Unity Frequently Asked Questions

Following are answers to common questions about Unity multiple utility installation service.


Q. What’s involved when a builder wants to install the conduit?

The customer digs the trench and installs a 3-inch Schedule 40 conduit (electrical gray) for the electric service and a 1 1/2-inch conduit at the proper depth and separation for the gas line. (Gas conduit must be installed perpendicular from the gas meter base to the street.) Conduits and pull strings must be provided for each utility you request us to install, except gas lines, which require no pull string.

Q. What’s the difference between a short-side and cross-lot trench?

A short-side trench runs from the house, perpendicular to the street. In a cross-lot trench, the ditch runs diagonally across the front or back of the property. See the illustrations below.


Q. If I install all of my own conduit for electric do I have to have the trench inspected prior to backfilling?

No, the trench is inspected at the time the service is installed.

Q. How does the cost of Unity compare to the standard individual costs?

The cost is the same.

Q. Do all homes qualify for Unity service?

Most new construction homes qualify for Unity. However, if you are building in an area with overhead power lines, steep sloped areas, excessively rocky areas, or an infill project, these areas may not qualify for Unity and will require a Unity person to determine whether or not a home qualifies.

Q. Why would a builder want to do the utility’s work?

By you digging your own power trench and laying the conduit for power, gas, cable TV and phone, you will have less digging on your site, you also eliminate the risk of damage to the rain drain and water line, and you eliminate landscape damage.

Q. If I call the electric co. for Unity do I have to call the gas co.?

No. If you’ve ordered Unity service from PGE, it is not necessary to call NW Natural. Once you've ordered your service, the requested utilities will be installed within 7 business days and you will receive a call the day before from the PGE crew that goes out to install your Unity service.

Q. In what areas is Unity service available?

Unity is available within the common NW Natural and Portland General Electric (PGE) area. Click here to see a map of current Unity service area. Call 503-736-5450.

Get free Unity service when:

You provide your own trenching, conduits for electric, cable and telephone, and we'll make free gas conduit available for pick up from one of NW Natural's Resource Centers. You may need to provide at least a couple of 90 degree elbows (no 90 degree elbows are needed for gas conduit), but when you install conduit, and backfill trench, there is no charge.


Unity crews provide trenching, install all conduits; all services and backfill the trench.

If you select option 2, the following fee schedule applies:

Unity Service fees are based on the trench length:

1 to 30 feet: $400

31 to 50 feet: $560

51 to 75 feet: $660

Over 75 feet: $660 plus $3.80/ft. for every additional foot.