Electrical Service Requirements

Having power to light your home, run appliances and use electric equipment is a vital service. It is also a service that is subject to the same rules as any other utility, including safety standards set forth in the National Electrical Code (NEC).

There are two components to electricity service: delivery and distribution. The delivery component is associated with the high-voltage transmission facilities that transport energy to your electric company’s distribution system. This transmission system is part of the regional power grid overseen by ISO-NE and regulated at the federal level by FERC. The retail component of delivery service includes metering that tracks your electricity usage, billing and customer service.

The electric meter is connected to the distribution circuit wires by means of a metal meter socket base. The meter socket base is normally located outside the customer’s building, in a location approved by the City. The meter is read through a window and records your monthly usage of electricity, which is the basis for your bill.

All wires from the main service panel to your house must be insulated and properly supported. The National Electrical Code recommends that these conductors be kept at least 3 feet from windows designed to be opened, doors, porches and fire escapes. If you are building a new home or adding on to your existing house, it is highly recommended that you contact the Department prior to beginning construction so that we can make sure that your anticipated load of electricity will be available at that point in time.

Most homes built since the early 1960’s have a circuit breaker panel as their power distribution method. Older homes may still have a fuse panel in which case it is recommended that you replace the fuses with modern ones to reduce the potential for unintended contact and/or short-circuit current.

The City has multiple minimum requirements for installation of the service drop and meter. This is primarily to ensure that the wires are not damaged or exposed and that they are not obstructed by any object. The City has also established a maximum short-circuit current that an electric service drop can sustain.

It is the responsibility of the owner to maintain all equipment, meter terminal boxes and meter socket bases. The City reserves the right to require that any unauthorized removal, alteration or modification of its equipment be accomplished at the Customer’s expense. In addition, any failure to keep the meter and all connections to the meter free from obstructions or tampering will result in a fee for the cost of reinstallation. The City reserves the right to disconnect any electric service that has been tampered with or otherwise disallowed or if a fee is not paid within five (5) days after the due date. Reconnection of service shall be subject to the payment of all applicable fees, and to such other conditions as the Department may establish by ordinance or resolution of its Governing Body. Electrical Service

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