Manufacturers and installers working to keep up with high demand for home standby generators

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Posted at 5:12 AM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 08:10:03-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Just like many other home improvement items, home standby generators are taking months to get to Hampton Roads. Experts say there’s a high demand right now and manufacturers are still catching up after closing their plants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“So, it’s a big chain effect on us right now,” said Keith Doxey, the installation manager for Smith and Keene. “It goes from PVC pipes for new construction, all the way to our HVAC and our generators.”

Smith and Keene says if someone orders a home generator now, it would likely be October before they could install it; however, they try to first serve those who need it for medical necessities like oxygen machines. Another business out of Suffolk said it could take up to six months.

“It’s supply and demand. Everybody wants them, so people are buying them,” stated Doxey, who thinks it could be in part because people are spending more time at home and looking to spend money on improvement projects.

Doxey recommends that homeowners consider the size of the generator for their home and compare “apples to apples” when shopping around for installers. In addition to the company getting permits, he urges customers to have their city inspect the generator once it’s installed.

It appears portable generators are still in stock in some hardware stores. Smith and Keene no longer works with those, and they say they’re seeing more people take the plunge for a standby generator.

“We’ve had a lot of customers before that were thinking, ‘I’m on the borderline of it.’ But when they see their neighbor with the lights on in the house, the air conditioning running, they're out there trying to pull their generator. He’s thinking, ‘Why am I doing this? Let’s go ahead with the whole house.’”

The investment for that type of generator ranges from approximately $9,000 to $13,000.