[Pardon this long run-on hairball of text; the site doesn’t preserve paragraph spacing.] I’m an avid DIYer, so I don’t have a lot of experience in hiring service providers. However, I know my limits, so I turn to Angie’s List when I need to find help with something outside of my capabilities. Angie served me well several years ago when I needed custom cabinetry for a studs-out kitchen remodel. (I did most of the rest myself, which is why the we spent a full year with a temporary kitchen in the garage. I could have built the cabinets myself, but I likely wouldn’t be done yet ;-) My most recent project started as the installation and hookup of a new hot tub, a 240V/50A unit that required some very heavy-duty wiring and replacement of our main circuit breaker panel—well out of my DIY comfort zone. Naturally, I turned to Angie, and after getting several bids I settled on the highly rated Montgomery Electric. (I’ll have to admit that I was swayed by the fact that they’re in our town of Apple Valley—and thus well familiar with Dakota Electric Association, our electric co-op—and that Scott Montgomery is a fellow USAF retiree with some remarkable parallels to my own career.) Scott and his two journeymen, Bill and Justin, did not disappoint; they not only provided a first-class hot tub hookup and new main breaker panel installation (see photos), they also accommodated a rather involved expansion of the project with equally satisfying results. The price was reasonable, the work was done expeditiously, and I can recommend Montgomery Electric without reservation. That’s all you really need to know, but for much more detail, read on. (This will be long, but I learned a lot in this process, and thought I’d elaborate for those interested.) We have an in-ground pool and attached hot tub installed in 1982, two years before we bought the house. The pool has worked fine, but the hot tub has never been very practical, particularly in the winter, with 50 feet of uninsulated plumbing under concrete to the pump/filter/heater. When it developed a leak last year that I couldn’t find even after tearing up some surrounding concrete, I saw it as an excuse to replace it with a standalone tub—much more efficient and easier to maintain, and with much stronger jets for pounding out septuagenarian aches and pains. Unfortunately, our 40-year-old main breaker panel had only 100A capacity, and this needed to be replaced with a 150A unit to handle the extra load. (For those who wonder why I didn’t go to a more standard 200A, that would have required a fatter underground feed from the transformer—an expensive proposition. In any case, 150A should easily handle all the loads we intend to throw at it.) I’ve also long wanted a 240V subpanel in my garage/shop (at the opposite end of the house from the main breaker panel) to power a compressor and a couple of woodworking tools capable of running more powerfully and efficiently on the higher voltage. Also, as a Prius owner since 2001, we plan to replace our current 2006 with a plug-in hybrid or pure EV fairly soon. I thus decided to pre-wire from that panel to an outlet for a 240V Level 2 or Level 3 charger, which requires a 30-50A circuit. These seemed like logical additions to the hot tub project, but it all involved running 175 feet of 6/3G Romex (very stiff and about ½” in diameter) through both unfinished and finished spaces, as well as about 20 feet of exterior conduit runs. Like many electric utilities, Dakota Electric offers several discount programs (half-price or less per KWH) for certain loads if one is willing to power them with off-peak-only or interruptible juice. (The latter is so they can shed load during peak usage times rather than fire up expensive peaking plants.) We’ve had “cycled air” (interruptible A/C) since 1991, at a savings of up to $100/year and little noticeable inconvenience, and our new project provides three more discount opportunities. With the pool pump/filter/heater no longer serving the old hot tub, we now can shut them down for the winter, and can put the 1HP pump (as well as a 3/4HP booster pump for our pool cleaner) on interruptible service during pool season without worrying about winter interruption and freeze-up. DEA offers a similar discount for all hot tub power if they can interrupt just its 4KW heater (but not the pumps, to maintain circulation—again to prevent winter freeze-up). Both were no-brainer additions to the project. The best discount deal is for a hybrid/EV charger: accept off-peak-only (11pm-7am) charging, and that juice is less than half price. (A similar program is available for storage water heating, with a high-capacity, highly insulated electric water heater. We’re happy with our current gas water heater, but could easily add this to our new setup should the economics change.) An alternative EV program offers 24-hour charging, but at rates that can range from about half to more than regular price, depending on the time of day (i.e. peak vs. off-peak). I think we can easily manage with off-peak charging, which can add 25-35 miles of range per hour of charge—plenty for us, even with an EV like a Tesla or the new Chevy Bolt. As an added sweetener with either program, DEA will rebate up to $500 of charger installation costs. All of this involves additional complexity, in the form of extra equipment to install (fortunately, provided by DEA at nominal or no cost). There are load-control receivers (LCRs) to allow DEA to cycle loads off and on by sending signals over the power line. One or more additional meters are also needed to measure the power being supplied at discount rates. (If practical in a given setup, a single meter can measure several loads by routing all their conductors through a current transformer (CT)—a “donut” that outputs a proportional total current to the meter.) Our new installation involves three LCRs, two meters (in addition to our main meter), and a CT, all of which had to be wired per DEA specs. I’ll spare you those details; you can find the schematics on the DEA website ([*** Link removed ***] If you’ve actually stuck with me this far, I should return to the main purpose of this review (and finally get off the stage). Bottom line, Montgomery Electric managed all of the above with great competence, and handled my many questions and constant “shoulder-surfing” with great tolerance; I learned a lot. I’m happy to say that the whole installation passed inspection without a hiccup, and we’re now blissfully soaking in our new tub almost nightly and eagerly looking forward to that new plug-in car.