Service Upgrades for Electrification Retrofits

Example of panel optimization, courtesy of Redwood Energy
Example of panel optimization, courtesy of Redwood Energy

Going all-electric may require increasing your electric service or panel size to accommodate greater electrical loads from appliances and electric vehicles. In single-family homes, if the panel is 100 amps or greater, existing electrical service may be sufficient with panel optimization, making efficient use of existing service and breakers with load management technology and appropriate appliance selection. Panel optimization not only avoids added costs from electrification, it also enables faster and more widespread building decarbonization with existing electrical infrastructure.

Determining the necessary panel size for your home is the consumer's decision, not PG&E's. If the consumer determines electrical service needs to be increased, PG&E's Added Load process must be followed.

On 9/7/22, the cities of Oakland and San Francisco held a workshop on electrical service upgrades for single-family buildings with PG&E and Tom Kabat (slides, resource list and recording). Minute marks for the recording are below listed below.

A multifamily and commercial buildings version of the workshop was held on 9/28/22 featuring John Neal from the Association for Energy Affordability and PG&E. Slides, recording, and notes and Q&A from the webinar are available.

Topic Minute Mark

Oakland Presentation


San Francisco Presentation


Avoiding Service Upgrades: Panel Optimization with Tom Kabat


Electric Service Planning and PG&E's Added Load Process with Khalil Johnson and Nick Souza


Impacts of Electrification on Primary & Secondary Distribution


Electric Service Upgrade Triggers


Added Load Process, including PG&E vs. customer responsibilities, costs, and timelines


Gas Disconnection Process




Clarification on total time for Added Load Process


Next National Electric Code giving more flexibility for giving software to manage loads as alternative to upsizing panels


Is there a portion of transformer upgrade costs that would have to be paid by customers? (distribution vs. service facilities)


Who is responsible for gas line removal and how much would it cost a homeowner to remove a gas line if PG&E isn't paying for it


What are the specific costs of the PG&E portion of service upgrades


PG&E internal data about size of panels and customer gas connections


Richard Y's project example


More explanation of NEC 22.87 and Tom Kabat's electrical calculator


Reference to Greenbook section 2, p. 2-38, figure 2-22: if upgrading existing electric service, measure 3' radially from regulator vent