Constructing a granny flat on your home property can bring numerous benefits, giving you an extra source of income from renters or a convenient guesthouse for visiting friends and relatives. However, you will need to provide power to your granny flat to run lighting, appliances and other electrical systems, and successfully connecting a newly built granny flat to the local grid can present several headaches.
If you need to have electrical systems fitted in a new granny flat, you should call in a professional level 2 electrician service to handle the work. These specialised electricians are qualified to handle connections between your home property and the local electrical grid, and you will undoubtedly need their expertise for one or more of the following electrical tasks.
Why should I hire a level 2 electrician when constructing a granny flat?
Your home switchboard may need upgrading
The heart of any residential electrical system is the switchboard, which distributes electricity to the various rooms of your home and cuts off power to vulnerable circuits in the event of a power surge or fuse failure. If your new granny flat is relatively small, located close to your main property, and will not be inhabited by private renters, you may be able to connect its power supply to your home's main switchboard.
This approach requires less power infrastructure, and can be cheaper and easier than installing a seperate power line. However, it is likely that your existing switchboard will not be able to handle the added power draw, especially if you live in an older home. If this is the case, you will need to call in a level 2 electrician to upgrade the switchboard and increase your property's power capacity.
You may need to connect new power lines to the main grid
In many cases, powering a new granny flat from your home's main switchboard is not a feasible option, and new power lines connections between the granny flat and the local electrical grid will need to be installed. In these cases the granny flat will also need its own switchboard. Only level 2 electricians are legally qualified to work on these kinds of connections.
In most cases, granny flats are connected to the local power grid using above-ground wires connected to nearby power poles, but subterranean wires can be installed if immovable obstacles make above-ground wires impractical. Buried wires are more expensive and take longer to install, but tend to be much more durable in the long term.
You may need to install separate meters
If you are building a granny flat to let out to renters (or you don't trust your relatives very much), you will almost certainly want to install an additional electrical meter seperate from the meter connected to your main home's power supply. A seperate meter installed in the granny flat will record on the power used by the flat itself, and you and the occupants of your granny flat will receive two separate power bills.
Since electrical meters are connected directly to the local energy grid, they can only be legally installed by a level 2 electrician. To keep power usage in the granny flat low, you may wish to invest a little extra in a 'smart' electrical meter, which measures power usage much more precisely and can help lower power usage during peak hours.