Utility jurisdiction limit: Meter or Service disconnect?

Utility jurisdiction limit: Meter or Service disconnect?


  • Total voters
    13

anndee4444

Member
Location
California
Every utility company that I have done business with has defined their jurisdiction as up to the point of the meter panel, and anything after that panel would be the local building departments jurisdiction... except for one: LADWP (Los Angeles District of Water and Power). They are not very open with their requirements, and there is no mention in their ESR manual. They like to heavily imply that their jurisdiction is up to the point of the service disconnect.

Does anyone have any experience with this issue in LADWP or any other utility for that matter?
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
The service point is usally determined by the local utility commission http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc/

Service Point. The point of connection between the facili-ties of the serving utility and the premises wiring.

But that does not mean the utility has no input on what happens beyond the point of service.

For instance the service point may be up at the weatherhead but the utility can still require a ground rod at the meter, or a specific meter base etc.


What issue are you having?
 

anndee4444

Member
Location
California
The service point is usally determined by the local utility commission http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc/




But that does not mean the utility has no input on what happens beyond the point of service.

For instance the service point may be up at the weatherhead but the utility can still require a ground rod at the meter, or a specific meter base etc.


What issue are you having?

I work in the solar industry, and we frequently need to upgrade panels just for the increase in busbar rating. LADWP is not allowing panels with higher busbar ratings, even when the main breaker size is remaining the same (and correctly sized for the service conductors). I am mostly interested in situations where the service disconnect is in separate panel from the utility meter. Any other utility would allow the meter to be pulled (by them) so that we could upgrade the main load center as needed.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
I work in the solar industry, and we frequently need to upgrade panels just for the increase in busbar rating. LADWP is not allowing panels with higher busbar ratings, even when the main breaker size is remaining the same (and correctly sized for the service conductors). I am mostly interested in situations where the service disconnect is in separate panel from the utility meter. Any other utility would allow the meter to be pulled (by them) so that we could upgrade the main load center as needed.
That is absurd, and taken to the extreme would mean that they would not even allow a nominal 200A panel which was manufactured with a 225A bus.
I wonder if it is really a revenue issue aimed at selling larger services?
Or just trying to obstruct PV?
 

JDBrown

Senior Member
Location
California
That is absurd, and taken to the extreme would mean that they would not even allow a nominal 200A panel which was manufactured with a 225A bus.
I wonder if it is really a revenue issue aimed at selling larger services?
Or just trying to obstruct PV?
It's ironic, given how much the city of LA wants to push "going green". Perhaps LADWP isn't on the same page as LADBS and the Mayor's office in that regard.

To the OP: I wish I knew what to tell you, but everything I've dealt with in LA has been large switchboards with meter/main sections so I'm not sure if the service point is the meter or the main (one is right above the other).
 

anndee4444

Member
Location
California
I agree this is absurd.


Did you see this in writing or was it what an employee told you?

It is a combination of LADWP pointing at LADBS (Department of Building and Safety), and LADBS pointing back at LADWP. I have been trying to get an answer out of them for the past few weeks, but keep getting my phone calls dodged or ignored. When I do get in touch with someone, they always point me to someone else. I finally got a contact list with many key players on it... have been calling constantly. Nothing in writing yet though.


I am not local to this area, so it is impossible for me to go down there in person. I work with a subcontractor who has been local to LA for 35 years, and he was not aware that this was unique to LADWP. At one point, about half of our jobs in LADWP resulted in service upgrades.
 

anndee4444

Member
Location
California
That is absurd, and taken to the extreme would mean that they would not even allow a nominal 200A panel which was manufactured with a 225A bus.
This is exactly the problem we are having, mostly when trying to upgrade from 100A panel to a 125A panel.

I wonder if it is really a revenue issue aimed at selling larger services?
Or just trying to obstruct PV?
I have a feeling that this is an anti PV thing, since they seem to not have an issue with it until we mention that we are a PV contractor... Then LADWP points at LADBS, and you end up in a viscous cycle until you agree to upgrade the service.
 

anndee4444

Member
Location
California
I got a call back from a Senior Electrical Service Representative at LADWP. He confirmed that they would not allow main load centers (after the meter) to have a rating higher than the service disconnect in any scenario. I mentioned to him that every other utility I have dealt with did not care, and did not even have jurisdiction over this.

At the end, he did what every other LADWP official has seemed to do: direct me towards LADBS.

So I gave the senior inspector at LADBS a call... He has no issues with a higher rated panel as long as the main breaker is rated for the service conductors. I thought I had received the final answer when he said that LADWP has the final say.

Looks like I am still stuck in the spin cycle. :blink:
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
Did you talk to Dave Maclean?

I don't have any contacts with LADWP any more, but call Gary Gonzales at SCE 909-548-7051 and he may be able to shed some light on it for you or may know of someone you can talk to.
 

edlee

Senior Member
It should be in writing in the utility company's manual of specifications and procedures for work in their territory. If it's not then I don't see how they could make that claim. It sounds to me like them obstructing PV installations.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
There is nothing wrong with putting a 100 amp main ahead of 2000 amp gear - if $$ means nothing anyway.

Do same guys have a problem with more than 100 amp ampacity conductor supplying a 100 amp breaker? There sometimes is good reason to do so.
 

anndee4444

Member
Location
California
It should be in writing in the utility company's manual of specifications and procedures for work in their territory. If it's not then I don't see how they could make that claim. It sounds to me like them obstructing PV installations.
I have searched their manual... haven't been able to find anything saying one way or another.
 

anndee4444

Member
Location
California
Did you talk to Dave Maclean?

I don't have any contacts with LADWP any more, but call Gary Gonzales at SCE 909-548-7051 and he may be able to shed some light on it for you or may know of someone you can talk to.
I spoke with Jeff Firestone at LADWP, who directed me towards Phil Furgeson at LADBS. Phil couldn't have cared less what we do, but directed me back towards LADWP.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
I spoke with Jeff Firestone at LADWP, who directed me towards Phil Furgeson at LADBS. Phil couldn't have cared less what we do, but directed me back towards LADWP.
Try Gary, I know he's not with LADWP, but he might have an explaination on what they're asking for. Just a thought.
 
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