If you’re a resident who is planning to buy a house generator in the event of a prolonged PG&E power outage this summer, be prepared to wait for product availability at local outlets.
“We’re out of stock,” Juan Cortez of Platt Electric in Manteca said of the suddenly in-demand power generators, adding, Home Depot is also back-ordering them.
They are also selling fast at Harbor Freight in Manteca. The only one left at the store on Monday was quickly gone. However, a worker there said they expect to receive new shipments as early as Wednesday.
Cortez could not give a specific number of days for customers’ orders to come in at Platt, saying it depends on the type of product homeowners want to purchase. Distance is also a factor; the generators have to be ordered from Wisconsin. “That’s where our vendors are at,” he said. “We can order them, but (customers) have to wait.”
The generators are not cheap, with the prices based on the size you are looking for.
“It depends on how big is the house” or structure you’re going to use it for, Cortez said.
As an example, he bought a 10-12 kilowatt power generator for his roughly 1700-square-foot home. This particular generator costs around $2,000 to $2,300.
The surge in demand for power generators is being triggered by PG&E warning more than 6 million of its customers — most of who live 60 to 80 miles from wildfire prone areas — that they plan on cutting off power for two to five days to reduce their liability to wildfires when certain weather, wind and vegetation conditions exist. PG&E has failed to properly maintain as well as use existing technology to harden power lines in wildfire areas. They have conceded it was their equipment that sparked the Butte County fire last year that killed 85 people, burned 14,000 homes and destroyed 5,000 other buildings.
Most of San Joaquin County would go black if PG&E follows through to de-energize the transmission lines. PG&E has said it is immune from any damages that not have power available for two to five days.
Unlike a power saw, weed eater, or any other related product you want to buy for home use, you cannot just go into Platt, Home Depot, Harbor Freight, Lowe’s or other outlets for such products. Cortez said Platt and similar businesses will not just sell you a generator. You will be asked to bring a completed form from the city that contains information on how to connect the generator to your home and other specific instructions and safety precautions.
That form has to come from the Building Safety department of the City of Manteca, located at 1001 W. Center Street (telephone 209.456.8550). All the information you need is on a piece of paper titled, Residential Generator checklist.
Demand for fuel
at gas stations
Demand for power generators has affected another type of business - gasoline stations. Quicki-Kleen Gas Station and Car Wash in Manteca owner, Francine, said Monday their fuel was sold out; they had to order more because of the number of people bringing containers that they fill up with gas - not just for their vehicles but for the power generators.
Some Ripon residents not
affected by PG&E outage
Mantecans have been warned of a higher likelihood of precautionary power shutoffs of up to five days this summer by PG&E. This comes as part of a wildfire preparedness campaign by multiple California utility companies. Some Ripon residents though will not have that kind of worry. The reason: they are not powered by PG&E, but by the Modesto Irrigation District. This change took place sometime in the early 1990s. It is partly for this reason the City of Ripon is not as heavily worried as Manteca.
“We have generators on several of our utilities,” and some are with MID, said Public Works Director Ted Johnston, adding they are well prepared for long-term power outage.
Utilities that will not suffer any power cutoffs due to the potential PG&E outage include the city’s several well sites, lifts, sewer stations, and generators, Johnston said.
MID also provides electricity to residents in Escalon and Riverbank, so these cities are not going to be affected by a prolonged PG&E loss of power.
Here are some of the requirements in the Manteca residential generator checklist that customers have to obtain before purchasing a generator:
All generators must be reviewed to verify compliance, method of installation and placement.
A site plan must be submitted to show all buildings, property lines, location of generator, transfer switch, raceway and fuel/gas piping.
Copies of transfer switch, manufacturer’s installation instruction/specification.
Copies of electrical plumbing plane prepared by an electrical engineer or a licensed electrical contractor, followed by a list of requirements.
For the complete list of the checklist required for purchasing a residential power generator, visit https://www.ci.manteca.ca.us/