Is a Service Upgrade Necessary?

Are you curious if you need a service upgrade? Daunted at where to start?

If your house or apartment is separately metered for electricity, you can easily see how much energy is being supplied to your building by the utility. Find the main panel, which is the first circuit breaker on the property after the cables pass through the electric meter. Without unscrewing the cover, look for a circuit breaker labeled "Main," typically a wider breaker than most others. The number on the breaker, which will probably be between 40 and 200, is most likely the upper limit on the amount of electricity that you can draw from the grid. (When in doubt, call us.)

For medium-sized single-family houses in San Francisco with existing electrical service of 100A, or up to 5-unit buildings with existing service of 200A, it is likely that you don't need a service upgrade to switch to all-electric and start enjoying the benefits of health, safety and lower emissions right away. In some cases, you may need a panel upgrade, however. Panel upgrades create more physical space for new circuits, but don't increase the amount of energy your building can use. For many medium-sized houses, if your existing service is 100A, you may already have enough supply to go all-electric, including an EV charger, without undergoing a Service Upgrade.

At All-Electric California, we use your PG&E data to analyze your current usage patterns, employing an optional calculation method allowed by the national electrical code that often results in avoiding a service upgrade. If your service is close to enough, we can also advise you on lower-energy use electrical appliances, load-shifting techniques, and cost-effective insulation improvements that may help larger houses avoid service upgrades.

Service upgrades are typically necessary for single family houses with fewer than 60A service, or for 3 or more units with 100A service or less. Service upgrades, when necessary, can seem daunting to owners. We at All-Electric California make the process easy from A to Z. Service upgrades typically include new conduit and cables from PG&E's facilities at the sidewalk into your building, with a new meter enclosure, main panel, and a new safety grounding system per code.

We are committed to finding the best and most cost-efficient path for you to remove gas from your building. Please contact us to get a specific quote for your project.