Posts Categorised: Info Articles

Power Outage Alerts

I received this helpful article via email from Cummins and would like to share it with our valuable customers.

It is important to keep up with power outages.  If you notice power outages in your area, it is only a matter of time before your power goes out.

If you want the security of not having to worry about power outages, you should call us for a free site assessment, 214-207-0506.

 

Power Outage Alerts

 
Driven by aging electrical grids, severe weather and simple human error, power outages are increasing both in number and severity.  Last year, more than 36 million people experienced power outages in the U.S.  It is no surprise that power outages are the biggest driver of demand for home standby generators, making it critical to know about severe weather before it occurs to best serve and market to your customers. 
 
We have listed below several sources for monitoring power outages, as well as threats for your local area.

Local Utility Company: The utility company in your area is a good resource for power outage information. Check your local utility company’s website to see if they offer severe weather alerts. We also suggest following their social media accounts; turn on post notifications for their accounts to ensure you receive the latest weather and outage alerts.  

PowerOutage.us: This online tracker pulls near real-time data from local utility companies across the country.  We recently added this tracker to our homegenerators.cummins.com website (here).  Severe weather is the leading cause of power outages.  It is important to track severe weather before it hits to ensure you’re prepared to connect with customers when the frustration of losing power is still fresh in their minds.

AccuWeather Alerts:AccuWeather will email daily forecasts, as well as severe weather watches and warnings directly to you.  These weather alerts provide you with a map detailing the area(s) likely to be affected, as well as details on the timing and impact of the weather.  Clickhereto sign up.

Eaton Power Outage Tracker: The Eaton Power Outage Tracker is a good source for historical power outage data across the U.S.  It also provides the causes and impacts for each power outage.  This tracker has not been updated this year, but allows you to see power outages since February 2008, so you can educate yourself on historical outages in your area.  Clickhereto use the Eaton Blackout Tracker.

The Weather Channel:Weather.comprovides information on lighting strikes, thunderstorms, hurricanes and other severe weather events.  Like AccuWeather, it also allows you to sign up for severe weather alerts and updated information on weather conditions.  Clickhereto learn more.

 

I hope you learned a lot about power outages.  In Dallas, we have lots of different storms that affect our electricity.  I hope you will consider getting a standby home generator so we can better protect your home and your family.  Call us today at, 214-207-0506.

 

True Story . . . I attended to a network meeting last week only to find the electricity was out at the restaurant where we regularly meet!

They said a transformer blew out, which happens more often than you would think. There was no rain or wind that morning, but it just popped and right at lunch time. It knocked out their electricity so they could not run their restaurant during some of their most busy times.

 

 

How much money can a restaurant lose without electricity?

First, let me give you some context of why I was meeting at Spring Creek. I meet with a business networking group on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month. It is a great way to connect to other business leaders and eat some good BBQ. I have noticed at least two other small groups of people meeting on those same Tuesdays.

In our group we had 12 people this week. Usually we see two other groups of 6 and 8 people. Then, we see people coming in and out all through our hour we are meeting.

Just estimating (because I noticed how many people are coming and going), the line fills up at 15 people and it fills up about 10 times while we are there for one hour. That adds up to 150 people. At $10 a lunch plate and $2 a drink, the average is $1800 per hour, not including groups, larger order take-outs or desserts. (I ran these numbers by a person who used to run a restaurant and he confirmed my estimates are spot on.)

This restaurant could have lost around $5000 over the course of lunch. And, if the electricity was out for supper, you can probably double that amount. In just one day they could have lost more money that it would have taken for them to install a permanent industrial generator for their restaurant.

Of course, that cost does not even account for any food they had to throw out due to loss of refrigeration. It also does not account for workers who they had to pay since they showed up for work. Yikes, a power outage at a business can cost a lot of money very quickly! My friend, who is a business owner decided to compare quotes for his electricity while the power was working as it should and saved a bunch of money. Usave got him his quote. read this to find out more.

Backup generators keep a business up and running during a power outages preventing losses in revenue and productivity.

If you have a business, I want you to seriously consider the cost of power going out for just a few hours. What if we have a big storm and it goes out for a few days?! I would love to chat with you about a permanent solution to help keep your business with power and keep your business making money. Call us at 214-207-0506.

melting summer temperatures

100 Degrees Weather Spells for one Hot Summer in Dallas, Tx

We are barely out of May and the weather reports are already showing multi-day one hundred degrees weather. Our average here in Dallas, TX is not to hit the one hundred degree mark until July 1st, so we are already a month head of our already hot averages.

 

Besides ice cream, beach trips and shorts, we will be using a lot of electricity to keep cool . . . a lot more than you may realize. The extreme electricity usage will make our summer even hotter since officials are already talking about rolling black outs. Wanting to keep as cool as possible this summer without spending too much on energy bills? Taking a look into energy plans from the likes of hello energy could do just that for you.

 




Why do we have rolling black outs


The short answer is usage. We are using more electricity and not building more power plants. Think about all the additional electronics you have in your house versus just ten years ago. Plus, here in the Dallas area, there are a lot more people moving to the area with no more power production.

 

With more people, more electronics per person, and even electric cars becoming more prevalent, it all adds up to a significant amount of electrical usage. When you combine these conditions, it is like a rolling snowball of energy usage. It gets bigger and bigger until something has to crash. Rolling black outs is a way to avoid the crash with small outages rather than big large scale disasters.

 

Electricity production has increased slightly, but we have closed three large coal power plants: Big Brown, Sandow and Monticello. That knocked out enough energy to power about two million homes. Closing coal plants is a national trend to help alleviate pollution, but it does nothing to make up for additional power needs. Other Texas projects like wind farms, are coming out but not enough to make up for three plant closures. (1)





Rolling black outs are a HIGH possibility in 2018


Texas’ grid operator is warning that there could be a risk of summer blackouts as the state’s power use is expected to reach new record levels. Texas faces looming hot weather, a growing population and electric generation margins — the difference between the power being generated and what’s being used by customers — that will tighten to the lowest they’ve been in years. (2)

 

The senior director also chimed in: “There is a possibility that we may have what are called rotating outages (in 2018),” said Dan Woodfin, ERCOT’s senior director of system operations. “Since we have more resources, that risk is probably reduced a little bit. But really, the focus for ERCOT is to make sure that we can quickly respond.” (3)

 

The way they will ‘respond quickly’ to high usage is to implement rolling black outs. You may not be affected at that moment, but once these black outs start, it is only a matter of time.

 



What happens to your electronics in a rolling black out



 

Many people may not realize that computers and cell phones can be greatly affected by a rolling black out. When the power goes off, it will cut out power to electronic devices. It is crucial that you unplug and turn off any electrical device immediately even if they are on batter power. Of course, you can leave your phone on, but make sure it is not plugged in to the wall or USB charger.

 

When the power comes back on there is sometimes a surge of energy. Surge protectors may stop the surge, but some powered devices can still be affected in times of Black Outs because of the way the energy is amped up.

 

Plus, it is suggested that you replace power surge protectors every two years. (4) If you are like most people, you probably don’t even remember when you bought them and they may not be doing you much good.

 

What to do in a rolling black out



 

First of all, be calm and patient. Depending on the demand, it could be out for only 15 minutes or longer if there are critical issues with the heat and power consumption. It could go off for hours if the energy usage has to be directed to emergency care facilities like hospitals or our growing senior facilities.



 

In summer electricity black outs you want to do the following:

  • Take care of any children, elderly and pets to make sure they stay cool.
  • Turn off all electronics AND you’re A/C. (You may want to leave a light on to know when it comes back on.)
  • Use flashlights rather than candles to avoid more heat and possible fires.
  • One quick tip: Do not open your fridge. If you need something, quickly open and shut it to conserve the food inside. If the electricity is off more than a couple of hours, you can begin to see food wastage.

 

You can AVOID a rolling BLACK OUT.

 



Many people see using generators as a great source of electricity. They go to the home supply store and pick up a gas generator. Those are good in general, but be aware of the carbon dioxide and poisonous air that is put out by a gasoline operated unit. These are not meant to be used indoors and they will not be much help in operating cooling systems like air conditioning. The best use of these is for single plug and short interval emergency usage.



 

If you want a more reliable, safer generator for your whole house consider a standby home generator. With a reliable standby generator, it comes on almost immediately if there is any change in the incoming electrical currents. Power is usually on within seconds of power going out.



 

If our electrical providers use rolling black outs as they have indicated, you don’t have to wait for them to restore electricity since yours will be on automatically with a whole house generator. When the electrical system restores electricity, your standby generator will sense the change and shift back to the system. You may not even notice the change.



 

Even when the heavy summer Texas thunderstorms hit, you are still covered all year round. A standby generator will keep your power on even if the whole city electricity goes off. If lighting crashes a power line and knocks out the whole nighborhood, you will still have electricity to keep you cool and your family safe. If a squirrel or car hits a power line and knocks out your block, you will still have electricity.



 

Call us today if you would like to get a standby home generator for your house. We offer a free site evaluation where we can talk to you about your options. Ryan Rendleman is a professional installer who will share with you the best, most cost effective way to protect your house in times of electrical outages. He should know since he has one in his house, too.



Call Ryan today at 214-207-0506



 


Sources:


1: https://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/2018/04/28/will-texans-get-burned-forecast-says-hotter-summer-less-available-electricity


2: https://www.expressnews.com/business/eagle-ford-energy/article/Texas-grid-operator-warns-of-possible-rotating-12723906.php


3: https://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/2018/04/30/texas-summer-electricity-outlook-improving-still-state-goal


4: https://lifehacker.com/why-you-should-periodically-replace-your-surge-protecto-1693447062


 

Wine During a Power Outage

Wine enthusiasts know how important it is to keep your wine at just the right temperature.

If your wine changes temperature for a short time, it will probably be ok.   However, during a power outage, your wine could see drastic changes in temperature in a short span of time.  That will not help your wine maintain its perfectly balanced flavor nor benefit your sensitive taste pallet that you have worked so hard to develop. So what can you do?

 

How to keep wine at a consistent temperature

When the power goes out, your wine will stay where it is and in that condition for a short time.  If the power goes out for days, or in extreme weather, you may have something to worry about if you have spent time collecting just the right collection of wine for your sophisticated taste.

 

The ambient temperature should keep for a few hours, but if the electricity is off for longer, your wine will begin to age and change temperatures.  In the heat of summer or the dead cold of winter is when power outages are most likely to occur.  However, power outages can occur at random intervals due to things as common as a squirrel.

 

If you own a wine cabinet, you may be able to add a block of ice or wrap your wine with cool towels and keep it in a cool space.  It can remain at that temperature of a couple of days provided you have a well-insulated cooling compartment.  You will need to re-ice and clean up any excessive water to keep your wine at peak condition. (source)

When the electricity goes out, it is best to protect any sensitive valuable.  You can make a contingency plan in case of a power outage, or you can plan to protect your valuable asset with an insurance policy, or even better, prevent the loss by having a standby power generator.  It is important to note that 25% of insurance claims for loss of wine come from power outages. (source)

Whole house standby power generators can turn your electricity back on automatically within 20 seconds.  That is not nearly enough time to affect your wine and should keep your valuables in perfect condition.  Then, when it is time to open the bottle to enjoy it, it will be exactly what you expect: perfect smell, perfect taste, perfect feel on your well-developed taste pallete.

If you want to protect your wine and your home, we would love to come by an give you a site assessment for a home generator.  We will maintain your generator, so no matter what mother nature throws at you to knock out power, you will have your wine collection kept in tip top shape.

Verdegy is here to help you protect your family and your valuables no matter what kind of bottle they come in.  Give us a call at 214-207-0506.

Pets During Power Outages

What you need to know about your dog or cat when the power goes out.

You may not think your dog or cat will be affected by a power outage. After all, they can see better in the dark than we can, so everything should be fine, right? Not exactly. Read about how a power outage can affect your valued family member.

Pets are affected by power outages, too

First and foremost, animals pick up their cues from their owners. Your little canine or feline may become jumpy or reactive when the power goes out because you or a family member is agitated. If you are nervous about power outages, it’s safe to say your pet will be nervous as well.

I read a story where a pet owner’s dog was picking up alarms from other parts of the block. The dog would jump on her head anytime a fire alarm would beep (story source). Remember, dogs and cats can hear frequencies that you and I would never hear. There is no telling what sounds carry when the electricity goes off in any particular area. For more articles about pets and how to care for them, head to the Healthy Solutions for Pets website.

Caring for pets during power outages.

Temperature

Keep in mind that you respond to temperature changes and your pets will too. They have become accustomed to the temperatures you set and drastic changes can affect them greatly. If it is getting cold in your house, use a blanket or something to keep them warm as well. Blankets and barkshop dog toys will ensure that pets are comfortable and loved.

Water

If electricity is off in your area, you will need to have water from another source. Don’t forget about your pet as well. You want to keep water where they can access it and make sure it is not freezing over in the winter or evaporating in the summer.

Environment

First, and this is vitally important, if a power line is down in your area, keep your pets in doors. They may not know how to react and touching a downed power line could cause death.

Also, you want to make sure you keep a very similar routine for your pet. If you typically walk them, take them out or do any other daily or weekly activity with your pet, continue to do so. Uprooting their routines could cause undo stress.

Here are some other tips for your pets during power outages.

You may never have to worry again about power outages.

If you would like to make sure your dog or cat does not have any issues during a power outage, just avoid power outages. While you may not be able to avoid the power going out, you can make sure it comes back on in as little as 20 seconds with a whole house power generator. These generators are quiet and can power your entire house keep your furry family and the rest of your family safe and secure during power failures.

Verdegy is here to help you protect your family no matter how furry they may be. Give us a call at 214-207-0506.

Aquariums in a power outage

What happens to aquariums when the power goes out?

Power outages can drastically affect your delicate aquarium environment. Are you prepared?

If power is only out for a short time, you may be OK if you have a large enough tank, the right environment and minimal fish.  However, what happens if the power goes out for longer than an hour or two?

It is a harsh reality that aquariums need electricity to function. Power runs things like the lights, air pumps, powerheads, skimmers, feeders, etc.  All of these things work together to create a healthy environment for your fish.  When those things do not have power, your fish will suffer.  We all want healthy, happy fish and in order to attain that, we need to have proper power.

Many tanks can last for an hour, but larger or well stocked aquariums can have considerable problems after just one hour.  With oxygen levels and temperature changes your fish will be in stress quite quickly.  Not to mention the buildup of toxins and harmful bacteria that can happen.

Some say adding a portable generator will help, but you can not expect to be at the house each time a power outage happens.  That is why having a standby home generator can be very beneficial for protection your fish.

 

 

What happens to your aquarium when power goes out?

There are two major changes that can drastically affect your fish.

  1. Oxygen levels decrease
  2. Temperature changes

Either of these events by themselves can hurt your fish, but together they can be detrimental to the fragile system you have created in your aquarium.  Fish thrive in consistent and stable environments.  Without additional measures, your entire ecosystem can become dangerous to your fish in a matter of a couple of hours.

For temperature changes, you can add warm water or ice as needed, but these must be done very carefully.  Little changes and constant monitoring are crucial.

Here’s a helpful tip from Rank My Tank: To minimize heat loss, cover your tank with a blanket to trap in as much heat as possible. Make sure you unplug your lighting system before you cover the tank with a blanket because certain lighting systems might pose a fire hazard if they come back on while the tank is covered. (source)

For oxygen, plants can help, but when the power is out so are the lights that are powering the plant (no pun intended). Plants need light in order to function properly and they will quickly stop producing in a darkened environment.

 

 

What about my salt water aquarium in a power outage?  Isn’t it safer?

Saltwater aquariums may actually have a few more issues to worry about because of their particular environment.  I am not an expert, so let me defer to The Spruce:

“There are certain functions in a saltwater aquarium which are essential for its survival: gas exchange and water movement. Even the most sensitive corals in a reef tank can survive for days without intense light, but the viability of fish, invertebrates, corals and beneficial bacteria deteriorates rapidly without a reasonable supply of oxygen.

This being the case, in the event of a power failure, the primary objective (both short and long term) for the aquarist is to supply oxygen to the tank and move water (even periodically) about in the tank. This is bare bones survival and some of your tank’s filtration systems (wet/dry trickle, canister filter) will not be functioning. The nitrifying bacteria which resides in the tank (on the live rock, tanks walls, etc.) will live and continue to process ammonia, nitrites and nitrates if O2 is supplied at least periodically. (source)

 

 

How to prepare for a power outage:

 

First step is making sure your tank will not leak with a helpful simple test:

One of the first things every aquarium owner should do after setting up their tank and before adding any fish is to simulate a power outage. By turning off all of the power for several minutes, you can check your plumbing to make sure you do not have any water siphoning back that could drain your tank. When you start your tank back up, you can make sure that the pumps and other equipment will function properly. If your equipment does not perform adequately, now is the time to make changes, before you add your fish. (source)

You also want to make sure to unplug your filter.  Filters contain agents you don’t want coming back into your water and you don’t want to have a water leakage. “Another reason to unplug your filters is because harmful toxins can buildup in your filter if your power is off for a long period of time. These toxins include ammonia and hydrogen sulfide.” (source)

 

Second, do not feed your fish during a power outage.

Feeding your fish can produce waste.  That waste will make a great impact on the quality of your water, especially since the water circulation will not be active.  You may not know this, but most fish can go 3-5 days without food so there is no reason to worry about not feeding them for a couple of days.

 

Third, find a legitimate power source for power outages

If your power is out for more than a couple of hours you want to restore the environment for your fish as quickly as possible.  You may have enough time to run to your local home improvement store to find a power generator . . .that is if they power goes out at a convenient time.

Many power outages happen in inconvenient times.  Having a solution at hand will be your best option. You can pre-purchase a solution rather is a power generator or a battery pack.  Either way, you will need to be present to start these items up and make sure they are maintained properly.

The BEST solution is to have a power source you don’t have to think about.  You have worked hard to create just the right aquarium for your home and the perfect environment for your fish.  Having a home standby generator gives you peace of mind that if the power goes out, in a matter of seconds it is automatically restored without you having to think about it.

At Verdegy, we have committed to the highest quality of Cummins generators.  Usually in 10-20 seconds these whole house stand by generators will start your electricity back up as if nothing ever happened.  Imaging the time and money you will save when you don’t have to worry about your aquarium when the power goes out.

There are much more we can talk about when power goes out, but we want to offer you a free consultation.  If you live in the DFW area, we will come out and assess your needs to make sure you are prepares when power outages happen.  In North Texas, it is not a matter of if your power goes out, but when. Give us a call at 214-207-0506 and let us help you keep your aqarium healthy and your fish happy.

 

 




by Lazarenkoyayimages.com

Mother Nature can give human beings a rude awakening in the form of terrible weather conditions like thunderstorms, hailstorms, ice storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. These pose a threat to our lives and property including our electricity systems. Not only can that, but extreme drought, wildfires, and heat can also severely hamper the generation and distribution of electricity. For example in May 2016, severe thunderstorms in Dallas had caused as many as 1700 people to be without power.

Due to increase in greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, the planet has become unpredictable and more and more extreme changes in weather have created negative consequences for electric power utilities. This is mostly due to the electricity infrastructure being old and outdated; the only viable solution is to speed the development and deployment of renewable energy systems to establish a more resilient and robust electricity grid. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused people to be without power in 21 states.

Rising Sea Levels

As many as 100 electric power utilities in the United States are situated in regions at a distance of 4 feet from high tides. This includes substations and power plants. Due to global warming and the consequent melting of polar ice caps, sea levels around the world have risen since the year 1880.

According to a report, they will continue to rise a further 6.6 feet, thereby increasing the prospects of coastal flooding. When this happens, power plants and substations will go offline and power will be disrupted for many people. In such cases, home backup generators are a viable solution.

More Wildfires

Wildfires occur due to extreme drought and dryness and they can cause severe damage to electricity infrastructure like transmission poles, lines, etc. Another potential hazard arises from the fact that particulate matter and smoke particles can ionize the air, hence building an electrical channel away from the power lines and shutting them down.

Increase in Heat Waves

Heat waves are common throughout the U.S., but recent climatic changes have increased the intensity and duration of such heat waves. As it is known, extreme heat lowers the efficiency of power plants and that too, when more electricity is being consumed. This puts further stress on the electricity grid which can cause them to break down. Having a reliable backup solution like home emergency generator is a good choice.

Thunderstorms, Hurricanes, Gales, and Ice Storms

All of these storms are accompanied by strong gusts of winds and hailstones which can snap power lines and uproot power poles. This causes a massive power outage for thousands of people. In addition, lightning from thunderstorms might disrupt voltage regulation in electricity grids by causing brownouts and voltage surges which might damage electrical appliances.

Drought

Periods of extensive drought might cause decline in the availability of water supplies. Water is utilized by power plants for the purpose of cooling; hence, if water resources are scarce, power plants will be forced to limit the daily production of electricity or shutdown for a certain period of time. It’s important to possess a whole house backup generator in such circumstances.

In this video, Ryan shares how a home generator works in his backyard here in Dallas.

Watch as Ryan turns on the generator from his smartphone and see how quickly it can turn on when you power goes out.

Generally, your home generator will kick in in about 15 seconds after the power goes out.

Dallas is known for big things including storms.  Make sure to share this info with your friends.  You don’t want them to be without power when a huge storm hits Dallas.

The prevalence of major storms resulting in extended power outages has increased in recent years, which has contributed to the rising purchase of standby generators. Standby generators are permanently installed on a concrete pad outdoors and are connected directly to your home’s electrical panel. They are powered by external fuel supplies including diesel, propane and natural gas. They are designed to provide home and business owners with necessary power supplies for several days without interruption.

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Backup generators can be powered either by propane or natural gas, and can be permanently installed into your home’s electrical system. After a storm or typical power outage they provide heat, lighting and other household necessities. Installation of backup generators is performed safely outdoors, removing any risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Upon loss of power, a backup generator seamlessly and instantly restores power.

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