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Re: Your decision to go E-9B (with PG&E)?

Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:48 pm

Hi
Looks like a good job done to install the second meter. Can you please share the details of the Electrician/ Company which did all the installation for you.

Thanks

glemieux
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:55 pm
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Re: Your decision to go E-9B (with PG&E)?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:15 pm

tschaubal wrote:Hi
Looks like a good job done to install the second meter. Can you please share the details of the Electrician/ Company which did all the installation for you.

Thanks

Napa Electric via Ecotality. Details are a few posts above. Ask to speak to Brandon.

Another update: got my first "bill." It's actually not a bill: It's a 5 page print-out breaking down the electrical usage in detail. From 1/30/12 to 2/27/12, we used 212 kWh, which costs us $22.19 (fees and tax included). Raw electricity cost is $16.06. Matches my estimates pretty well. Whew!
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