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What Is the Cost to Upgrade an Electrical Panel?

The cost to upgrade an electric panel costs homeowners an average of $6,700 but typically range from $1,300 – $3,000. See which factors will impact your total cost.

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Resetting tripped breaker in residential electricity power panel. Electrician turning off power for electrical outlet at circuit breaker box.

Author Image Written by Brenda Woods + 1 other Reviewer Icon Reviewed by Mark Howey Updated 07/10/2024

Your home’s electrical panel connects public utility electrical supply lines to your home’s electrical system, distributing power throughout your house. These panels can last for decades, but if yours is outdated or too small for the amount of power your home needs, you risk both safety and system overloads. The average cost of upgrading an electrical panel from 100 amperes to 200 amps is $1,300–$3,000. Below, we’ll explain what size panel is best for your home, how to tell when it’s time for an upgrade, and cost factors.

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Typical Price Range: $1,300 – $3,000
Resetting tripped breaker in residential electricity power panel. Electrician turning off power for electrical outlet at circuit breaker box.
Upgrade Electrical Panel

The average cost of an electrical panel upgrade is $1,300–$3,000.

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Move an Electrical Panel

The average cost to move an electrical panel is $800–$3,000.

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Electric Panel Rewiring

Rewiring an electrical panel typically costs $1,500–$10,000.

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What Size Electrical Panel Is Best for Your Home?

The cost to upgrade your electrical panel largely depends on how much power your home uses. In a fixed 120/240-volt system, the power needed is determined by the amperage draw of the circuits in your home. Your home’s size and electrical needs—referred to as its electrical load—will determine the best amperage for your new panel. You can find online calculators to help you come up with a ballpark number, but a more specific figure will require an in-home consultation with an electrician. 

Since 2015, new homes have been built with at least 200-amp service, which is the standard. If you have a small home or lack large electrical loads like HVAC systems, you can sometimes use a 100-amp panel without problems. It’s unlikely that you’ll need to upgrade to a 400-amp panel unless you have a very large home or run a home business with commercial electrical equipment.

You should recalculate your home’s electrical load if you add any of the following new appliances or renovations:

  • Air conditioners
  • Additional kitchen ovens
  • Commercial welders, saws, or other shop tools
  • Electric vehicle charger
  • Finished basement or garage
  • Hot tubs
  • Room additions

Free quote: Get your quote on electrical panel upgrades today


When To Upgrade an Electrical Panel

Electrical panels can last anywhere from 25–40 years. That’s a wide range, so look out for these signs to determine when it’s time for a replacement or upgrade:

  • Blinking, dimming, or flickering lights
  • Frequent need to reset circuit breakers
  • Buzzing, sizzling, or cracking sounds coming from outlets
  • Need to stop using appliances to use others
  • Damage to the panel
  • Appliances running at low efficiency
  • An existing panel manufactured by Federal Pacific Electric Panel or Zinsco

Factors Affecting the Cost To Upgrade an Electrical Panel

Below are the factors that determine the total cost to upgrade your electrical panel:

  • Panel size: Panel size ranges from 60–400 amps. More amps cost more.
  • Installation versus upgrade: It’s more expensive to install an entirely new system than to upgrade an existing panel.
  • Other services: You’ll have to pay more if the panel needs relocating or your meter box needs replacing.

Cost To Upgrade Electrical Panel to a 100-Amp Service

Most residential buildings have at least a 100-amp panel, but some older homes may have circuit breaker panels as low as 60 amps. Upgrading to 100 amps is only suitable for homes that use very little electricity.

Upgrade to 100 ampsCost

Panel only

$100–$200

Panel plus installation

$800–$1,500

New installation

$1,200–$1,600

Cost To Upgrade Electrical Panel to a 200-Amp Service

Given the number of electrical devices modern homeowners need to supply power to daily, the standard panel size for modern homes is 200 amps. Most electrical panel upgrades involve replacing a 100- or 150-amp panel with a 200-amp panel.

Upgrade to 200 ampsCost

Panel only

$250–$350

Panel plus installation

$1,300–$3,000

New installation

$1,800–$2,500

Cost To Upgrade Electrical Panel to a 300-Amp Service

Upgrades to 300-amp panels are less common since homeowners who need more than 200 amps typically upgrade to 400 amps. You can still find these panels and have them installed, though.

Upgrade to 300 ampsCost

Panel only

$350–$500

Panel plus installation

$1,800–$3,500

New installation

$2,000–$4,500

Cost To Upgrade Electrical Panel to a 400-Amp Service

Only large, luxury homes need 400-amp electrical service panels. An upgrade of this size is the most costly, especially if it’s a smart panel.

Upgrade to 400 ampsCost

Panel only

$500+

Panel plus installation

$2,000–$4,000

New installation

$4,000–$6,000

Cost To Replace vs. Upgrade an Electrical Panel

Replacing an old panel with a new one of the same size versus upgrading to a larger size won’t save you much money, since roughly the same amount of labor is required to install it. You’ll save about $50–$100 on the new electrical panel itself, but pay the same amount for labor.

Cost To Install a Main Breaker

A panel’s main breaker is the master switch and overload device, controlling the flow of electricity to other circuit breakers. The cost to replace the main breaker switch itself is relatively low. If the hot bus bar, which distributes electricity from the main breaker to the others, is bad, it’s best to install a new breaker panel.

ServiceCost

Replace main breaker

$200–$300

Replace the hot bus bar and main breaker

$500–$2,000

Cost To Install a Subpanel

A subpanel is installed either for capacity, convenience, or cost savings. If you have little space left for more breakers, want them closer to the area where they’re used, or need to eliminate the number of wires, you can use a subpanel.  Using a subpanel doesn’t increase the amount of power supplied by the main panel and often requires a main panel upgrade.

Panel SizeInstallation Cost

50 amps

$400–$1,000

100 amps

$500–$1,200

150 amps

$600–$1,750

Cost To Move an Electrical Panel

In some cases, upgrading may mean moving the electrical panel to fit new building codes or improving access to it. The cost of this process depends how far the panel needs to move and how much new wiring is needed.

ServiceCost

Low-end (e.g., moving panel 10 feet)

$800–$1,000

High-end (e.g., extensive rewiring)

$1,000–$3,000

Cost To Install an Electric Meter Box

The meter socket is an integral piece in many recent panels, but you may need a new box to house the meter in some cases. The electric meter box measures energy usage in your home. Typically the meter is removed and reset by the electric utility since it owns it, but the box installation and wiring to the main panel is done by electricians.

If you get an electrical service upgrade, you may also need a new meter box to measure the energy usage in your home. The meter box will need replacing if it’s old or damaged. Typically, this service is performed by your local electrical company instead of an electrician.

UpgradeCost

Meter box only

$50–$250

Meter box plus installation

$1,800–$3,500

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Cost Factors for Electrical Panel Upgrades

On top of circuit breaker panel replacement, here are some other potential upgrades your electrical system may need:

  • Replacing a fuse box with a circuit breaker box: This will cost approximately as much as installing a new electrical panel at $1,200–$4,500, depending on size.
  • Replacing a circuit breaker switch or fuse: This is comparable to replacing a main breaker at $150–$250 per switch.
  • Indoor versus outdoor electrical panels: Moving an indoor panel outdoors is usually labor-intensive and will usually cost $1,000–$3,000.
  • Specialty breakers: Arc fault connection interrupter breakers (AFCI) cost $35–$50, and ground fault connection interrupter (GFCI) breakers cost $35–$60.
  • Labor costs: Licensed electricians typically charge $50–$120 per hour.
  • Permits: Your electrician will help you get a permit, which may cost $50–$300, depending on your location.
  • Additional repair work: If the panel is moved or rewiring is necessary, you may have to pay for separate repair costs like new drywall, siding, and paint.

Free quote: Get your quote on electrical panel upgrades today


Pros and Cons of Upgrading Electrical Panels

Pros
Increases power output and efficiency within your home
Protects against electrical fires
Increases your home’s resale value
Cons
Is expensive
May be disruptive

DIY vs. Professional Electrical Panel Installation

There’s a reason electricians must be trained and licensed: Working with household electrical systems can be dangerous or create hazardous conditions. Upgrading or replacing your electrical panel isn’t a job you can do yourself. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 46,700 house fires are caused by faulty electrical wiring every year. Electrical work is best performed by those who are trained in the correct electrical codes and should always be inspected.


How To Hire a Professional

Here are some tips for hiring an electrician:

  • Make sure the person working on your home is currently licensed and insured.
  • Check the electrician’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) page and online reviews from previous customers.
  • Ask about their experience with this type of job, especially if you want an upgrade of more than 200 amps.
  • Look for an electrician who offers a warranty on their work.
  • Get all estimates in writing and make sure you have a signed contract before beginning.

Free quote: Get your quote from electrical panel upgrade pros today


How To Save on Electrical Panel Costs

While you shouldn’t try to save money by doing the job yourself, you can still cut costs with the following tips.

  • Calculate your electrical load: A precise calculation will ensure you don’t pick a larger panel size than you need.
  • Get multiple quotes: Request written estimates from at least three local electricians to compare.
  • Think long-term: Panel upgrade costs may be steep, but you’ll save money in the long run and get a return on your investment when you sell your home.

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Our Conclusion

Upgrading your home’s electrical panel can be expensive but you may see an immediate difference—especially if it’s been a long time since your home was upgraded. Most importantly, it will provide a safer house. This isn’t a do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement project, but you can exert some control over the process by ensuring you understand the workings of your home’s new electrical panel.

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Typical Price Range: $1,300 – $3,000

Frequently Asked Questions About Electrical Panels

Is it worth it to upgrade my electrical panel?

Yes, it’s worth it to upgrade your electrical panel, particularly if your home is old. You’ll greatly reduce the risk of electrical fires due to an overload, and your system will work more efficiently.

Does upgrading your electrical panel increase your home’s value?

Upgrading your electrical panel does increase your home’s resale value by making it safer and more efficient. Potential buyers will know there’s far less risk of shortages and system overloads.

How much does it cost to upgrade an old electrical panel?

Upgrading an old electrical panel of 100 amps to a new one of 200 amps costs anywhere from $1,300–$3,000. Upgrading from 60 to 100 amps costs $800–$1,500, replacing a 200-amp panel with a 300-amp panel costs $1,800–$3,500, and upgrading to 400 amps costs $2,000–$4,000.

How much should a panel upgrade cost?

A panel upgrade should cost between $800 and $4,000. Most electricians charge $50–$120 per hour for labor, and panels tend to cost between $100 and $500. Here’s how that adds up by the size of the new panel, including both materials and installation:

Size Cost
100 amps $800–$1,500
200 amps $1,300–$3,000
300 amps $1,800–$3,500
400 amps $2,000–$4,000

How much is it to upgrade an electrical panel from 100 to 200 amps?

Upgrading an electrical panel from 100 to 200 amps will usually cost between $1,300 and $3,000.

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