Member Matters Column: New construction
TCEC often receives member calls requesting construction to bring power to a new service location where there is no available meter. This can be as simple as adding a new meter installation on an existing pole. It can be as involved as acquiring easements and building new high voltage lines for miles. Members can expect the following when calling to request power to a new location.
The Initial Call
Member calls are initially answered by a member service representative. The member is transferred to the staking department after describing their need for new electric construction. Marci Cotter is our member work flow coordinator and generally speaks to members after they are transferred to staking. Marci will ask for the following information:
- Location. Either the closest TCEC meter number or pole number to the new location or the section-township-range land numbers.
- Electrical Requirements. Is single phase or three phase service and at what voltage? If it is a new home to be served, which appliances will be electric? This will help us to properly size our meter and transformer. If the new service is for a large electric motor for irrigation or oil field service, what is horse power rating? Often for large commercial and industrial facilities, we will request complete electrical drawings of the facility.
- Contact Information. A call back number helps us to schedule a time to meet in person at the new service location.
Scheduling a Site Visit
After gathering this information, Marci forwards it electronically in a service order to one of our staking technicians. Our staking technicians are Ronnie Martin, Reese Thompson, and Troy Daves. TCEC’s membership is fortunate to have these three employees as staking technicians because combined they have more than 75 years of experience in the electric power industry.
After receiving the service order, a staking technician will call the member to discuss the details and to schedule a site visit. The staking technicians usually call the member back within one to two business days of the member’s initial call to TCEC. While on location the staking technician will generally take measurements, take pictures, and talk with the member to determine what new TCEC construction is needed.
Contribution to Construction
After the site visit Reese, Ronnie, or Troy will create an estimate of material and labor needed to complete the job. Often, new power line construction requires Amanda Christie, our Right-of-Way Coordinator, to draw up new easement documents for land owners to sign. When everything is finalized, the cost estimates are compiled and invoiced to the member to be paid as an aid to construction. TCEC requires that member’s contribution be received in total before construction begins.
The entire new service process can take place in as little as one week. It can also take months to complete depending on the scope of construction needed, easement issues, and other factors beyond TCEC’s control. We do our very best to make this process fast, but we also try to take the time needed to make the right decisions for the individual member as well as the entire TCEC membership.
To start this process for new construction, call 580.652.2418.
Published: April 11, 2018
This column was originally published in the April 2018 LiveWire Newsletter.