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Generators Case study: How one local business weathered a widespread power outage

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, September 19, 2018
South Shore Generators - Back Up Power for Data Centers

Where were you when the lights went out? If you’re like many people, during last March’s storms you were at home. Eventually, when the lack of power at home was too much and went out in search of warmth, a hot meal, and good company, you found yourself at the nearest restaurant with a generator. 

Last March’s Nor’easters hit Massachusetts hard, leaving nearly 200,000 without power. The South Coast and Cape Cod experienced the most outages. Sandwich, Dennis, and Harwich lost 90 percent of their service. Chatham lost 100 percent. Despite the entire town of Chatham losing power, one of the town’s most popular eateries, The Chatham Squire, stayed open, thanks to a generator installed by us here at South Shore Generator. 

The Squire is a local institution and a popular gathering place for Chatham residents. It’s been serving lunch, dinner, and adult beverages since 1968. When the power goes out, it’s where locals go. Places like The Squire are the reason restaurants are among our most important commercial clients. They understand the value of keeping the power on – both for themselves, and for the communities they serve. Because of their location at the end of the power grid, Richard Sullivan, general manager of the Squire, says his restaurant is used to power outages in the winter and brown-outs in the summer. 

“The big goal for us is to keep the doors open,” he says. “We try to stay open the whole time and the generator allows us to do that.” Without a generator, Sullivan says the draft beer system wouldn’t operate, nor would the freezer or walk-in refrigerator. Perishables – like meat, milk, fruits and vegetables – would your local source for….. Office Equipment Office Supplies Call for Free Delivery Office Commercial Furniture Printing Services Available We can beat anyone’s prices! 800-273-6012 capeplymouthbusiness.com | September 2018 | Cape & Plymouth Business 45 be lost. 

“It’s vital. A lot would spoil,” he says. “Having a generator in Chatham is a no-brainer.” Of course, the value lies in more than just preventing the loss of costly provisions. By having a generator, The Squire, like our other restaurant customers, continues to operate during power outages, and so continues to generate revenue. Even more important, staying open builds customer loyalty and strengthens a restaurant’s relationship with its community. 

The Squire prides itself on being the local place where those without power turn for a hot meal and to swap storm stories. “It’s important they have a place to come after a storm,” Sullivan told us. “The owner feels we have to be here for the community. Not just for our customers who lose power, but the men driving the plows and the emergency workers.” He reports that The Squire has only been forced to close one day in 30 years. It has its strong community spirit – and its generator – to thank. 

If you’re a restaurant, or any business where people turn to after a storm, let South Shore Generator Sales & Service advise you on the generator that’s right for you.

How to Choose the Best Power Generator – Wareham, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 23, 2017
South Shore Generator -  Best Power Generator – Wareham, MA

Below are the pros and cons of two types of emergency electrical generators—the portable type and the larger standby type—and tell you how to decide between them.

Emergency generators: Two options

With the American power grid becoming less reliable every year, power outages are bound to occur more frequently and last longer. That means you could end up sitting in the dark, sweating without an air conditioner, and eating canned meals while $300 worth of food spoils in your freezer. Meanwhile, your basement could flood since the sump pump is now worthless—and your kids could go crazy without a TV or computer.

Power grid problems aside, we all lose electricity occasionally. But when outages become routine, leaving you without electricity for days on end, it’s time to take action by getting a generator. Smaller, portable generators are great for powering the essentials, like the refrigerator and microwave, while large standby generators can power everything in your house.

Here is an outline of both types of generators (portable and standby) and both ways to deliver backup power (extension cords and subpanels). Here are the pros and cons of each system.

Option 1: Plug-in generators

The most basic method of supplying backup power is running a portable generator in your yard, then plugging in extension cords that plug into your appliances. It’s also the least expensive solution since you don’t need to hire an electrician to install a subpanel. The downside is you have to run extension cords everywhere you want power and you’re limited to how many things you can plug in at once (most generators have either two or four outlets). You also have to start and maintain the generator.

When the power goes out, place the generator on a flat surface outside, at least 10 ft. from the house. Don’t set it under awnings, canopies or carports, or inside the house or garage. It’s absolutely critical that you keep the generator away from your house and especially away from doors and windows—your life could depend on it! More people die from carbon monoxide poisoning from the gas engines on generators than from the disasters causing the power outages.

Option 2: Standby generators

Standby generators automatically turn on when the power goes out—you don’t have to do a thing. This is the best option if you frequently lose electricity and want to keep all or most of your appliances running. Most standby generators are powerful enough to run a central air conditioner, kitchen appliances and other large items—simultaneously. They’re also quieter than portable generators and you don’t need to worry about running cords or storing gasoline. The drawback is the price. You’ll need to have the generator, transfer switch and subpanel professionally installed.

A transfer switch constantly monitors power. If you lose electricity, it starts the generator automatically—even if you’re not home. When power is restored, the transfer switch shuts off the generator. Standby generators connect to your home’s fuel supply (natural gas or propane). If you don’t already have one of these fuel lines coming into the house, install a propane tank.

Standby generators range from $5,000 for a 7,000-watt unit to more than $15,000 for a 30,000-watt unit (installation included). Home centers carry a limited selection of portable generators (but usually no standby units). Larger sizes and standby units are usually available through special order or from the manufacturer.

For more information, contact South Shore Generator.

What Size and Type of Back Up Generator Do You Need? Wareham, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, April 06, 2017
South Shore Generator - Back Up Generator  Wareham, MA
  1. Portable. When the power goes out, you have to start up a gas-powered portable generator and plug it into your appliances or a subpanel. Portable generators cost $500 to $1,500 depending on power output.
  2. Standby. These generators are powered by natural gas or propane and start automatically during power outages. Prices start at $5,000 for a 7,000-watt unit, including installation.

How to determine what size generator you need Add up your power needs Estimate your power needs before you shop for a generator. Look for a label on each appliance that you want to power during an electrical outage. Add up the watts to determine the generator size you need. You can also get an idea of wattage requirements here. Wattage Requirements

  • Microwave: 600 to 1,200 watts
  • Refrigerator: 700 to 1,200 watts
  • Freezer: 500 to 1,200 watts
  • Washing machine: 1,200 watts
  • 1/3-hp sump pump: 800 watts
  • Television: 300 watts
  • Laptop computer: 250 watts
  • 10,000-Btu air conditioner: 1,500 watts

Your first step in adding backup power is deciding what you need (or want) to keep running when the electricity goes out. This determines the size (wattage) of the generator you’ll need. Walk through the house and make a list of everything you want to power during an outage. Look for a label on each appliance (they have to have one) that contains information such as wattage, model number and the year it was made (photo). Some labels are right inside the door on appliances; others are on the back, so you have to pull the appliance away from the wall. Write down the item and how much wattage it uses. Be sure to include essential items, like refrigerators, freezers, a well pump if you have one, and a sump pump if your basement could flood. You can go a few hours or even days without an oven (use the microwave instead) and an air conditioner—they use a lot of power and would require you to buy a much bigger generator. Add together the items’ wattages, then multiply that number by 1.5 (appliances need the extra power to start up). That’s the minimum wattage needed for your generator.

For more information, contact South Shore Generator.


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