Start New Construction Service

Request for new construction electric service or changes in their electrical service can be made by calling the Engineering Department at 1-800-364-3171 or 979-865-3171.

All requests for electric service should be made as early as possible.


We take this opportunity to introduce you to the procedure for providing the electric service you are requesting and to our Line Extension Policies.

If our staking technicians are scheduled to meet with you it is essential that you keep this appointment, as we cannot proceed with your request for electrical service until the stakes are in place and you have provided us with the following information.  (If you cannot keep this appointment, please give us 24 hours notice so we can best utilize the Staking Technicians busy schedule.)

  • Type of electrical load to be served (residence, mobile home, well, shop, etc.).
  • Size of electrical load to be served.  You will need to provide an electrical load analysis or be able to provide the total AMP capacity required.  IF YOUR ELECTRICAL REQUIREMENTS EXCEED 200 AMPS, WE REQUIRE AN ELECTRICAL LOAD ANALYSIS CALCULATED BY YOUR ELECTRICIAN PRIOR TO DESIGNING OUR ELECTRICAL LINES.
  • Exact physical location of the house, mobile home, or any other buildings to be served. 
  • Permanent location of the meter.  Our lines stop at the location you designate as your permanent metering point.  The meter can be installed on your building, on your temporary pole with extra wire to go to the building after completion of the building, on our transformer pole or on our permanent meter pole.  If you choose to use our transformer pole or meter pole, the meter will remain on this pole, and your electrician will run the service from the meter to your building.  You are required to supply and install a meter loop for us to connect the service.  If you designate the meter to go on our permanent pole, we will not connect to a temporary pole.
  • Member is responsible for locating and/or exposing all member-owned underground electric lines, communications lines, water lines, sprinkler systems, sewer lines and septic systems.

From this information, our Technicians will discuss the route you prefer across your property and then survey a route, stake the pole and guy locations, and determine the necessary engineering details to provide your service.

PLEASE NOTE:  The Cooperative shall provide up to two appointments to design the power line for electric service at no charge to the person requesting service. If the applicant request a third appointment with a Cooperative’s representative, a non-refundable contribution of $150.00 will be assessed to the cost of the new service request. Once an applicant’s job has been staked and the applicant requests a re-stake prior to construction, a non-refundable contribution of $300.00 will be assessed to the cost of the new request. 

FOR SAFETY PURPOSES, buildings, trees or other obstructions are not permitted in the path of the power line.   We require a 20’ wide (10’feet on each side of the power line) un-obstructed right-of-way that is free and clear of buildings, trees or other obstructions.    The consumer is responsible to clear the right-of-way of all trees, stumps, brush, debris, and/or any obstacles along the route of the proposed extension to a width specified by the Cooperative. The Cooperative prohibits the party requesting service to clear the right-of-way on a third party property owner without a waiver from the Cooperative.  Any right-of-way being cleared by the Cooperative on a line extension shall be at the member’s expense.      

Once the engineering details are completed and drafted onto a staking sheet, the job goes to our right-of-way department to prepare and secure all the easements and permits that may be needed.  Any information you can supply us regarding this would be helpful.   Power lines shall be constructed only on an un-obstructed right-of-way covered by properly executed easements.

When the staking sheets are prepared, easements and permits, if any, are secured, service agreement is signed, and all fees paid along with a copy of your photo ID, then the job will be released to our construction department to be built at our earliest opportunity.  You will need to have your service entrance equipment (commonly referred to as a “meter loop”) installed on the outside of your building if the meter is going on the building or assembled and on site for us to install if it is going on our pole.  PLEASE NOTE:   Should the meter loop not be ready to connect at the time of construction of the line and an additional trip is required to connect the service, a non-refundable charge of $60.00 will be assessed to the Member. If the additional trip to connect the service is made after normal business hours a non-refundable charge of $120.00 will be assessed to the Member.

In order to avoid unnecessary delays during initial construction and future emergency line repairs, the Cooperative shall require that the party receiving service grant permission for the Cooperative to install its standard padlock where required to gain access to its lines when such gate or gap is kept locked by the property owner.

The Cooperative shall extend electric service to each applicant under the Line Extension Policy in effect at the time service is requested. The following is exerts from our current Line Extension Policy.

New Single Phase Line Extensions The Cooperative will extend single phase power lines, overhead or underground, to all residential, general (barns, water wells, shop, etc.,) and small commercial services  as requested by the Member.  The Member will be required to pay a contribution in aid of construction, in advance, equal to the average estimated unit costs for all units required to extend the service.  The Member will be required to sign a Five Year Electric Service Application and Agreement.  Under the terms of the five year agreement, the Member shall be obligated and responsible for continual service for the first year (12 months) and in order to continue to receive any refund/discount from the contribution in aid of construction monies paid shall maintain continual service for the remaining term of five years.

New Three Phase Line Extensions  The Cooperative will extend three phase power lines, overhead or underground, to all residential, general (barns, water wells, shop, etc.,), small commercial and large commercial services  as requested by the Member.  The Member will be required to pay a contribution in aid of construction, in advance, equal to the total estimated cost to extend the service.  The Member will be required to sign a Five Year Electric Service Application and Agreement.  Under the terms of the five year agreement, the Member shall be obligated and responsible for continual service for the first year (12 months) and in order to continue to receive any refund/discount from the contribution in aid of construction monies paid shall maintain continual service for the remaining term of five years.

Temporary Line Extensions  The Cooperative will extend a temporary power line to all applicants where the expected period of usage is twenty-four months or less, then removed, such as construction power, construction storage facilities, rock crusher and quarry activities and other similar activities.  A non-refundable contribution in aid of construction will be required, in advance, for the total cost of the new construction and/or system improvements plus thirty-five percent (35%) to cover retirement labor, overhead and material losses less salvageable materials.  Temporary pole use shall be limited to not longer than one year.  For temporary services on a pole longer than one year period shall require the installation of a permanent meter pole by the Cooperative at the expense of the Member.

Refunds of Contribution in Aid of Construction on New Extensions  The Cooperative will refund the contribution for the service location, to the original member that maintains service in a continual manner, in the form of a credit on the monthly bill at a rate of twenty-five percent (25%) off the Wires Charge for accounts on Residential and General Service rates or twenty percent (20%) off the Demand Charge on Large Power rates each month until they have received credit for the entire contribution paid or until their five year Agreement has expired whichever comes first.  No refund/credits will be given in excess of the original contribution paid.  No refund/credits will be given after the initial five year contract term has expired.  The refund/credits are non-transferable to another Member or another Account.  If the original Member discontinues service in his/her name, all refund/credits will become null and void.

In the event additional Members are connected from a line extension constructed as a result of a contribution in aid of construction within five years from the date applicant paid the contribution in aid of construction, upon the request of the original applicant, the Cooperative will make a pro-rata reimbursement according to the following provisions

  • The additional extension must be made past the first pole of the original overhead extension or past the pad-mount transformer on an underground extension in which the Member has paid a contribution in aid of construction for those facilities.
  • The pro-rata reimbursement for each additional extension shall not exceed $500.00. When two or more Members contributed to the original line extensions, the $500.00 reimbursement will be divided equally among the qualifying Members.
  • The original Member shall not receive more than three additional line extension reimbursements, and in no event shall the sum of all refunds and credits exceed the original contribution.

Area Lighting  The Cooperative will install, own and maintain area lighting facilities for the Member provided the Member signs the required Electric Service Application and Agreement agreeing to a contract term of not less than one year and pay a connection fee if the area light is going on an existing pole with existing secondary voltage.  Should the area light be installed at the time line construction is being done, the connection fee will be waved.  The monthly rate for the area light shall be in accordance with the applicable rate schedule.  Some models of area lights have a one time fixture charge.

In the event the Member desires the area light to be installed at a location where there is no existing wood pole with the appropriate secondary voltage available or there is no transformer, a contribution in aid of construction shall be assessed for the total cost of the additional facilities including transformer.  An area light may not be available at all requested locations and the extra facilities in order to serve an area light where secondary voltage is not available shall be installed at the sole discretion of the Cooperative at the Member’s cost described above.

Area lighting may not be available to Member at a location where persistent damage to the area light occurs.

Underground Service  The Cooperative will provide underground facilities as requested by the Member.  The Member will be required to pay a contribution in aid of construction equal to the estimated average cost per lineal foot with a one thousand dollar ($1,000.00) minimum. 

Relocation of Lines and Facilities  Relocation of electric power lines and electrical facilities shall be made at the sole option of the Cooperative.  In the event the relocation of lines and/or facilities is requested by a Member, landowner, or other state, local or government body, the party making the request shall pay a non-refundable engineering fee of $750.00, if required by the Cooperative, to cover the engineering and right-of-way easement cost, design, prepare the necessary paper work, and acquire the necessary permissions in order to move or relocate the power line and facilities. The engineering fee will be credited toward the total estimated cost if the member abides by the following requirements.  Once SBEC has prepared the necessary paper work and cost estimate, the member requesting the line move shall pay the requested fees, execute any necessary easements and application for the line move within 60 days from the date the paperwork was mailed or given to the member.  If the Member fails to return the requested fees and paperwork within the 60 days, the non-refundable engineering fee shall be forfeited and no future credit of the engineering fee off the cost of the relocation would be available if the Member decides to pursue the line move at a later date.

Service Provisions  The consumer shall agree to a one year contract term and commence receiving electric service within thirty days after it is made available or shall commence paying to the Cooperative the minimum monthly charge as specified in the applicable rate schedule as no meter billing.

Ownership  San Bernard Electric Cooperative shall retain ownership of all materials and facilities installed by the Cooperative.

Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions.  Thank you.

SBEC requires that its consumers be responsible for providing all materials (Except for the meter base and meter pole) for the meter loop and labor for installing and maintaining their meter loops. The location of the meter loop must be in a mutually acceptable location to the consumer and SBEC. Each consumer's meter loop must be inspected by a SBEC employee and must be approved in its entirety before SBEC will extend and connect its service conductors and install its meter.

These specifications contain guidelines for meter loops for both overhead and underground service extensions. Several examples of meter loop construction are shown on drawings in these specifications. These specifications are for meter loops rated 200 amps or less. For larger service, contact SBEC.

Note! New service will not be provided to any consumer when the consumer's facilities (mobile home, house, barn, sign, structure, etc.) are within 10 feet in any direction of SBEC's pole, or within SBEC's primary distribution line right-of-way which is at least 10 feet and up to 15 feet on either side of the center line between two consecutive poles. The purpose of this rule is for the consumer's safety.

Some Counties require that consumers obtain a permit before receiving electric service.

It is the policy of the Cooperative to require that service entrance equipment conform to the standards of the latest edition of the National Electrical Code and the regulations specified in this information before the meter can be placed into service. THE COOPERATIVE STRONGLY RECOMMENDS THAT ALL WIRING INSTALLATIONS AND METHODS BEYOND THE METER CONFORM TO THE LATEST EDITION OF THE NATIONAL ELECTRIC CODE.

Downloadable Specification Diagrams

  1. SERVICE-ENTRANCE CONDUCTORS shall be copper or aluminum. Aluminum is not recommended. The minimum size "hot" conductors shall be # 6 except when the service is for any dwelling the minimum size shall be # 4. The consumer shall be responsible for determining whether larger conductors are required based upon load requirements. The NEUTRAL conductor shall be the same size as the "hot" conductors or a maximum of two standard size smaller. No conductor shall be smaller than # 6. The ampacity of all conductors shall be per the National Electrical Code. See the Conductor Chart for minimum size "hot" conductors. Each conductor shall extend a minimum of 36" out from the weatherhead.
  2. GROUNDING CONDUCTORS shall be copper and shall be # 6 minimum for up to 150 amp service and # 4 for 200 amp service. The Grounding Conductor for larger service shall be sized according to Table 250-94 of the National Electric Code. Attaching the Grounding Conductor to the neutral bus bar or a lug in the service disconnect is preferred. A Grounding Conductor attached to the grounding lug in the meter base may be acceptable. IF PVC CONDUIT IS USED THROUGH THE WALL BETWEEN THE METER BASE AND THE SERVICE DISCONNECT THEN THE GROUNDING CONDUCTOR MUST BE ATTACHED TO THE NEUTRAL BAR IN THE SERVICE DISCONNECT. The Grounding Conductor shall be protected by securing the conductor every 6 inches (to existing grade) or by installing it in ½" thinwall EMT conduit securely attached to the building or pole.
  3. SERVICE DISCONNECTS shall be manually operable and shall have overcurrent protection (either fuses or circuit breakers) rated not greater than the ampacity of the Service Entrance Conductors and shall be UL listed for use as service equipment. It shall be located within 3 feet of the meter base. Where the meter loop is mounted on a pole, the Service Disconnect shall be on the pole. It shall consist of no more than 6 circuit breakers or 6 sets of fuses. A circuit breaker panel with more than 6 positions for single pole circuit breakers shall be required to have a MAIN circuit breaker. If located outside it shall have a weatherproof enclosure. Make sure all unused holes are closed with approved knockout closures. If located inside, access must be provided for inspection.
  4. GROUND RODS shall be 5/8" galvanized steel or iron or ½" copper, 8 feet long, driven full length into the ground. Attach the grounding conductor by means of an approved ground rod clamp. Rebar or galvanized pipe shall not be accepted.
  5. CONDUIT shall be used to protect all service entrance and underground service drop conductors. All conduits on an overhead meter loop shall be metallic types such as Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT), Rigid Galvanized Steel (RGS), and Intermediate Metal Conduit (IMC). Where the conduit extends above the roof, 2" RGS conduit minimum shall be used. Underground conduit shall be Schedule 40 PVC (gray) electrical conduit. Water pipe (white) is not allowed. All conduit connections shall be made weather-tight with connectors made for the application. All conduit straps shall be full straps. Half straps are not allowed.
  6. METER BASES for permanent installations will be furnished by SBEC (Installed by Member), or the consumer may choose to purchase a meter base elsewhere. SBEC has available meter bases rated for a maximum of 100, 200 and 400 amps, for overhead service and underground applications. The consumer's need for service in excess of 200 amps must be approved by SBEC's engineering department and would require the Member to provide a load rendition calculation as defined in the NEC. Meter bases rated for 200 amps shall be supplied with a hub size of 2". Meter bases rated for 100 amps shall be supplied with a hub size of 1.25" or 1.5". Only one set of conductors shall be allowed under the lugs of a 200 amps or less meter base. Meter loops shall be completely assembled by the consumer, or the consumer's electrician.
  1. NEUTRAL CONDUCTORS shall be continuous from the weatherhead to the service disconnect. Strip the insulation away from the neutral conductor and connect at the neutral lug of the meter base. DO NOT CUT THE NEUTRAL. Mark the neutral at the weatherhead by using white color-coded tape where the neutral exits the weatherhead.
  2. METER POLES shall be provided and installed by SBEC in accordance with the current SBEC line extension policy. The location of the meter pole is to be decided and agreed upon at a meeting on site with the Member and SBEC's engineering personnel. Temporary meter poles for construction are provided and installed by the member. The temporary meter pole shall be a minimum of 12 feet above ground and set to a minimum dept of 3 feet in the ground. The meter loop on the temporary meter pole shall have a minimum capacity of 60 amperes. The Member shall install a ground rod at the temporary pole location. Temporary poles shall be connected when the permanent service is to located on the building or residence. A Member's temporary pole will not be connected if the permanent meter is to be installed on SBEC's transformer pole or meter pole.
  3. WEATHERHEADS shall be located high enough to provide the required vertical clearance of SBEC's service drop cable between SBEC's pole and the weatherhead as indicated below: 12.5 feet - areas where only pedestrians have access. This area includes porches, decks, balconies, etc. It also includes areas where horses and vehicles are not normally expected to be. 16.5 feet - over driveways, parking lots, areas used by special used equipment and trucks, and areas where horses are ridden. Weatherhead must also be located so that the weatherhead and SBEC's service drop cable shall have a clearance of not less that 3' from any windows, door, porch, or similar accessible location. When the Weatherhead is to be extended above the roof, the conduit shall be 2" minimum diameter and shall be RGS or IMC. It should be continuous without joints. If joints are necessary, only threaded connections below the roofline will be approved. All clearances specified herein are minimum safety clearances prescribed by the National Electrical Safety Code and the National Electrical Code.
  4. SERVICE ATTACHMENTS shall be provided and installed by SBEC except where the attachment is to be located on a metal building, in which case the consumer shall install a 5/8" eye bolt securely fastened. SBEC will furnish the eyebolt to the consumer if needed.
  1. METER RACK for underground service shall be pressure treated 4" x 4" minimum timbers (suggested 4" x 6" timbers), 8' long and use 2" x 8" treated boards or galvanized steel of sufficient strength.
  2. FOR TEMPORARY SERVICES in subdivisions with underground distribution lines, set the meter pole 3' away from and into the property from the pedestal or pad mounted transformer. Temporary underground meter poles should include enough cable to be buried and extend into pad-mount transformer. SBEC will finish digging the trench and install the underground service conductors under pad and into transformer. CAUTION! DO NOT SET THE METER RACK NEAR OR ON TOP OF HIGH VOLTAGE LINES THAT ARE BURIED AND ARE DANGEROUS. Call to have SBEC's lines located before any digging starts. Temporary underground service is not available where distribution lines are overhead.
  3. TRENCHING will be provided by SBEC if the Consumer is willing to pay a contribution in aid of construction based on SBEC's current line extension policy. The trench shall be a minimum of 30 inches deep for secondary or service lines. The Consumer shall expose all existing buried lines (water, sewer, etc,) before SBEC will trench. The Member may seek approval to install short runs of service from a pad-mount transformer to house or meter rack. If the Consumer provides the trenching, conduit and conductors, and may spot cover the conduit until it has been inspected. CAUTION! ARRANGEMENTS AND ROUTING OF THE TRENCH MUST BE APPROVED BY SBEC BEFORE THE TRENCH IS DUG. Consumer provided trenching should extend to within 2 feet of SBEC's pad-mounted transformer or service pedestal. CAUTION! HAVE SBEC POWER LINES LOCATED PRIOR TO ANY TRENCHING BEING DONE. All conduits for underground service shall be 2 1/2".
  4. LONG SWEEP ELBOWS shall be at least 24" radius and may be Schedule 40 PVC (gray) conduit. For permanent service to a meter rack, a long sweep elbow shall be installed.
  5. RISER CONDUIT shall be RGS conduit only, 2 1/2" diameter minimum.
  6. NEUTRAL CONDUCTOR will only be attached to the lower lug of the meter base for underground service only when SBEC is installing the conductor to the meter base.
  1. Homes having less than 12 KW of electric heating load shall not have less than a 100 amp Service Entrance.
  2. Homes having from 12 KW to 18 KW of electric heating load shall have not less than a 150 amp Service Entrance.
  3. Homes having 18 KW or more of electric heating load shall have not less than a 200 amp Service Entrance.
  4. It is recommended that homes heated with an electric furnace rated at more than 12 KW be equipped with controls to limit the number of elements to come on so that during mildly cold temperatures the entire unit will not be in operation. Specified recommendations for all applications are available to members by contacting the Cooperative's Member Services Department.

NOTE: In every ALL ELECTRIC HOME, the number of branch circuit spaces available in the load center panel shall provide adequately for all present load, and in addition, there shall be space for four spares for future use.


  1. ATTACHMENTS TO COOPERATIVES PROPERTY: The Cooperative's street lighting standards, poles, wires, towers, structures, and other facilities are provided for the purpose of supplying electric service. The location near, or attachment to, such poles, wires, towers or structures of any radio or television equipment or wires, ropes, signs, banners, or anything of any nature not necessary to the supplying of electric service by the Cooperative, may be dangerous to life and property, and is therefore prohibited. The cooperative reserves the right to remove all such hazards to its service without notice.
  2. MEMBER'S COMMUNICATION OR TONE SYSTEMS: Modulated carriers or pulsed carrier systems shall not be impressed upon the electric service conductors, furnished by the Cooperative, for conveying intelligence, for control purposes or for signal purposes beyond the member's premises. In instances where carriers are impressed upon the member's privately owned electric distribution system the owner of such systems shall provide filters to isolate the carrier signals from the Cooperative's facilities.
  3. ANTENNAE (RADIO, TELEVISION, COMMUNICATION, ETC...): Members are cautioned to check the location of power lines in the immediate vicinity where an antenna is to be installed and to remember the danger to life and property should any part of the antenna come in contact with, fall into, or be blown during a windstorm into a power line.
  4. MEMBER OWNED GENERATION EQUIPMENT: For the mutual protection of member and Cooperative personnel, supplementary, auxiliary, or emergency electric generators shall not be operated in parallel with the service supplied to the Member from the Cooperative's distribution system. Suitable equipment shall be installed by the member for disconnecting his emergency circuits from the Cooperative's service before these circuits can be energized from the member's generator.

Texas law, Title 9 Chapter 752-Health and Safety Code, forbids all activities in which persons or things MAY come within six (6) feet of live overhead high voltage lines. Contractors and owners are legally responsible for safety of construction workers under this law. This law carries both criminal and civil liability. To arrange for lines to be turned off or moved, call SBEC at 1-800-364-3171 or (979) 865-3171

  1. Check to see that the proposed location of your house, well, mobile home, barn, etc., is not under or near any electrical lines. If your location cannot be changed please contact the local power company at once and make arrangements for the power line to be relocated at a cost to the person requesting the line relocation.
  2. "Proximity Law" Title 9, Chapter 752 - this is an act relating to safety of persons engaged in activities in the proximity of high voltage lines; prescribing penalties for violations; and declaring an emergency. The Act generally states that certain measures should be taken when working around or near high voltage lines and that it is WARNING - UNLAWFUL TO OPERATE THIS EQUIPMENT WITHIN SIX FEET OF HIGH VOLTAGE LINES."
  3. CALL BEFORE YOU DIG - if you are planning to trench, dig, or otherwise disturb the ground where electrical cables may be buried, please notify this office immediately.
  4. CALL 1-800-364-3171 or (979) 865-3171