How Many Amps Does Your Home Need?

New electrical service

Knowing how many amps your home currently has and how many it should, can help ensure that you have enough power for all your appliances, lights, and equipment without overloading circuits.  Sometimes the challenge for the homeowner is finding the size of the current service and deciding how many amps your home may require.


How To Check The Amp Size Of A House’s Electrical Service

The first step is finding out what service you currently have.  Looking at history, electrical panels have changed significantly over the years.  Your panel may depend on the year when the home was built and if any upgrades have been performed.

Starting in 1950 and earlier, a 30-amp fuse box would be considered standard. In the 50s and early 60s, 60-amp electrical panels were usually installed providing 240 volts of power.

Since the early 60s circuit breaker panels were generally the choice and that is still the setup used today.

Many current homes have a 100-amp service – the minimum recommended.  100-amp service is required by most insurance providers as a 60-amp service poses the risk of overuse and overheating, potentially increasing the risk of an electrical fire.

When it comes to assessing the amp size of a house’s electrical service, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Every home is different and requires different amounts of amps for proper distribution.

To find more information about your current service you can start with the following:

  1. Locate the main service electrical panel, which should be clearly marked on the outside of your house or in a utility closet and look at the main breaker. This will tell you what type of service your home has and how many amps it serves.
  2.  Often you can also find the size of your electrical service by looking at the electrical meter outside the house. It may be printed on its face or on a label affixed to its body.
  3. You can also measure the diameter of the conduit in which the main service wire is run. A 2-inch conduit can hold a wire for a 200 amp service, a 100 amp service would be located in 1 1/4-inch conduit and a 1-inch conduit holds a wire for a 60 amp service. Conduits can be oversized, so it’s possible to have a 60 amp service entering your house, even if your conduit is 2”.


When Do I Need to upgrade to a  200-Amp Service Electrical Panel?

In many cases, a 100-amp panel is sufficient for most smaller homes, but in some instances, a larger 200-amp panel may be required. The amps listed on the main circuit breaker determine the maximum amount the house can safely use. If the power demand for a circuit approaches the amps the circuit is rated for, the circuit breaker will trip. If you need to add more breakers to your panel – 100 amp service may limit you in doing so.

If you are considering adding large appliances such as AC units, and electric range, make sure your house’s electrical supply allows for the expansion.

Newly build homes will most often default to 200-amp panels. The main difference between the two types of panels is that 200-amp panels have a higher capacity and can fit more circuits.  It also gives you a chance for future growth or adding SF and electrical outlets to your home.

I still have a Fuse Box.  Should I upgrade it?

In older homes, a fuse box would be the standard vs. a circuit breaker panel.  If your current service is at 60-amp – the upgrade would be highly recommended.  There is most likely not enough power supply for your current needs. Also, bringing up your electrical system to current codes is the best and safest for your family.

The amount of electricity your home can utilize is determined by the electrical service panel installed. It is required to work with a licensed electrician to upgrade the service and the panel in your home.  Our service technician will be able to tell you whether your electrical service size is adequate for your existing and future needs, or whether you need to upgrade your electrical panel to 200 amps.

Electrical Appliance Requirements for Kitchens

Kitchen Appliances Electrical Requirements

Electrical safety is the absolute focus when installing or replacing any type of electrical appliance in your kitchen. If you are looking at a new appliance, you have to make sure you adhere to local building codes and regulations as well as any instructions and requirements that came with the appliance itself.

Running New Electrical Cable

When replacing an existing light fixture or a switch, the update is simple and does not require consulting an electrician. When you run new electrical cable for new service, you need to work with a licensed electrician to assure it complies with all residential codes.

New electrical wiring should be installed when you are living in an older home, as the wiring may not meet current standards and support the electrical needs of a new appliance.  Always take under consideration the local code requirements.


Refrigerator Circuit

Standard requirement for a new refrigerator is a dedicated 20-amp circuit. Make sure that the refrigerator circuit is properly sized and rated for the intended use to prevent any issues or potential damage. In the past, smaller refrigerator units may have not had the 20-amp requirement, so if you are considering an upgrade, double check your current electrical circuit.

In general, a refrigerator itself does not require GFCI unless the outlet location is in a place where your local code requires AFCI protection.


Range Circuit

The range circuit size will vary depending on the type of range being used in the kitchen. A gas range will require a smaller circuit than an electric one since it draws significantly less power. Typically, an electric range will require 240-volt, 50-amp circuit. If you are considering a kitchen remodel and opting for a gas range, it is still recommended to upgrade your range circuit as future homeowners may have a preference to opt for an electric range when thy upgrade the appliance.

If the cooktop and a wall over are separate units, the National Code generally allows both units to utilize the same circuit as long as the combined electrical load does not exceed the safe capacity of that circuit.


Microwave Oven

Typically microwave ovens plug into standard appliance outlets, but larger microwave ovens can draw as much as 1500 watts, and these need their own dedicated circuits. Microwaves above your oven typically require a 20 amp/240-volt circuit breaker.

When purchasing a microwave oven make sure that the power requirement does not exceed the previous model.  Consult your local electrician if an upgrade is required for a larger microwave oven.


Small Appliances

Above your counter you will need two dedicated 20-amp circuits to cover the needs for small appliance loads.  From griddles to pressure cookers, coffee pots and blenders if you don’t want to run into any future issues with tripping breakers, make sure there is enough power supply above your counter. These receptacles should always be GFCI protected.

If at any point you are not certain that your power supply in the kitchen is adequate, it’s best to consult your local electrician to avoid any future circuit overloads or damaging your new appliances.

Preventing Electrical Circuit Overloads

Preventing Electrical Circuit Overloads

Electrical circuit overloads are dangerous as they can cause fires and damage to expensive equipment and appliances. Understanding the causes of electrical circuit overload and how to prevent them is essential for ensuring safety in any residence. There are many steps that you as a homeowner can take to prevent it, but in certain situations, a call to your local electrician might be necessary to resolve the issue.

What Causes A Circuit Overload?

Circuit overloads are a fairly common issue in electrical systems. They occur when too much electricity is being drawn, resulting in excessive demand for electrical current through a single circuit. There are several factors that can contribute to an overloaded circuit, including incorrect wiring, and excessive amperage drawn from appliances. If your microwave, toaster oven, and air fryer are using the same circuit – there is a good chance that your current electrical setup may not be able to handle that need.

Large appliances like air conditioners or refrigerators often require greater amounts of energy than smaller ones. Having multiple high-amperage appliances on the same circuit can also easily cause it to overload.

If your house is older and your wiring system is not up to date, this can be another reason for the electrical overload. Make sure that your home’s electrical system meets all safety standards by consulting your local electrician.


How You Can Prevent Circuit Overloads In Your Home

Home Appliances

Circuit overloads can be dangerous, and it is important to take preventative measures to avoid them. One of the most effective ways to prevent a circuit overload in your home is by understanding the electrical panel. It serves as a hub for all the wiring that goes into one’s house, and it functions like a switchboard that controls power flow throughout the building.

By understanding your own electrical panel, you will better understand how much electricity each outlet or appliance needs before adding any more load onto existing circuits. It is also important to note that when installing new appliances, such as air conditioners or electric stoves, an appropriate-sized breaker should always be used so as not to exceed the capacity of the circuit.

A simple way to manage circuit overload is unplugging unnecessary electronics from outlets during peak usage times; avoiding running multiple high-wattage appliances at once; and making sure outdoor receptacles are properly grounded.


When To Call A Licensed Electrician To Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

GFCI Outlets

The electrical panel should be upgraded in order to prevent circuit overload. The age of the current system is one of the reasons to consider an upgrade. If the existing wiring and equipment are outdated, it could increase the risk of overheating or fire hazards due to inadequate currents running through the circuits.

In this case, calling a qualified electrician will be necessary even if no visible signs of damage have occurred yet. Older homes may still use fuse boxes instead of breaker systems, which do not provide adequate protection against surges in electricity. Adding new outlets or devices such as air conditioners will also require assistance from a certified expert since these types of installations must meet specific codes and regulations. Ultimately, by understanding when it is time to contact a trained technician for help upgrading their electrical panels, homeowners can ensure that their property remains safe while avoiding potential risks caused by overloaded circuits.

No matter the job, big or small, the professionals at Westphal Electric will be happy to discuss your project and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We offer free in-home consultations, plus an after-hours and emergency phone line for advice or service!

Brett Surges Named Vice President at Westphal & Co., Inc.


Westphal & Company’s Board of Directors promoted Brett Surges to Vice President on January 6, 2023.

Brett has been with the company since 1997 and has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Chicago.  He began his career with Westphal as a Project Manager/Estimator in the Janesville office and progressed to Director of Project Management in the Madison office.

Throughout his career at Westphal & Co., Inc., Brett has managed many of the largest projects in the company’s history, including Epic Systems – Verona, University Square in Madison, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery on the UW campus and the Alliant Energy Air Quality System at the Columbia Generating station in Portage, WI. As Director of Project Management in the Madison office, Brett has been vital in providing oversight, training, process improvement, problem solving and quality control for the company’s electrical division.

In his new position as Vice President, Brett will continue leading the electrical Project Managers as well as expanded responsibilities on the operations side of the company.

Westphal & Co., Inc., founded in 1931, is a full service electrical and technology construction firm performing work in the commercial, industrial, biohealth, health care, energy, governmental and educational markets.  The firm is headquartered in Madison, WI, and has full-service offices in Janesville, Pewaukee and Dubuque.

Karen Knipfer


2023 Solar Power Predictions

Undoubtfully, clean energy will see tremendous growth in 2023 based on the increased demand, and incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act will further fuel the growth. The increased cost of electricity has been reaching everyone across the globe, bringing more spotlight on solar power energy production. 2023 solar power predictions include the expansion of the community and utility-scale solar farms.

2022 has already seen the uptake in solar projects and this trend is expected to grow sharply this year. The IEA reported that solar PV made up almost half of the new investment in renewable power, with spending divided equally between utility-scale projects and distributed solar PV systems. 1* There is a big effort to protect consumers from the energy crisis and the road to net-zero is closely watched across the globe.

In the first half of 2022, 24% of U.S. electricity generation came from renewable sources according to the EIA. It is predicted that all renewable energy sources are likely to provide 24% of US electricity in 2023. About two-thirds of this forecast increase in renewables generation comes from new utility-scale solar photovoltaic capacity, and most of the rest is from new wind projects.2*

All Eyes on Solar Power

Solar capacity is predicted to grow in the next several years and should surpass a terawatt globally in 2023. New solutions for consumers allow them to take advantage of solar energy without installing the panels on their properties.  Access to quickly developing community solar farms is growing and states like Colorado, Illinois, Maine, New York, and New Jersey have laws in place to further support community solar.

What are community solar farms?

Community solar farms are solar power generation facilities that are owned and operated by a group of individuals, typically within a specific community or region. These individuals, who are often referred to as “subscribers,” can purchase or lease panels within the solar farm, and then receive credits on their utility bills for the electricity that is generated. Community solar farms can provide an opportunity for people who are unable to install solar panels on their property, such as renters or those with shaded roofs, to participate in the benefits of solar energy.

Utility-scale solar photovoltaics (PVs)

Utility-scale solar photovoltaics (PVs) are large-scale solar power systems that generate electricity for distribution to the grid. They are typically installed on a utility’s land or large commercial or industrial properties and can generate several megawatts of power. Utility-scale solar PV systems can be ground-mounted or rooftop-mounted, and they are typically connected to the grid through a transformer and a substation. Utility-scale solar PV systems are designed to provide a reliable source of clean energy to help meet the growing electricity demand.

Unlike nuclear power, the cost of installing solar is likely to get cheaper in the future as efficiencies improve and manufacturing expands. Future advances in both battery and PV technologies should continue to drive the expansion of the technology.

Westphal & Company offers a wide range of solar services.

Our experienced Project Managers, Engineers, and Field Technicians are proficient in installations ranging from 20kW to multi-megawatt projects. Westphal’s engineering staff will not only model and design your system but also assist with the following:

  • Preliminary solar layout using satellite imagery.
  • Determining tax incentives and grants that may be available to you as a result of passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
  • Site assessment to determine suitability for solar.
  • Estimating ROI when provided with 12 months of current utility bills.
  • Assistance with utility interconnection.

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our solar team. CONTACT US. 


  1. Forbes “Renewable Energies Saw A $500 Billion Boom In Government Investment In 2022″

Family Business Award meaningful to under-the-radar Westphal & Company

by  Joe Vanden Plas, Editorial Director, In Business Magazine

This article originally appeared in In Business Magazine.

When you’re a subcontractor, you’re by definition several steps away from the spotlight. Even if you’ve worked extensively on high-profile projects like the south end zone revamp at Camp Randall Stadium, your organization can feel like a second banana no matter how essential your contribution happens to be.

That’s why winning a 2022 Wisconsin Family Business Award was so meaningful for CEO John Westphal and Westphal & Company Inc., a Madison-based electrical construction firm. Westphal & Company was one of four family businesses to take home an award, and while this honor is important for all the winners, it’s especially meaningful to Westphal, which boasts four generations of family management.

That includes John and Lynn Westphal, the third generation of the family to own and manage the business, and three adult children who occupy management positions. “What this award means to us is recognition that we don’t often get, and so it means a lot when we’re recognized with something as significant as this,” states John Westphal, who acquired sole ownership in 2001. “It’s very gratifying and makes us feel like we really accomplished something.”

To last more than 90 years, a family business accomplishes many things. The company, founded by Fred H. Westphal, John Westphal’s paternal grandfather, an immigrant from Germany, began in the Great Depression as an electric motor sales and repair shop and was able to grow into the electrical construction industry. John’s father, Fred T. Westphal, might have been the most instrumental figure in its development as a large electrical construction firm.

“My grandparents worked really hard to build their business,” Westphal recalls. “My dad, second generation, took over under duress. Right when he graduated from college, the company was in some duress for various reasons, and my dad built the company up to expand all of its services in the 1960s and 1970s. And then, my father died soon after I graduated from college, and so I’ve been running the company since 1983.”

John Westphal, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UW–Madison, where he played football for the late Dave McClain (1978–82), acquired sole ownership in 2001. The fourth generation of the family business is represented by daughters Maiken Westphal, a vice president, Gretchen Westphal Fredrickson, an estimator-project manager, and son Fritz Westphal, a foreman who works on the job sites.

The firm has four offices — Madison, Milwaukee, Janesville, and Dubuque, Iowa — and employs 570 full-time people. Westphal competes for and builds some of the largest and most significant projects in southern Wisconsin and Eastern Iowa, and the industries it serves range from bioscience to energy to higher education and K–12. It’s project portfolio includes the new office and lab of Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals in Verona, Catalent’s 133-kilowatt rooftop solar array in Madison, and Ascendium Education Group’s new 62,000-square-foot facility in the American Center Business Park in Madison.

Even with inflation, higher interest rates, and supply chain disruptions, Westphal says the construction business is the best he’s ever seen it in during his 40-year career, but consistent growth requires industry versatility. Due to the density of the local and regional population, there is no particular vertical market — such as hospitals or new manufacturing facilities — that the company can specialize in. “There just aren’t enough to sustain our business, so we’ve become experts at a whole host of different kinds of projects, and it’s directly related to the quality of the craftspeople who work for us,” Westphal says. “Our people are the highest-level craftspeople with the highest level of pride in their work and productivity, and I think that makes us a great firm.”

The family business is in the process of transitioning ownership and management to all three of John’s children, who represent the fourth generation of ownership. According to Westphal, this continuity is important for the firm’s employees because they know the culture and the way the firm approaches its relationships with employees is not going to change. “It’s not like we’re going to be purchased by a strategic buyer and people are going to be right sized or outsized or re-engineered,” he says. “They know the way we do stuff is going to continue.

“We’re entering our 92nd year in business, and we are just like a family farm, where I’ve never worked anywhere else in my life,” he adds. “It’s the only place I’ve ever gotten a W-2, and it’s very similar for my children and my dad before me. We know our employees, and we know their spouses. We know their kids, and we have multiple generations of other families that have worked with us as employees.”

Read More: Madison’s Westphal & Co. brings home Family Business Award

4 Reasons to Upgrade Your Kitchen with Under Cabinet Lighting

One of the easiest additions to make when upgrading your kitchen is under cabinet lighting. Affordable, versatile, and efficient, this upgrade makes good sense in many ways. Today, there are many forms of lighting available, and you can find exactly what you are searching for. Strip lighting will illuminate a large area. Puck lights cast light on specific areas, and tape lights will throw consistent light across the entire span of countertops. Installing more than one type will give you the options you need for a very versatile application. Here are reasons to consider installing at least one type of lighting under your cabinets.

Shed Light on Tasks

A well-lit workspace is easy to function in. Adding under cabinet lighting directs brightness to your work area, and eliminates shadows thrown by your body. Whether you are watching your cookie dough to assure it is properly mixed, or reading a recipe, it will be clearer and easier with under cabinet lighting. This direct illumination, placed exactly where you need it, is the last bit of lighting to complete your room. When added to your recessed, ceiling and pendant fixtures, it allows the whole room to be bathed in brightness.

Improved Ambience

When not working in the kitchen, the same lights may be dimmed to give a nice warmth to the area. In many of today’s homes, the open floor plans mean that every bit of ambiance in a space is influential to the decorating scheme. Use your under cabinet lights to add a nice glow.

Overnight Safety

Use your under cabinet lights to keep this central area of the home lit. Whether traversing through in semi-darkness, grabbing a glass for a late-night snack, or getting meds for a sick family member, you will appreciate the glow of your lights. LED lighting is also more cost-effective, so if you want to make it appear you are home and awake, leave them on for security reasons.

Highlight Accents

Well thought out lighting layouts will allow you to showcase a collection of spices or accent a dried flower arrangement. Beautiful countertops, backsplashes, and appliances become art when the light is thrown on them in a darkened space.

The trend toward LED lighting in the last few years increases the safety of the installation, and these lights may safely be left on around the clock. They are inexpensive to purchase and operate, and fun to use. Today’s options include color changing tape lights that can be set to a beautiful accent color and left dimmed for a designer look, and area lighting for feature accents. Lighting is much more than a necessity for tasks.

Ready for an Upgrade?

If you would like to add new lighting to your kitchen, business or living space, give us a call. We can help you decide which lights will meet your needs, and our professional electricians will install them quickly so you can enjoy them.

No matter the job, big or small, the professionals at Westphal Electric will be happy to discuss your project and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We offer free in-home consultations, plus an after-hours and emergency phone line for advice or service!

7 Tips for Power Strip Safety

Our homes are full of electrical devices – more now than ever before. We depend on electricity to maintain our quality of life almost as an extension of ourselves. This includes the need to provide power to major home appliances, our heating/cooling system, but also mobile devices and smart home products. This burden leads many people to depend on extension cords and power strips to keep everything running or charged.

And yet not everyone understands how to use power strips properly.

Here we take a look at some basic dos and don’ts so you can keep your home as safe as possible.


Always buy power strips that feature internal circuit breakers. This is an important safety feature that enables the power strip to shut down when there’s a power overload.


It’s never a good idea to use power strips for every outlet in your home. In fact, you should use them as sparingly as possible and only when really needed. Plus, you should get in the habit of unplugging your power strip at night and when you leave the house.


Indoor power strips are not designed to be used outdoors where they will be exposed to moisture or changes in the weather. Keep in mind that moisture can damage the power strip and even cause dangerous accidents.


You might be tempted to plug a power strip into an open slot on a power strip when there isn’t an open wall outlet. Also known as daisy-chaining, this very bad idea creates an overload and increases the potential for a deadly household electrical mishap.


Many homeowners make the mistake of using every available slot on their power strips. It’s also important to be extremely mindful of the types of devices and household appliances you plug into a power strip. For example, never plug in major appliances such as your refrigerator or dishwasher – doing so is a major fire hazard!


Be sure to check your power strip for their temperature. If you notice one is hot to the touch, unplug it immediately.


Bathroom appliances such as hair dryers and curling irons should always be plugged directly into wall outlets. That’s because power strips aren’t designed to handle that much amperage.

The constant flow of electricity in the average home is something most people take for granted, especially when it comes to the convenience of plugging into power strips. Hopefully, this list of 7 dos and don’ts for power strip safety will help you avoid common household mistakes that could put your family in danger.

Ready for an Upgrade?

If you are considering a an electrical upgrade for your home or business, give us a call. We can help you evaluate your electrical needs, and our professional electricians can make the necessary improvements to get your home fully and efficiently powered.

No matter the job, big or small, the professionals at Westphal Electric will be happy to discuss your project and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We offer free in-home consultations, plus an after-hours and emergency phone line for advice or service!

Westphal & Company Awarded ISN RAVS Plus® for their Commitment to Safety

Westphal & Company, a leader in electrical construction, has been awarded the RAVS Plus® by ISNetworld (ISN), one of the largest global safety compliance groups.

ISN RAVS Plus®  is a review and audit by ISN® of written health, safety, and environmental (HSE) programs that have been implemented by contractor customers throughout their organizations. Participation in the RAVS Plus® program is by invitation only and recognizes a company for outstanding commitment to safety.

Achieving ISN certification requires a significant commitment, ensuring that all regulations have been adhered to or exceeded, and serves as an easy and verifiable way for potential customers to check that any potential contractor they are planning to hire meets all of the necessary requirements.

Westphal’s management, supervisors, and field personnel view job site safety as a shared responsibility. All employees are obligated to comply with company safety policies, stop work activities when safety hazards are encountered, and report safety concerns to supervisors or management personnel.

Safety is Westphal & Company, Inc.’s priority for every project big and small. The ISN’s RAVS Plus® award is proof of the company’s commitment to the safety and health of its employees.

About Westphal

Since 1931, our reputation has been founded on integrity and craftsmanship. We design and build quality electrical and telecom projects for clients from a wide variety of industries. We pride ourselves on knowledge, consistency, and safety.

Our company culture thrives on a people-first mentality and is designed to give our team motivation, resources, and opportunities to excel and grow as individuals and professionals. Investing in our team members’ development and promoting from within are two reasons why Westphal & Co. is among the top electrical contractors in the Midwest.



Electrical Problems To Look For When Buying a New House

Buying a new home is never an easy endeavor. When you start your search, you focus on the big things like location, square footage, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and other amenities. As you get closer to making an offer, you’ll also want to look closely at all the components in the home, especially the HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems. There are many visible signs you can look for, and if you find a need, a reputable mechanical contractor can identify other problems that may be hiding under the surface.

Obvious Electrical Problems in Homes

Most of us aren’t well-versed in electric systems or whether our home is wired correctly. There are a few obvious signs that the wiring in a home may be incorrectly installed or damaged in some way. Any time you notice any of the following while touring a home you are interested in, report it to the realtor or ask to have the home inspected for electrical issues.

  • Flickering lights
  • Buzzing sounds
  • Strange odors
  • Ungrounded (two-hole) outlets
  • Cracked or burnt outlets
  • Exposed wiring
  • Too few outlets
  • No GFCI outlets near sinks
  • Homeowner finished basement
  • House is being flipped

Common Signs of Electrical Issues

Electrical problems take many forms. Some are easily seen, while others may be buried in the recesses of your home. If you are observant, however, you may be able to uncover a few problems that your realtor has overlooked. In many cases, if they aren’t looking for them, they won’t see them.

  • Outlets or cords that are warm to the touch: Touch a few random outlets with something plugged into them. If they are warm or hot to the touch, notify the realtor.
  • Fixtures that overheat: Fixtures can overheat just like outlets. Ceiling fans, especially, have wires that can sometimes work their way loose due to the constant movement.
  • Outdated breaker box: Older breaker panels or boxes can be so outdated that they no longer meet local building codes. If you find this in a house you are interested in, ask to have it replaced before you agree to purchase the home.
  • Old or damaged wiring: Old or damaged wiring is a fire hazard. However, these issues may be something you can’t see. If you are concerned, ask if you can look at the breaker panel. Repairs to these faulty wires should be made before purchasing the home.
  • Sparks or arcs: If you flip a switch or plug something in and see a spark, it’s essential to let the realtor know. These sparks could lead to an electrical fire.

Ready for an Upgrade?

For ALL of Your Residential or Commercial Electrical Needs, Call Westphal & Co!

No matter the job, big or small, the professionals at Westphal Electric will be happy to discuss your project and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We offer free in-home consultations, plus an after-hours and emergency phone line for advice or service!

Do I Need to Upgrade My Electric Service for My Electric Vehicle Charger?

As homeowners and businesses prepare for a wave of new electric vehicles to hit the market, many are wondering if their current electrical service will be enough to support their charging requirements into the future. It’s a great question to ask before purchasing an EV or a new fleet for your business. Let’s look at the factors that go into determining if your electric service and panel are ready to accommodate the additional load.

Factors To Consider For Your EV Charger

There are two things to consider to know if your existing service panel will handle the load of your EV charger: your existing service size and your household electrical load.

What Is Your Existing Service Size?

Determine what your service size is first and foremost. If you have 200 amp service, your home is likely prepared for an EV charger install, as long as your existing panel has enough space for a dedicated line for a level 2 charger. If you have enough amperage, but not enough space in the panel, a sub-panel may need to be installed for the electric vehicle charger installation. An electrician will be able to survey your service and determine if you have the space, which more than likely is the case.

If you have a 60 amp panel, you will not be able to add an EV charger to your home. This amperage will not be sufficient enough to run your appliances and handle the car charger, so upgrading to a 200 amp service at this point would be recommended.

If you have a 100 amp service and your electrical panel’s amperage is at capacity, you will need to a service panel upgrade from 100 amp to 200 amp.

If you have a 100 amp service and you have enough amperage, it still may be suggested to upgrade your service from 100 amp to 200 amp depending on your electrical appliance load.

What Is Your Electrical Load In Your House Like?

An EV level 2 charger can quickly utilize the majority of a 100 amp service to charge a vehicle (Tesla batteries require 24-42 amps). So, if your appliances are electric, you may experience light dimming and flickering, nuisance breaker trips, etc. from the high electric load while your electric vehicle is charging on a 100 amp service. This is especially important for future considerations like an additional household electric vehicle or to accommodate visitor EVs.

Do I Need a Service Panel Upgrade?

In conclusion, a 200 amp service is best for installing a home electric vehicle charger. It’s certainly feasible to install a charger on a 100 amp service, but you still may be pressing the limits of amperage your house can handle while charging your EV and running other things. The average home built more than 20 years ago will have a 100 amp service (if not a 60 amp). Today, new homes are built to code with a 200 amp service to meet the needs of the average home today.

Contact Us for EV Charger Installation

If you’re ready to install a charger for your electric car or hybrid car, our residential electricians at Westphal & Co. are here to help. We can help you choose the right location for your car charger — an important decision, since it’s a permanent fixture. We can let you know if you need to upgrade your home’s electrical system, and we can provide you with whole-house surge protection to protect not only your EV, but all the electrical components in your home.

Contact us today for safe, reliable installation of your charger in the MadisonMilwaukeeJanesville, or Dubuque areas.

Westphal a part of the 50-megawatt Bear Creek Solar Project in Richland County

Alliant Energy officially announced that a solar site in Richland County is now operational, ahead of an economic boost to the surrounding area. The 50-MW Bear Creek Solar Project will generate enough electricity to power 13,000 homes. Westphal participated in the installation of approximately 120,000 panels, the first of 12 planned large-scale solar energy sites by Alliant Energy.

In addition to this site producing clean solar energy to power homes and businesses, Richland County and the town of Buena Vista will receive an estimated $200,000 in combined shared revenue payments annually for the next 30 years through the state’s shared revenue program.

“Across Wisconsin, Alliant Energy is working with families, farmers, businesses and communities to develop renewable energy projects both big and small,” said David de Leon, president of Alliant Energy. “This project is an incredible milestone for our customers. Guided by our purpose-driven strategy to serve customers and build stronger communities, this solar farm diversifies our energy portfolio, boosts American energy independence and increases access to affordable electricity.”

To learn more about this project, please visit the following articles:

Solar Power World: Alliant Energy completes 50-MW union-built solar project in Wisconsin 

NBC15: Alliant Energy to generate solar energy, revenue in Richland Co.

Channel 3000: Richland County solar project capable of powering 13K homes per day