How much does it cost to get temporary power for a construction site?
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Temporary Power Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
One main part of any remodeling project is getting electricity to the job site. That involves two different types: temporary power for construction site work and permanent power for the finished project. Temporary power must have a pole within 70 feet or less to the worksite and the necessary permits to supply electricity.
Depending on the project, the cost of temporary power can vary. The national average cost ranges from $1,000 to $4,000, with most people paying around $2,000 to install an overhead metered temporary power system for two weeks. However, overall costs can range from as low as $800 to install lighting and a metered temporary power for a week to as high as $5,500 to install an underground unmetered temporary power system for a larger two-week project.
Temporary Power for Construction Site Cost
|Temporary Power Cost
|National average cost
Temporary Power Cost by Type of Power Panel
There are two main types of temporary power panels: metered and unmetered. Metered servers get a specific amount of bandwidth measured in GB per month, meaning homeowners will have to pay more once they go over that amount - usually about $0.05 per GB. A metered temporary power panel can either be ring-type or ringless.
Ring-type panels allow utility workers to install or remove the meter while keeping the panel cover closed, preventing accidental contact with a live current. Ringless panels let utility workers see inside the box to ensure no problems exist with the connection or any tools left in the enclosure. Still, they do not allow access to the panel without opening it up.
Unmetered panels do not have a cap on bandwidth per month but are given a specific port size. Due to this, you don't have to worry about overage. Your usage will be capped based on the port size you purchase. Here are the average costs for temporary power by type of panel, ranging from $50 to $250.
|Type of Power Panel
|Costs (Materials Only)
|$50 - $200
|$100 - $250
Temporary Power Pole Rental Cost
The cost to install temporary power poles varies based on the size of the project, the generators used, the type of power poles, and whether you’re using a temporary power panel with a meter base or unmetered. It’s always ideal to leave the heavy lifting to the professionals when using temporary power, which factors into the overall cost of the power pole installed. You’ll want an electrician to set the pole and provide amp requirements. They can also help obtain the permit needed to install temporary power.
Additionally, you’ll need to be in contact with your local building inspector and electric company to get everything approved and turned on. On average, electricians will charge between $40 and $120 per hour, which factors into the overall utility pole installation cost. When calculating the estimated temporary electric pole cost, you’ll have to pay attention to local rates for permitting and contractors. Overall, the temporary power pole cost ranges from $1,700 to $4,500 to install a temporary power system.
Temporary Power Supply for Construction Site Cost
You must determine the best source of temporary energy to bring temporary power to a job site. When it comes to temporary power generation, many decisions must be made. You can choose between creating a wired setup that connects to a permanent utility source or bringing in an on-site generator that runs on fuel. Utility companies may charge a fee for a point-of-service hookup, which costs between $450 and $750.
If your nearest utility source is far away, using gas-powered generators can be a good solution. However, this means you’ll have high fuel costs. You may be required to return your generator’s fuel tank filled up. Instead of renting a generator, it’s possible to have wired long-distance temporary power set up for an additional cost.
You also can set up temporary solar grids when connecting to a power grid isn’t possible. The only downside of using solar panels is it won’t work well if the construction company will be working mostly at night or if more power is needed than solar powers can produce.
Temporary Power Generator Rental Fees
Choosing the right generator size for your project depends on your energy needs. Generators 10,000 watts and under are best for small projects in which only one or a couple of pieces of light equipment need to be powered at once. Generators suitable for typical construction needs are sized at 20 kilowatts and above.
It’s highly recommended that you hire an electrician ($40 to $120 per hour) to calculate your energy needs and the most suitable generator size so that you avoid undersizing or oversizing. Using too much or too little of your generator’s capacity can damage it.
|Cost per Day
|Cost per Week
|Cost per Month
Temporary Power Pole Specifications
When setting up temporary power systems, it’s important to adhere to specific guidelines to ensure you get the best performance and keep everyone safe, too. To properly set a pole, you should have at least two outlets available. Additionally, you must make sure it is mounted no further than 70 feet from the site. Finally, you’ll want to check with an electrician about amperage requirements for your temporary power. This is a measurement of the volume of electricity flowing through the wires. For temporary power, it’s about a 60-amp minimum. A 100-amp temporary power pole is great for average projects, but you can also use a 200-amp temporary power pole or higher for larger projects.
Temporary Power Rental Process
Temporary power is used during construction for lighting, tools, and other equipment needed for building. First, a licensed electrician should set a pole that meets local codes regarding amp requirements, number of outlets, and distance from the job site. From there, either you or your hired electrician should get a permit to allow the temporary power system installation.
After the pole is placed in the ground with a panel and secured, a local building inspector will come and approve your job site and put an approval sticker on the panel, so the power company knows your system meets local codes. Inspections can cost anywhere between $300 and $500. Once that is complete, call your local power company to connect the power. Be sure to have routine check-ups on all equipment throughout the project to ensure everything stays in peak condition.
Temporary Power Permit
As mentioned above, one of the first steps in setting up temporary power is to obtain a permit for the services. A proof of permit lets local utility companies know you have had someone survey the area, and it is safe to set up power poles in your area. You can get this permit on your own through a local entity. Sometimes, the electrician you hire takes care of this on their own. On average, it costs between $30 and $60 to obtain a permit.
Temporary Power Safety
When installing temporary power, it’s important to follow safety procedures closely. On top of ensuring your job site will continue to run smoothly, these safety measures are put in place for the sake of your workers and anyone present throughout construction. To keep your crews safe, follow these simple guidelines:
- Be sure any temporary electrical installation is installed according to all applicable codes, standards, and regulations.
- Electrical equipment installed overhead should be covered and sheltered from solar heat, rain, snow, etc.
- Make sure all temporary wires are rated or listed for the correct application and that you use the proper cable terminations and covers on receptacles and junction boxes.
- Add applicable signs to warn all site workers of machinery, wires, and additional hazards. Individual signs cost between $5 to $200 to purchase, depending on the type of sign and the size.
- Do not use indoor-rated cables for outdoor use. If it gets exposed or wet, it can overheat and start a fire.
- Only use heavy-duty temporary light fixtures that are enclosed in cages or covers for protection.
- Always plan temporary power sources with the same care you would use for a permanent installation.
Temporary Power Pole Underground vs Overhead
A variety of temporary power solutions are available from which you can choose for your construction project. Underground temporary power systems are better than overhead because they are better protected than overhead feeders. However, this means underground service equipment can be much more expensive. Additionally, both overhead and underground feeders come with their own safety concerns.
Underground service cables connect to the power pole and trail down a pipe that goes into the ground. From there, they run horizontally through the ground and up into a transformer. The other service cables will then connect to your home’s electric meter and breaker box. This provides a much cleaner look for the job site and prevents most damage to the lines. The main downside of underground feeds is it makes digging in the area more complicated and potentially disastrous. Be sure to contact local utility companies before you break ground in the area. On average, underground wiring costs about $1.50 per foot for the materials alone.
On the other hand, overhead power lines connect wires from the energy company’s power pole to your own temporary one. While this option is more cost-effective, it leaves the lines vulnerable to the threat of falling branches and bad weather. Additionally, you’ll have to be careful about moving big trucks and tall pieces of equipment throughout the job site. Otherwise, you risk snagging the lines and damaging them. Overhead power lines will usually be triplex aluminum wire, which costs approximately $1.20 per foot.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Temporary lighting is installed on a job site to ensure maximum light throughout a project--whether you’re working during the day or throughout the evening. In addition to the lights themselves, it is smart to use job site lamp guards to protect them. If you need to illuminate larger areas, light stringers are a huge help. General construction areas require a minimum of 5 foot-candles of illumination. On average, temporary lighting for your job site costs between $600 and $1,000 for about a week of work.
Auxiliary Fuel Tanks
When it comes to supplying power to your construction zone, auxiliary fuel tanks come in handy. Having a fuel tank on hand saves you from running out of fuel at the worst of times. Additionally, it saves you from making extra stops on the way to and from job sites. A 100-gallon fuel tank costs approximately $60 per day, $140 per week, or $415 per month to use.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Most safety experts suggest not doing this project on your own. You should follow all local guidelines regarding using the right voltage, setting up the distance from the site, and obtaining the right permits. Also, it is within your best interest to have qualified personnel there to install and maintain the temporary power system.
- Setting up physical barriers around the equipment ensures minimum clearance is maintained. Caution barrier tape costs approximately $35 per 3” x 1,000’ roll. Construction barricade rental prices start at $10 per day, $15 per week, or $37 per month.
- How do you get temporary power?
You must take a series of simple steps to get temporary power for a construction site. First, you’ll need a temporary power permit, at least two outlets, and a pole with a panel to conform to local codes regarding amp requirements and distance from the construction site. Once a building inspector approves it, call your local power company to connect the temp power. This entire process takes anywhere from one to eight months, depending on the local utility company and permitting authority.
- How much does it cost to run power to a property?
On average, homeowners pay between $1,700 to $4,500 to install a temporary power system for a two-week-long project. Prices vary based on the type of power panels used, how long the project is, and whether you’re using overhead or underground feeds for the duration of your project.
- What are the requirements for a temporary power pole?
When it comes to getting a temporary power pole, it’s important to follow all the necessary dimensions for installation. Service poles should be made of treated wood that is at least 16 feet long. It should have a 7-inch butt and a minimum of a 5-inch top. Additionally, they should be set in the ground at least 4 feet down, with at least 12 feet showing above ground.
- How do you install a temporary power pole?
To install a temporary power pole, you’ll first have to consult local companies to find the best option for your project. Additionally, you’ll need an electrician to go over amp requirements and acquire a permit. It’s important to make sure the pole is placed in the ground within 70 feet from where you’re building--the closer, the better. It must be installed with a panel that is secured according to local codes for height and depth.