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‘Always be in the know’: Generators become hot ticket item in Texas as issues plague state’s energy grid

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Generators are flying off store shelves in Texas as more homeowners are opting to invest in the devices used to generate electricity as issues with the state’s energy grid continue to surface.

One home improvement chain has encouraged people to plan ahead by determining what size generator they’ll needed.

“The wattage or power your generator needs to produce will depend on the quantity and type of items or equipment you want to run,” a Home Depot spokesperson told the Dallas Express. “Most generator owner manuals incline examples of what kinds of structures and devices they can provide power for.”

Stay-at-home orders prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a growing number people who bought generators, and the demand grew in the wake of February’s winter storm, KBTX reported. Now as Texans prepare for severe weather season, even more people are buying generators. 

“The Home Depot offers online resources for natural disaster preparedness,” the company spokesperson said. “Residents in storm-prone regions can also attend an upcoming Hurricane and Storm Preparedness Virtual Workshop, where experts will share additional storm preparedness tips.”

Still there are some risks associated with generators buyers should be aware of before powering the device up. 

“With portable generators though, always be in the know. They can also pose serious dangers if operated improperly,” a Home Depot spokesperson said. “Fortunately, it’s easy to stay safe by reading your owners manual before operating your generator and following a few generator safety guidelines. Make sure the generator is always running outside with the exhaust directed away from openings to the home or nearby building — at least 20 feet from any occupied buildings.”

Texans also sought alternative means to generate electricity when they were told to reduce their usage as the temperatures soared.

It was back on June 14 that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, advised Texans to conserve energy when the state’s grid showed signs of instability because the increase in demand mainly caused by an uptick in cooling units being turned on, according to KXAN.

ERCOT had urged Texans to expect such conditions to continue through at least June 18, Business Insider reported. 

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