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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