I just got a callback from a chief inspector at Seattle City Light. He quoted me
the part of the Seattle City Code that requires notification of load additions.
It is the law here. He also said, he didn't personally know who you would
notify. Generally, he said, they find out when service entrance updates are
done, since they hook up the power. But, by law, you are supposed to notify the
utility, and if you don't, you are responsible for repairs, if for instance, the
On Feb 18, 10:11 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
He also claimed that the muni *always* notified the power company,
even were they weren't under the same political entity.
The only permit I have ever pulled was for a garage and the power was
ancillary. There was no mention of number of circuits or their
ampacity or any other implementation details.
The inspector inspected what was there.
I've lived where the power utility was owned by the city- it's not uncommon.
However, the utility's mandate is on it's side of the metering. Permits
apply to your side of the metering and code compliance /inspection covers
your ass with the insurance company if something goes wrong. If the utility
underestimated load growth and diversity- it is their problem (which will
filter down to the customer base as a whole, rather than the individual).
Whatever, I agree, it is laughable-the utility can't even detect the
possibility of a grow-op until suspicious meter readings appear or the
secondaries to the house of concern let out magic smoke.
cross out to reply
No kidding. Local code requires a 200 amp service around here, yet
the primaries are still designed and fused for 60 amp service. This
subdivison was built in the mid '60s, and was designed for about 18 A @
240 V average per home. That was fine when the houses used propane to
cook and for heat. No one had air conditioning or electric stoves. A
60 A fuse in the primary around the corner goes on a regular basis.
Usually on Friday evenings and within a few minutes of 5:00 PM when
everyone gets home from work. They turn up the AC and start cooking.
Then you hear the fuse explode like a shotgun.
It isn't as bad right now because several of the houses are vacant.
It is a mostly senior subdivision and they are empty, awaiting probate.
Others were bought by snowbirds, so they are empty through the summer
but it still goes about once a month.
Most utility workers are trained for a very narrow range of work, and
have little or no idea of the engineering behind the company or the
rules & regulations they set.
I hit send too fast. :)
That's similar to living on a military base where they run the
utilities, except they didn't meter the electric. They also supplied
the water, natural gas (Where available), diesel fuel for the generators
at remote bases and steam to heat buildings in cold climates. They
operated the CATV and telephone systems, and in a few places they had
the only local radio or TV station and printed the newspaper.
Ft. Greely, AK. was like that, except for natural gas which wasn't
I live within 15 miles of two city operated electric utilities. The
rates are about double what people outside the city limits pay, and all
the electricity comes from the same power plants. Then they complain
when businesses move out of the city, or the county because of high
taxes & utilities.
Not around here. The cities base a lot of their budget on the money
they collect by jacking up the utility bills. Now they are crying
because a lot of people have cut back their use, and a lot of
restaurants and small businesses have closed which took a lot of their
On Sat, 20 Feb 2010 03:37:36 -0500, "Michael A. Terrell"
Out electric rates (city owned electric company) are pretty
reasonable, though I admit I haven't checked the area outside the
city. We're paying under $.10/kWh, which certainly can't be double.
Our highest bill this winter, a cold one, was about $175.
Sales tax is 6% right now. It keeps changing. My property taxes are
about $700 per year. They went up quite a bit over the last 10 years,
even with the so called 'Homestead Exemption' and '$5,000 'Disability
Exemption' The actual property taxes are low, but they add a lot of
fees which adds over $400 to the annual bill.
On Sun, 21 Feb 2010 01:52:50 -0500, "Michael A. Terrell"
My taxes are $1500, with no "fees" other than services (electric,
garbage, water) for a 2600sq.ft. 3-1/2 bath new house. The taxes here
do include a 50% homestead exemption so they do try to rape those with
I think the idea that FL heavily taxes tourists because they don't
have a state income tax is bogus. The hotel room tax in Miami or
Orlando is 2.5%. For those of us that travel, that rate isn't out of
line with rates that you can find in other major tourist destinations
in other states that have income taxes.
I used to work as a programmer for a company that monitored electric loads
for smaller power companies, typically Rural Electric Cooperatives. One of
the selling points of our software was the administrators would be better
able to correct transformer loading. One director told our sales
"What's to monitor? If a transformer blows, we replace it with a bigger one.
End of story."
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