The most popular upgrade done in HRM is from 100 or 125 amp to 200 amp service. If your home currently has electric baseboard heaters and an electric hot water tank, chances are you already have 200 amp service.
Homes currently heating with sources other than electric baseboard, generally have 100 amp service.
This post is going to explore:
- Why you may consider upgrading your electrical service
- What happens when we do an electrical upgrade?
- How much does it cost?
- Are there any alternatives to upgrading?
Why Upgrade My Electrical Service?
The number one reason we upgrade a homes electrical service is the homeowner wants to install additional equipment such as, a ductless or ducted heat pump system, but their panel does not support the additional draw.
This is not to say every home with 100 or 125 amp service cannot have a heat pump installed, we install heat pumps in homes with this electrical service every single week.
When our Home Energy Specialist visits your home they always inspect the electrical panel and take a photo to share with our electricians. They can let you know on the spot if a service upgrade is required.
What Happens during an Upgrade
Having a service upgrade requires co-operation with Nova Scotia Power, as well as our electricians and installation co-ordinator. In order to increase the electrical service at your home we must first request Nova Scotia Power to complete a scope on your street.
A scope ensures the current infrastructure (lines and transformers) can provide the additional 75 to 100 amps of electricity you want to add to your home.
Once the scope is complete, Nova Scotia Power provides us with a date to execute the upgrade.
Nova Scotia Power provides this date because they must disconnect the power from your home on the day of the upgrade and reconnect it after our electricians have completed building your new panel and service.
Generally speaking, all service upgrades are completed within one day. This includes: removing your old panel, adding a new panel, re-building your panel, or any other small upgrades which must be completed to ensure current building code.
Who Completes a Service Upgrade?
When you hire Sunshine Renewable Energy to carry out a service upgrade, a Red Seal Journeyman electrician will complete the project.
Depending on the age of your home and if other upgrades are required (e.g. GFI plugs, three way switches, hard wired smoke detectors) there may also be an apprentice electrician at your home as well.
As mentioned above, Nova Scotia Power will be on site to disconnect and reconnect the power once the upgrade is complete.
How Long Does a Service Upgrade Take?
Service upgrades are almost always completed on the same day.
In some cases the upgrade takes two days to complete, this is generally due to the age of a home and if minor upgrades are required.
How Much Does Upgrading to 200 amp Electrical Service Cost?
The cost to perform a service upgrade depends on the age of your home.
For homes that are less than 10 years old: $3,250.00
For homes that are more than 10 years old: $3,750.00
This price includes all of the required updates to the home, as well as the new service.
It is necessary that we visit your home to inspect your current panel and service, as there are sometimes unique situations where additional work may be required, but the majority of homes fall into the above price points.
Are there alternatives to Upgrading My Electrical Service?
There can be, yes, and it depends on the reason for needing to upgrade your service.
For instance, if you’re looking to add a single heat pump to your home but your 100 amp electrical service is maxed, you might decide to eliminate a high amperage device (such as a hot tub), in order to free up enough space.
One of our Home Energy Specialists can help determine this with an in-home visit.
If you’d like to discuss having an electrical service upgrade, please give us a call at (902) 466-2887. We can set a time for one of our Home Energy Specialists to inspect your current service and provide you with a detailed quote.