Experience upgrading PG&E transformer

We are upgrading our electrical panel to 200 amps. We own a duplex (two separate houses on one lot), so it is not a new service, just upgraded. PG&E says that we need to upgrade the transformer in our neighborhood to get this new service. We have to pay a $1500 design fee, wait 5-7+ months, then get a quote for the work necessary, and finally wait another 3+ months for the work to be done. 

I would love to hear from anyone in Berkeley that has gone through something similar. What was the all-in cost and wait time? I'm also wondering if I even need to upgrade to 200 amps or just wait for someone else on my block to do it first. It feels like a luxury right now since we don't have solar or an electric car. My contractor says that Berkeley code requires us to upgrade to 200 amps since we have to upgrade the panel (its currently 30amps for the guest house and 40 amps for the main house)....but that doesn't sound right to me. Any insight is appreciated. 

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HI Kate -- just did it. they rescheduled 3 times and it took almost a year but it got done. Cost was $75 in the end, though I paid the $1500 and got that refunded. Also had to get trees trimmed (stupid cause they also trimmed them) for a cost of $1000. It was incredibly confusing but worked out in the end. Happy to tell you anything else but there is not much more to the story.

There are a lot of folks starting to use "smart panels" while still electrifying in order to avoid 200-amp panels and PG&E service upgrades. See: https://www.alamedaca.gov/CITYWIDE-PROJECTS/Climate-Action-and-Environme...



Have you explored this option yet? If possible, best to avoid PG&E! Note that even if you don't have an EV or solar, other home electrification will most likely be required down the road (BAAQMD just passed rules for space and water heating starting in 2027), thus best to be prepared ahead of time. If you need help planning all of this, https://www.quitcarbon.com/ is also a great resource to get multiple quotes and find experts.

So we upgraded our panel to 200 amps because we have a fair amount of appliances that run at once.  Also, we wanted to future proof it for solar stuff and possibly a heat pump.  We didn't have to pay PG&E for anything but they did run a new line to the house which the electrician supervised.  I highly recommend you check out berkeley electric, they did amazing work on our place.