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What does a transformer look like?

There are a few types of transformers that you might encounter at a commercial building, depending on the size of your building and your site’s consumption.


Pad-Mounted Transformers

For buildings with larger consumption, the most common is a pad-mounted transformer. They are usually big green or grey boxes located outside, and sometimes have heat sinks (accordion-like fins) on the side or back. These transformers usually have a nameplate or sticker that indicates the kVA (Kilovolt-Ampere) rating.

pad-mounted transformer

Transformer Nameplate

transformer nameplate

Transformer Sticker

transformer sticker

Pole-Mounted Transformers

For buildings with less consumption, you may not find a transformer on site. Instead, you will see a pole-mounted transformer, which is attached to distribution line poles, near the site. If you have a pole-mounted transformer, it has a standard kVA rating, which means you do not need to take a close-up image for RFP onboarding purposes.

pole-mounted transformer


Why is this information needed for RFP onboarding?

If a provider knows the kVA rating of your transformer, they will be able to evaluate whether your site will need a transformer upgrade. Transformer upgrades come at an additional cost to the project (they are not covered by the utility), so providing this information will allow providers to give you a more realistic view of what you can expect to pay for your clean energy project.