Home generator demand on the rise as winter approaches

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — As winter approaches, last February’s storm is still fresh on many people’s minds.

While the state works to avoid another massive power outage, some Texans aren’t taking any chances, and that is why they are turning to home generators.

During the historic storm that sent temperatures into single digits for about a week, Texas’ electricity supply plummeted and demand for energy to heat homes increased. To stop a complete collapse of the electrical grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, called for power outages and for some that lasted for days.

Austin Energy has seen an unprecedented demand among customers for whole-house generators since the winter storm.

While the utility typically fulfills two to three installations of whole house generators per year, there have been more than 400 requests since February.

They currently have 313 requests in the queue for generator installations.

“We have actually completed about 262 generator installations this year up to Nov. 15,” said Joan Wilhite, the electric system field operations manager at Austin Energy. “We do have more requests behind that.”

Companies like Capital Power Systems say they have seen more people reaching out and getting the generators installed as well.

“Right after the surge there was a big surge of customers that wanted backup generator systems and that has not slowed down since then,” said Joe Rizzo, president of Capital Power Systems. “If anything it has gotten busier.”

Home generators range in prices, but some can cost you anywhere from $9,000 to $12,000, but it can keep you safe and warm if the power goes out.

Solar batteries have also been in high demand. Since February, Austin Energy has processed more solar battery installations than in the previous five years combined.

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