Electrical service. To obtain electrical service, engineers at Southern California Edison (SCE) calculated demand of 3,000 amps for the facility, which was far in excess of our projections. (An adjacent 600,000-square-foot plastic-molding factory uses only 6,000 amps.) The cost for this service would have been about $500,000 above my budget.
Again, I surveyed my clients, this time revealing that except for keeping their RV’s batteries charged or running a small freezer in their unit, electrical consumption would be minor. In addition, I contacted several other RV-storage sites that all concluded consumption to be around 1,200 amps. Thus, the engineer allotted a far more reasonable electrical service, and the property will save in excess of $300,000 in unnecessary electrical costs.
Metering. Each unit is individually metered for power to be paid by the condo owner. Since the project’s electrical demands will be low, I planned on using compact residential electrical meters. However, the facility is zoned industrial and SCE required commercial meters.
These meters are expensive and would have required using two already sold storage units to house them. To save space and money, private meters were installed. The cost was about $60,000 for the entire project. Other benefits include:
- The monthly meter charge is reduced to about $6 per month, saving the consumer about 50 percent of the monthly meter charges.
- The meter billing is done by an outside company with detailed electrical usage available online for each consumer.
- Each cluster of 20 meters only requires a 2-by-3-foot area.
- The expensive connection loops are eliminated, saving about $250,000 in electrical costs.
- The possibility of back-charging is eliminated.
From Dream to Diamond
Beaumont residents are calling Eucalyptus a “diamond.” Storage unit owners have the security of knowing they’re keeping their recreational vehicles at a luxurious facility, and their ownership guarantees the cost of storage will never go up.
Throughout the trials and tribulations of this project, I have learned a great deal. I am planning other projects: Eucalyptus at Bermuda Dunes in Palm Springs, Calif.; Eucalyptus at Reno, Nev.; and two other locations are in the early stages of development in California. Hopefully, the struggles will be less and the rewards many.
Ted Deits is president and CEO of 20 Seconds and Building LLC, the creator of Eucalyptus at Beaumont. He is the former vice president of Alloy Research Inc., a metallurgical services company founded in 1977. He is also the owner of Surfline.com, Water Magazine and Buoyweather.com. For more information, visit www.rvstorage.biz.