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Electrical service for Single Family Dwellings

Question asked by rhale on Mar 7, 2016
Latest reply on Mar 10, 2016 by hornetd

In the 2011 NEC, Article 230, Section 230.2 states that each building may have only one service and then provides a list of the “Special Conditions” under which the NEC will allow more than one service for a building. In Article 100, the definition of a service states that it is   “The conductors and equipment for delivering electric energy from the serving utility to the wiring system of the premises served.”

Under Article 230; VI, the NEC discusses disconnects for the electric service and the ability to provide up to a maximum of 6 disconnecting means to disconnect the flow of electricity from the premises.

With these sections, it has always been assumed that there is only one service to a building and that one or more meter bases could be installed as long as the electricity into the structure could be disconnected with not more than 6 movements of the hand.


Now along comes the ICC Residential Code (2012) with its own Chapter 36 on electrical  installations for a single Family Dwelling /
one building.
Section E3601.2 states:

E3601.2  Number of services.  One- and two-family dwellings shall be supplied by only one service.

And Section E3601.7 states:

E3601.7 Maximum number of disconnects. The service disconnecting means shall consist of not more than six switches or six
circuit breakers mounted in a single enclosure or in a group of separate enclosures.







Both codes appear to read the same, have the same intent, and are equally enforceable.

That takes care of the background, so now for the question.


I had a customer that wanted to mount 2 meter bases on his SFD which is supplied by one service.

The first disconnect is for the SFD in general.

The second meter base is for his home office (or could be for any number of reasons), except that it cannot be a separate dwelling unit as prohibited  by  Zoning.

The building department failed the Electric Service inspection due to the fact that there were 2 “services” on the building as evidenced by the 2 electric meters.

Do the two code books state the same thing?

Per the NEC, can  more than one meter base be provided on a Single Family Dwelling?