Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Getting Power to the Barndominium a Distance from the Road

One decision we had to make when we were trying to decide how far back we could put the barn was whether we would have underground electric or above ground on power poles.  We opted for underground for several reasons.  1) Power poles are ugly (yes, you can say "Duh" here), 2) Above ground power is more likely to have problems than below ground, and most important from Hubby's point of view 3) Underground lines don't interfere with ham radio.  But underground lines are more expensive than above ground lines.  Thousands more.  But there is a solution.

We learned that the electric provider, Oncor, will provide the first 200 feet underground at no extra charge, but anything over that was about $12 per foot.  But then we learned that there is a substantial rebate per electric meter, up to 400 feet and that if we put in two meters, the total cost would actually be cheaper than above ground, up to 800 feet.  There is an additional cost for getting underground lines too, we had to pay for the trenching.  Also, Oncor is fairly picky when it comes to the depth, width, and fill of the trench, and they require a pull box at 400 feet, which was even more digging.

But we calculated the cost of the additional monthly base rate for the extra meter and the additional ditching, and decided the overall savings made it worthwhile for the privacy of being further from the road and not having radio interference.

We have already had the main trenching done, but the guy who did it brought the ditch to the middle of the wall where windows will be located.  Not a good spot for meters, so five or six feet of the ditch needed to be moved.

Over the weekend, Hubby rented a backhoe to do some additional work on the trenching, and the electric pull box was placed in the hole dug for it.

Today, the electric pole was put in at the road.  It is for our transformer, and the line will run underground from here to the barn.  Update:  The transformer will not be at the road, it will be near the house.  The electric pole is just to have the electric lines in the right place.