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Summary of options for 3-foot requirement between main panel and gas riser

GHTech

Member
Jun 28, 2020
92
33
Granada Hills, CA
Whattttt

SoCalGas trenched up your old gas line, laid new pipe from the street to your house, and covered it all back up for $1,048?

PG&E said if they had to trench up an old line and put in a new one, that could be upwards to around $15,000. But just shortening an existing line should be only a few grand.

The old line was in the neighbors property and then splits off to my property at the meter. What they did was cap off at the split, and ran a new line from the street to my property. SoCalGas used a sub-contractor for the work.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,237
740
East Bay NorCal
The old line was in the neighbors property and then splits off to my property at the meter. What they did was cap off at the split, and ran a new line from the street to my property.


Yeah, that's what I'm saying... they got rid of your old gas line and actually put in new underground piping from the street to your house for less than a new iPhone 12?
 

BGbreeder

Member
Jun 19, 2020
167
92
Bay Area
Whattttt

SoCalGas trenched up your old gas line, laid new pipe from the street to your house, and covered it all back up for $1,048?

PG&E said if they had to trench up an old line and put in a new one, that could be upwards to around $15,000. But just shortening an existing line should be only a few grand.

Great summary @holeydonut! Thanks for posting it.

$1,048 sounds about on the money for the actual cost.

I had a run in with another utility over new service. They quoted an insane number to begin with, and then later another employee admitted that the first number was just to sort out those who were serious from tire kickers.

How a customer is supposed to know whether an estimate is in the insane department and when it is real escapes me...in the end the service cost was to be a few percent of the first number.

All the best,

BG
 

NXN-P3D

Member
Jul 30, 2020
83
120
California
I still don’t understand what’s happening here - i have solar and my has riser was less than 36”, so i had to move and upgrade my main panel to 200amps. It was couple of days of work - not sure what the fuss is all about.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,115
8,976
Riverside Co. CA
I still don’t understand what’s happening here - i have solar and my has riser was less than 36”, so i had to move and upgrade my main panel to 200amps. It was couple of days of work - not sure what the fuss is all about.

@holeydonut described it in the first couple of posts.

The very high level TL ; DR version is, he is trying to get solar + powerwalls, had some specific requirements for the roofing mounts etc that tesla was unwilling to meet, went with sunrun instead who said they could meet these requirements but now is running into roadblock after roadblock in having to micromanage his project himself.

In addition, PGE is putting various either upcharges or roadblocks that they are not supposed to per code (or spirit of the laws), so he is slogging through all this.

I think thats a summary.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,237
740
East Bay NorCal
I still don’t understand what’s happening here - i have solar and my has riser was less than 36”, so i had to move and upgrade my main panel to 200amps. It was couple of days of work - not sure what the fuss is all about.


Is your service entry line above ground?

The cost estimate for me to get a new, larger electricity service line underground is at least $10K. The cost to lift and shift my main service panel is another $7k. I don’t feel like paying $17K to do some work that is unnecessary for my solar and ESS project.

Maybe it was only a couple of days work for your experience, but the $ to pay for all the extra work had to come from somewhere.

Others in my region are encountering the same problem(s) and these extra surprise costs and red tape are at risk of stopping their projects.

As jjandirin pointed out, I have had other issues causing an overall terrible experience.
 

NXN-P3D

Member
Jul 30, 2020
83
120
California
Is your service entry line above ground?

The cost estimate for me to get a new, larger electricity service line underground is at least $10K. The cost to lift and shift my main service panel is another $7k. I don’t feel like paying $17K to do some work that is unnecessary for my solar and ESS project.

Maybe it was only a couple of days work for your experience, but the $ to pay for all the extra work had to come from somewhere.

Others in my region are encountering the same problem(s) and these extra surprise costs and red tape are at risk of stopping their projects.

As jjandirin pointed out, I have had other issues causing an overall terrible experience.
Electricity is above, gas is under.
Cost me $2k to upgrade and move my panel by 1 foot so it’s more than 3’ away from my gas riser.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,237
740
East Bay NorCal
BTW, if you go the route to try and move your gas riser, be ready for a long wait. I submitted my online energy request to PG&E on November 13 to see what their assessment/estimate would be to move the gas riser. I want a just in case fall-back option in case the PG&E PTO inspection balks at my home's like-for-like status below the 36" rule threshold.

1 month later, PG&E has yet to do anything on my request.

Basically if you're planning a solar install in 2021, just get everything done ASAP instead of waiting. You may miss out completely on the ITC when PG&E throws a curveball at you.

And I wouldn't bank too much on Biden's administration convincing a Republican senate to extend the residential ITC. Maybe if Biden proposes clean-coal furnaces in every home instead of solar...
 

Wannaretire

Member
Jul 16, 2020
91
12
94536
Is this only an issue if getting solar and powerwalls? Pge just approved my cali install of solar only. Granted, I don't think pge actually came out to the house - just relied on the city inspection i guess.
My gas riser is underneath the electric panel. Maybe 12 inches away max.
 

Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
1,870
2,185
Silicon Valley, CA
Is this only an issue if getting solar and powerwalls? Pge just approved my cali install of solar only. Granted, I don't think pge actually came out to the house - just relied on the city inspection i guess.
My gas riser is underneath the electric panel. Maybe 12 inches away max.

Unless there is some service upgrade happening this does not affect your installation.

@holeydonut Great thread, you have learned way too much about this. Have you spoken to the manager yet ? :p

But seriously though the difference between underground and overhead services is a good one to bring up.

Usually upgrading an overhead service is cheap enough that these headaches don't come up. Also some jurisdictions require you to put any new service conductors underground so even if you have an aerial drop currently that's no sure thing it will be a cheap upgrade.
 
Last edited:

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,237
740
East Bay NorCal
Unless there is some service upgrade happening this does not affect your installation.

@holeydonut Great thread, you have learned way too much about this. Have you spoken to the manager yet ? :p

But seriously though the difference between underground and overhead services is a good one to bring up.

Usually upgrading an overhead service is cheap enough that these headaches don't come up. Also some jurisdictions require you to put any new service conductors underground so even if you have an aerial drop currently that's no sure thing it will be a cheap upgrade.


Lol with this stuff, going to the manager isn't very effective haha. So much red tape and corporate BS. When I do major projects, I tell the PM on the other side the following is how I work. And folks still get surprised when I end up having to execute #4.

1) I ask something in a polite way, but it's clear I'm expecting something or wanting more information.
2) If I don't hear back in a few days I'll send a slightly less polite note to follow up and ask for a commitment or response.
3) If I need to ask a 3rd time, I'm going to be seem agitated and clearly let them know I'm not happy.
4) You won't hear me ask a 4th time... at that point I'm going WAY above you and it's not going to be fun for anybody involved.

In Sunrun's case, after weeks of getting the run-around, I saw some Sunrun EVP was on our local news talking about how customers were benefitting from going green. Blah blah blah Sunrun is the best solution for going solar and gaining resiliency. I found this person's contact information and directly asked them to help get my install on track so I could get that great experience they were lauding on the news. Very effective. It forced Sunrun to explain the situation to me so I could figure out how to get things unblocked.

In PG&E's case, apparently contacting key people at the CPUC and PG&E does actually get people's attention. Screw the manager, you want Directors and VPs. My second-round of MSP work went very very very smoothly (at least on the stuff PG&E was involved with).

The County not sending their inspector to release the meter was... uncool.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,079
322
auburn, ca
Lol with this stuff, going to the manager isn't very effective haha. So much red tape and corporate BS. When I do major projects, I tell the PM on the other side the following is how I work. And folks still get surprised when I end up having to execute #4.

1) I ask something in a polite way, but it's clear I'm expecting something or wanting more information.
2) If I don't hear back in a few days I'll send a slightly less polite note to follow up and ask for a commitment or response.
3) If I need to ask a 3rd time, I'm going to be seem agitated and clearly let them know I'm not happy.
4) You won't hear me ask a 4th time... at that point I'm going WAY above you and it's not going to be fun for anybody involved.

In Sunrun's case, after weeks of getting the run-around, I saw some Sunrun EVP was on our local news talking about how customers were benefitting from going green. Blah blah blah Sunrun is the best solution for going solar and gaining resiliency. I found this person's contact information and directly asked them to help get my install on track so I could get that great experience they were lauding on the news. Very effective. It forced Sunrun to explain the situation to me so I could figure out how to get things unblocked.

In PG&E's case, apparently contacting key people at the CPUC and PG&E does actually get people's attention. Screw the manager, you want Directors and VPs. My second-round of MSP work went very very very smoothly (at least on the stuff PG&E was involved with).

The County not sending their inspector to release the meter was... uncool.

Here is my example. I had this accident with a truck into the house. 150 gallons of fuel into the ground. Insurance went silent for 7 months. Got on TV, and the next day, I got a call and they were supportive the 3 years we dealt with fixing. It will be 4 years in march since the accident and we hope to have a final by then. :(

 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,237
740
East Bay NorCal
Update... PG&E's planning team called me back about moving my gas riser. They said on my home built in the 90's, it'd be a gigantic headache.

Probably the same cost to unearth the pipe, cut it down, and shift the riser it as it would cost to re-trench a new underground service cable + conduit and lift-and-shift the main panel.

So yeah, if you're shopping for a home and actually care to eventually get PV and solar installed... try to find a house where they didn't pack the riser and main service panel too close together. Make sure to snap a picture of your real estate agent's face when you tell them that your list of "must haves" includes a large 180 degree azimuth roof, a garage with a large contiguous side wall, and 3 feet between the main service panel and riser.
 

run-the-joules

Active Member
Aug 13, 2017
3,678
6,617
SF Bay
Update... PG&E's planning team called me back about moving my gas riser. They said on my home built in the 90's, it'd be a gigantic headache.

Probably the same cost to unearth the pipe, cut it down, and shift the riser it as it would cost to re-trench a new underground service cable + conduit and lift-and-shift the main panel.

So yeah, if you're shopping for a home and actually care to eventually get PV and solar installed... try to find a house where they didn't pack the riser and main service panel too close together. Make sure to snap a picture of your real estate agent's face when you tell them that your list of "must haves" includes a large 180 degree azimuth roof, a garage with a large contiguous side wall, and 3 feet between the main service panel and riser.

Damn. I've been following your story and was hoping this was finally going to give you a path to a win. :(
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,237
740
East Bay NorCal
Damn. I've been following your story and was hoping this was finally going to give you a path to a win. :(


Thanks for the support! The attempt to move my riser was a fall-back plan in case PG&E rejected my like-for-like attempt and continued to demand 36 inches between the riser and the panel.

At this point, I think I should be ok with like-for-like... it just took way more effort to get that assessment than I think is reasonable. Plus the delay pushed me out of the 2020 ITC so I lose 4% on the net purchase amount.
 

astrorob

stealth performance M3
Aug 27, 2014
418
84
oakland, ca
so i was just talking with tesla about this problem - i am likely in this situation but the relevant work is related to a main panel upgrade which was done months ago and has already passed city inspection, green sticker and everything. the PWs were installed last month and the city inspection for that is pending.

the tesla rep says that PGE is not going to come out to inspect this project, ever, and whatever paperwork they need to file with PGE is related to registering the powerwalls with them rather than PTO (i have existing solar and of course have had PTO for the solar for years.)

the rep says there's some chance the city could fail the PW installation because of the 36" thing and that the city is basically in charge of enforcing PGE's rules on this topic. does that actually make sense, meaning does the city actually care about this?
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,924
3,017
Northern California
...
So yeah, if you're shopping for a home and actually care to eventually get PV and solar installed... try to find a house where they didn't pack the riser and main service panel too close together. Make sure to snap a picture of your real estate agent's face when you tell them that your list of "must haves" includes a large 180 degree azimuth roof, a garage with a large contiguous side wall, and 3 feet between the main service panel and riser.

Now there is some "must haves" you will never find on a Zillow listing.
 

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