• Electric Service FAQs

    What are the steps involved in getting a new electric service line or modifying an existing electric service?

    A1: To secure a new service or installation application, please contact Utility Services @ 517.702.6700 during normal business hours. You may be required to provide the following information:

    • Legal Business Name
    • Federal Tax ID
    • Contact Name and Phone #
    • Billing Address (if different than service address)
    • Electrician Name and Phone #
    • Service Type-OH or UG / Voltage / Size-Amps


    A2: To secure a new or upgrade application, you may be required to provide the following information:
    *Please be aware for upgrades if the proposed address is NOT an active BWL electric account, you will first need to contact our Customer Service Department @ 517.702.6006 (Option #4) to put service in your name.

    • Service Address
    • Contact Name & Phone #
    • Electrician Name & Phone #
    • Service Type – OH or UG / Voltage / Size - Amps


    A3: A meter spot will be required for a new or upgraded service. A site visit by BWL personnel will be performed.

    A4: Applications for a new electric installation or upgrade must be made to Utility Services and accepted by the BWL before service will be supplied.

    A5: The BWL will extend facilities to provide service in accordance with the provisions of Rules & Regulations for Electric Service. When the Customer requests the BWL to deliver energy in a manner or location other than that designated by the BWL, the Customer will pay the additional costs.

    A6: Your licensed electrician must obtain an electrical permit from the local city/municipality and pass electrical inspection prior to the BWL energizing the service.

    What is a meter spot? Does my meter have to be outdoors? At what height must the electric meter be installed?

    A1: A meter spot is written documentation of current BWL construction standards intended to guide your installer through the new service installation or upgrade process. A meter spot will require a site visit by BWL personnel.

    A2: The BWL requires the metering equipment for all Residential, Commercial, and Small Industrial Customers be located outdoors (on the Customer’s building or structure). The BWL must pre-approve the mounting of metering equipment indoors in those cases where there is no suitable outdoor location.

    A3: The requirement is that the meter be between 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 feet from its centerline opening to the final surface grade.

    My existing electric service is overhead; can I have an underground service?

    Yes, however all cost associated with changing the service is the customer’s responsibility and must be paid before any work by BWL begins. Contact Utility Services @517.702.6700 and they will assign a Customer Projects Designer/Technician to meet with you based on your requested location.

    How long does it take to get a new service line?

    It depends upon several factors such as the scope of work, permits where required, weather conditions, etc. In cases where our existing distribution is adequate for your new service and your electrician has completed the meter enclosure installation. On average the wait should be approximately 5 working days for overhead and 15 days for underground from the time BWL receives final electrical inspection approval.

    How long does it take to get my service line upgraded?

    In cases where our existing distribution is adequate for your upgrade needs and your electrician has completed meter enclosure modifications, on average the wait should be approximately 5 working days from the time BWL receives a final electrical inspection.
    Current residential service drops will support a 200 amp load. Open wire services will only be changed to a triplex service in the case of a potential safety hazard or at the discretion of the Emergency Service Worker.

    I need temporary power service; can the BWL provide that?

    The BWL has specific requirements for temporary service and should be consulted for each case. Contact our Utility Services Department @ (517) 702-6700. They will assign a Customer Projects Designer/Technician to meet with you based on your requested location.

    Can I have my cable TV and phone underground too?

    We suggest that you contact your local communications provider and work directly with one of their representatives. The BWL is not authorized to install communications service cable.

    Why do I have to pay to have a pole relocated?

    Since the cost of relocating a pole to accommodate a customer is an expense incurred solely to accommodate an individual request/requirement; it must be paid by the customer specifically requesting or requiring the relocation, and not be absorbed by other rate-payers.

    The only exception to the relocation provisions (Rules & Regulations for Service) will be the relocation of the Board’s electric Facilities within the public right-of-way that blocks the access to the first driveway to a residential Premise.

    There will be a charge for relocation work to provide any additional driveways to these Premises. Proof of driveway permits will be required prior to any relocation work. Driveway permits are available online through the City of Lansing www.cityoflansingmi.com/ or City of East Lansing www.cityofeastlansing.com/permits/

    Why is the contractor required to obtain a Permit from the City/Municipality?

    The Customer is responsible for obtaining inspections on work done to their electrical system as required by the local inspection authority.

    I need to work on the outside of my home or business and the electrical wires will be in the way - what should I do?

    Contact our Transmission & Distribution Department @ (517) 702-6317 a minimum 48 hours in advance to schedule an appointment.

    My electric meter has been damaged and is considered a safety hazard. What should I do?

    A1: Contact our Outage Assistance toll free number (877) 295-5001 for the dispatch of an Emergency Service Worker to resolve the safety hazard.

    A2: In the event your meter enclosure has been damaged due to storm, wind or limb damage, you or your electrician may contact our Metering Department @ (517) 702-6318 and request a new enclosure. The Customer shall be responsible to install, own and maintain a metering enclosure(s). Meter enclosures may be furnished by the BWL.

    My home or business has been damaged by fire; who should I call for electric restoration assistance?

    Contact our Transmission & Distribution Department @ (517) 702-6317 or Electric Metering Department @ (517) 702-6318

    I am demolishing a property – what is my first step?

    To order the demolition of utilities at a property, please complete the following authorization form in its entirety.

    » Download Demolition Request Form

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