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Advantages of Installing a Back-Up Generator: an Interview with Bill Dow of WB Dow Electrical Services, LLC

By Bill Dow

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

WB Dow Electrical Services, LLC is a is a small business, based in Meredith, that provides electrical services to customers in the lakes region area of New Hampshire. Bill Dow is the owner and has been a Licensed Master Electrician since 1983.

What are some of the services your company provides?

The company provides services to residential and commercial customers for new construction, renovations, and repairs. Bill has established customers that call on him for both projects big and small.

In recent years, do you believe the demand for generators has increased, decreased, or stayed the same?

If you recall, there was a huge spike in demand for generators when the world was terrified that, at the stroke of midnight, on January 1st, 2000, power would go out leaving everyone without power for, "who knows how long". But that was an unusual time, since then the demand for generators has pretty much remained somewhat steady over the years, especially so in the lakes region.

Why do you believe that happened?

A Lot of the homes that are serviced by WB Dow Electrical Services, LLC are second homes which are not occupied year round. Customers are installing generators as a way to have "peace of mind" that, should the power go out at their home, an automatic standby generator will kick on. Some customers are also having additional options installed which will allow them to monitor the status of their generator 24/7 via applications on their cell phones. They will receive notifications when there is a power outage and be able to respond appropriately as needed.

Can you please explain the general concept behind how generators work?

To start off, your home receives electricity from your local utility company. When electricity is lost due to a storm or something else, the power is interrupted and you're left in the dark. The standby generator automatic transfer switch senses when utility power is unavailable and sends notice to the generator. The generator starts up automatically to restore your home's power within seconds and begins to generate electricity. The generator will continue to produce electricity until the automatic transfer switch senses that stable power has returned, at which point the transfer switch will switch back to the utility for power and your generator will shut down. The electrical draw of some homes may also require a load control module in the system in order to prevent overloading your generator. The load control module directs power to your appliances based on the priority you gave them when your generator was installed. That's how backup power works!

What are some benefits of having a generator installed?

Home standby generators are extremely convenient during power outages because they're fully automated; it's designed to automatically kick in ? if you're home or away ? during a power outage. If you'd like to receive updates about your generator's operation, you can choose to equip your backup power system with a Generator Management System. A Generator Management System can send text messages or emails to notify you if your home loses power, if your generator is due for maintenance, and when your generator is running or shutting off. With this system and an internet connection, you can keep an eye on your generator from anywhere. In addition to being convenient, home standby generators are also extremely reliable and safe. They generally have a regular exercise schedule where they turn on every month and run for 20 minutes to make sure that the unit remains ready to perform when needed. They are installed by professional electrical contractors and generator dealers who make sure to size the generator to handle your appliances correctly and pre wire connections properly.

Does every house, no matter the size, only require one backup generator? If not, what is the concept behind this?

A single generator is used in most applications and is sized to carry the load that is to be powered by the generator.

What are some disadvantages, if any, related to installing a backup generator?

I can't think of any disadvantages to having a generator. If you can afford to install one it can only be a good thing to have because you never know when the power will go out.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you or your company?

www.wbdow.com has all of our contact information.

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