Construction Services: Your Questions, Answered

Are you planning a construction project at your home or business? Tucson Electric Power is ready and waiting to help you establish or upgrade your electric service.

Typically, customers will hire an electrician or a general contractor to perform the construction and coordinate with TEP on contracts, easements and permits. The customer, however, ultimately is responsible for approving easements and TEP’s electrical design.

Here are some common questions and answers about TEP’s construction services process:

Q: I am interested in a new service or upgrade. How do I initiate the process?

A: Contact a New Service Representative by calling 520-918-8300 and selecting option 3 for applications or fill out and submit TEP’s online electric service application.

Q: What kind of information will I need to provide?

A: Please prepare to provide standard information such as the customer’s name, address and billing information. TEP also will need the estimated date that power is required, the type of service required and the building permit number.

Q: What is a permit and why do I need one?

A: A building permit is required by the local governing agency in order to proceed with a construction project. The agency inspects and certifies that construction is completed according to its standards and requirements.

Q: After I submit my application, what is the process?

A: The new service process consists of four steps: application, design, service panel and civil construction, and TEP construction. First, the customer submits his or her application to TEP. Next, a TEP Designer or Field Technician will perform a site meeting and provide a preliminary electrical design based on the project’s scope. Once approved by the customer, final design and contracts are provided to the customer by TEP and any deposits or easements are secured. The customer then constructs the project (trench, conduit, service panel work) per TEP standards. TEP performs inspections throughout the project. Inspections will vary based on the type of work and can be scheduled by contacting 520-918-8300 and selecting option 1 for inspections. TEP may need to perform other work (such as extending the TEP electrical line to the customer’s property line or installing a new transformer) prior to installing the new service, depending on the project’s need. Once inspections by TEP and the governing agency are complete, TEP will schedule and dispatch a crew to complete the project.

Q: How long does a project typically take?

A: Generally, it takes between four and five months from application submission to project completion, depending on the project’s scope.

Q: Why does a project take this long?

A: Many factors contribute to the timing of a project, including the TEP application submittal, obtaining permits, site meeting(s), preliminary drawing(s), construction drawing(s), contracts, deposits, easements, a pre-construction meeting, the customer’s own service panel and civil construction, TEP and governing agency inspections, a powerkill appointment, an equipment access appointment and final electrical construction by TEP.

Q: What is a powerkill appointment?

A: A powerkill is a task performed by TEP to de-energize an electrical panel when a customer needs to complete work on his or her panel, or in close proximity to energized power lines. A powerkill appointment can be scheduled by contacting a New Service Representative at 520-918-8300 and selecting option 2 for powerkills.

Q: What is an equipment access appointment?

A: An equipment access appointment is scheduled with TEP and the customer’s electrician to gain access to an energized piece of TEP equipment for the purpose of extending service. An equipment access appointment can be scheduled by contacting a New Service Representative at 520-918-8300 and selecting option 4 for access appointments.

Q: What are the typical costs for a new service or upgrade?

A: In general, TEP will complete line extensions for new service or an upgrade from its existing facilities of proper voltage and adequate capacity at the company’s expense, up to 500 feet. For line extensions in excess of 500 feet, the customer is billed on a per-foot basis. Costs and exceptions to this general approach are detailed in TEP rules and regulations.

Q: What is a clearance and why does TEP need one?

A: A clearance is an approval from the local governing agency that declares that all work specified in the building permit is in accordance with the agency’s standards and requirements.

Q: How do I find out if TEP has received the clearance from the local governing agency?

A: You may contact a New Service Representative at 520-918-8300 and select option 5 for clearances.

Q: Why did I receive a tree trim notification?

A: Tree trimming is required when vegetation growth is in close proximity to TEP overhead lines. This can pose a potential hazard and cause electric service disruption. For service that enters private property, it is the responsibility of the property owner to keep vegetation clear of obstruction. Customers must contact TEP at 520-918-8300 and select option 2 to schedule a powerkill prior to starting their tree-trimming work. Once the facilities have been de-energized and the vegetation is cleared, customers may contact TEP at 520-918-8300 and select option 2 to re-establish power.

Q: Can TEP clear the vegetation from my property?

A: Customers may coordinate with TEP to remove vegetation hazards from service lines for a fee.

Q: Does TEP have the right to clear or trim vegetation adjacent to my property?

A: TEP reserves the right to keep any easements or public rights-of-way clear of vegetation.