Hiring a Contractor

Hiring an experienced and reputable contractor helps ensure you get quality work for your home or business at a fair price. To help you choose a contractor, follow our suggestions below.

  • Call Tacoma Power’s Electrical Inspection Office at 253-502-8277 to discuss your project and find out which permits are required.
  • Hire only a licensed and bonded electrical contractor.
    • To make sure your contractor is properly registered, check the State Department of Labor & Industries website or call 1-800-647-0982. When you call, you can ask about any complaints that Labor & Industries has received about a particular contractor.
  • Ask friends and neighbors for references, and ask contractors for references from their past customers, and then call them. Tacoma Power cannot give you contractor recommendations other than for specific energy efficient upgrade projects. You can learn more about our rebates and conservation programs by clicking here.
  • Get at least three bids for electrical work.
    • Most contractors will provide bids for free, but be sure to ask about fees when you request a bid. And always ask bidders about any costs you do not understand before you sign a contract.
  • The contractor or owner living in the home must obtain an Electrical Permit.
    • Residential permits cost $80 for homes served by overhead power lines and $160 if the home has underground electrical services. Other permit fees vary.
  • Call electrical supply companies or hardware stores to verify costs for wire, circuit breakers and other equipment.
  • If there are any charges on an estimate you do not understand, be sure to ask the contractor.
    • Never sign a contract that you do not understand, seems incomplete, does not clearly specify the work to be done or details how long a project will take. It is your right to know what you are agreeing to pay before a project begins.
  • Ask the contractor for a provision in the contract that states you will make your final payment after Tacoma Power completes its inspection and accepts the work.

Other Tips
  • Check with your insurance company to see if your homeowner’s policy covers any of the repair costs.
  • The contractor or homeowner living in the home must obtain an electrical permit before work begins. See TMC 12.06A for permit fees.
  • If you are renting the property, ask the homeowner about who is financially responsible for the repairs.

For complete information see our Policies, Forms and Maps page.