If you have reviewed your charging level options and rate options and decided to install an EVSE in your home, you will need to make sure you have the electrical capacity to do so.
The cost can vary greatly, depending on whether your current electrical service has the capacity for your desired charging level and whether your rate preference requires a second meter. Below is a summary of your cost considerations for each rate and charging level:
PG&E is responsible for upgrading your electrical service and our electrical system. These upgrades require advanced engineering planning and construction scheduling. We recommend you notify us when you decide to purchase a vehicle so we can ensure our infrastructure is adequate to meet your charging needs.
The following steps will prepare your home for charging your new electric vehicle (you can also download a guide (PDF, 145 KB) summarizing these steps):
Consult an electrician to assess the capacity of your electrical panel. Your auto-manufacturer may offer the home assessment as a part of the PEV purchase.
Your electrician will determine if panel upgrades are needed, what permits may be required to complete the work and how much the project will cost you. A panel upgrade or second panel installation may result in a service upgrade cost (see Step 4). The rate option and charging level you select may impact your installation costs.
- Panel Upgrade: AC Level 2 charging requires a dedicated circuit, which may result in an electrical panel upgrade. An electrician will determine whether the current electrical panel has capacity. If an upgrade is required, the electrician will arrange an inspection and obtain a permit from the city/county. This applies to customers who wish to be on the E-1, E-6, E-7 or E-9A rate.
- Second Meter and Panel: Customers who select the E-9B rate will need a second meter and electrical panel. Customers could opt to replace their existing panel with a dual meter panel although this is generally more costly. The electrician will arrange an inspection and obtain a permit from the city and/or county. In addition to the electrician's installation costs for the second panel, PG&E will bill you $250 for the second meter.
Call PG&E at 1-877-743-7782, Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. to start an application. Alternatively, you may apply for service online at Customer Connections Online.
You will need to provide the following information when applying:
- Rate option: E-9A, E-9B or stay on your existing residential rate
- Charging level: AC Level 1 or AC Level 2
- Charging load of EVSE: Based on the charging system’s voltage and amperage
- Panel upgrade: Does the dedicated circuit require a panel upgrade?
After submitting your application, a PG&E service planning representative will contact you to discuss next steps and complete your service application.
Note: You may submit your application for service at any time so you can have your charging station installed prior to receiving your PEV; however, we are unable to place you on an E-9 rate until you receive your PEV. You will need to contact us when you accept delivery of your PEV to make the rate change effective.
In most cases, if a panel upgrade or second panel is not required, the electrician will install your charging station using your existing breaker panel without interrupting your service.
In the few cases where a panel upgrade or second panel is required, two appointments are scheduled: (1) PG&E will schedule a time to temporarily disconnect your service, and (2) your electrician will arrange for the necessary city and/or county inspection that is required to reconnect service. The panel work done by the electrician is performed between these two times. Service is then immediately restored once PG&E is notified that the inspection is complete. PG&E does not bill you for disconnecting and reconnecting service.
Your PG&E service planning representative may schedule a site visit to determine if your current electric service is sufficient for charging your PEV or if any service upgrades are necessary.
- Service Upgrades: If you are upgrading your panel or adding a second panel, a service upgrade may be required. Service upgrades are necessary when the service wire to your home has inadequate capacity to meet the needs of your panel.
If a service upgrade is required, customers are responsible for costs that exceed the $1918 allowance that PG&E provides. Generally, overhead service upgrade costs are covered entirely by the allowance. Underground service upgrades will likely exceed the allowance costs because of the additional trenching and labor required.
- System Upgrades: Charging a vehicle at AC Level 2 adds considerable load to the infrastructure. PG&E may need to upgrade the distribution infrastructure at PG&E's expense. Until the upgrades are complete, we may request you charge your PEV during off-peak hours (12 a.m. – 7 a.m.) in order to prevent electrical service disruption.
PG&E Can Help
Call us anytime – PG&E is dedicated to helping you make a smooth transition in preparing your home or business for PEV charging.
- Answer Your Questions: The electric vehicle E-9 rates can be difficult to understand. A call center representative can answer your questions before you apply for service.
- Save Money: The electric vehicle E-9 rates were designed specifically for Plug-In Electric Vehicle customers. By opting for a time-of-use rate, you may be able to save money by charging your vehicle during off-peak hours.
- Prevent Outages at Your Home: The rating of your electrical service wire needs to exceed the rating of your electrical panel(s). If the existing electrical service wire does not have adequate capacity to serve the added load of the PEV, the home owner is at risk of damaging the service wire. This would result in an extended power outage to your home as PG&E upgrades your service.
By notifying us of your PEV charging plans, we can assess your electrical service to ensure you have adequate capacity and make any necessary upgrades.
- Prevent Neighborhood Service Disruptions: One PEV charging at AC Level 2 adds at least as much load to our infrastructure as a single residence. Many regions in our service territory have service wires and transformers that are not designed for such significant additional load.
By notifying us of your PEV purchase, we can make any necessary upgrades and ensure our system is adequate in order to provide you electricity without disruption.
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