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Old 09-22-2009, 05:20 PM   #1
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POCO demand meter

I'm here in dayton ohio.
I have a garage behind my house that has been zoned commercial
My brother owns the house now and don't want to mess with having to run electric from him.
I have a pole with transformer about 75' away from my garage.
I now want to run a 100 amp service from there but the poco wants to put a demand meter with a commercial rate.
Can someone explain in detail about these demand meters and if there is a way to get around them. i will doing alot of welding
Also i'm having my son wire it for me. if i get power from the pole will i have to have an inspection?


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Old 09-22-2009, 06:47 PM   #2
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A demand charge is sort of like a capacity charge.....what is the most you intend to use at any one time.
For example, you have a shop that basically has lights and a few tools. Under normal operation, you may have 3 or 4 tools running simultaneously and be pulling 15 Kw. If that is the most you pull at any one time (usually 15 minute intervals), your peak Kw demand would be for the 15 Kw.
Now your worthless brother in law comes over, turns everything in the house on including the AC for 15 minutes. You come in, slap him silly and turn everything off. But in that 15 minute interval, you were pulling a peak load of 30 Kw. That is now your new peak for the month (at least...more on that later) even if you never use that much again. It is a measure of how much you use at any one time.

This may or may not work for you. Demand rates are often required if you exceed a certain level (at our POCO, it's 50 Kw). Check with yours and see if it is related to actual load rather than the buildings previous history.

Secondly, sometimes the POCO will have a ratcheting demand. This usually involves billing you some percentage of your maximum peak for a 12 month period whether you ever get near it again or not. For example, take the 30 Kw, 15 minute demand example above. If your POCO had a 90% ratchet, you might get billed 90% of that 30 Kw for the next 12 months or until you established a new peak (not good).

On the flip side, most demand rates come with a very low Kwh rate. In some cases (depending on your load and usage), the lower Kwh charge can offset the demand charge. This would typically occur when you have a constant, 24/7 type load that racks up a lot of kilowatt hours but is not fluctuating (i.e., doesn't have a lot of peaks or valleys).

Last but not least....if you don't have a power factor clause built into the rate, it might not be that bad at all. We tested a meter on a welding shop once that approx. a 70% power factor (welders being notoriously inductive in nature). Your actual Kw demand may not get that high.

Check with your POCO and see if they have any service that can project an idea of what your rate may be.


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Old 09-22-2009, 07:09 PM   #3
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WFO explained demand charges quite nicely. If you don't have that much load, having a demand meter might be a moot point.

As for your brother doing the wiring, unless he is a licensed electrician, that probably won't fly.

Yes, you will need a permit and inspection for such an installation. No, you won't be able to D-I-Y, since a commercial job is not a "homeowner" project.

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Old 09-22-2009, 11:48 PM   #4
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Anytime you have a 2nd meter installed on the property, DPL considers it to be a commercial install. (even if it is zoned residential or ag)

DPL charges around .105 cents per KW/Hr for Residential, and for small business, around .18 to .21 per KW/Hr. I believe this is not on-demand commercial.

New service either commercial or residential will require a permit, which requires an inspection from the county before DPL will energize the new service.

Your best option is to find a way to get your brother to continue to let you use power from the house, considering that the KW/Hr rate is almost double on the commercial side and you still have the installation costs of new service to pay for.
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:24 AM   #5
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Provided that the land on which the house and garage sit is one piece (parcel), maybe your brother will let you install a submeter so you can pay him for the electricity you use.

Submeters downstream of a main panel generally fall under premise wiring as opposed to service wiring for permit purposes.
The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.
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