The Message Utilities are Sending Regarding the Installation of Standby Generators

Power generators around the country, without explicitly saying so, are sending a message to their customers regarding the installation of standby generators; that as demand for electricity increases, so will the number of rolling blackouts. It’s often taken for granted that electricity will be delivered to a utility’s customers (as long as their bills are paid) but what is often forgotten is that these power providers have their own bills to pay as well as shareholders that have an interest in seeing profits make it to the bottom line.

According to a report published by Potomac Economics, “Prices are so low that generators aren’t earning enough of a return to justify building new plants”, which doesn’t bode well for utility customers as a relatively fixed supply of electricity is met by rising demand. What customers can expect, at least until construction is completed on a yet to be planned series of new power generating plants, is a likely increase in power outages that are either planned as rolling blackouts or occur due to extreme weather or other external causes.

In terms of rolling blackouts, utilities generally try to keep planned outages between 30 to 60 minutes, which for most people is a simple inconvenience if it’s an isolated event. The issue now is that both rolling blackouts and unplanned events are becoming longer in duration and more frequent, a situation that will worsen without additional power generating capacity coming on line in the foreseeable future.

This makes the message coming from power generators across the country very clear; residential and commercial customers will need to start making plans to install standby generators. The other option is to wait idly by and wait for the lights, temperature controls, and refrigeration to power up on their own.


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