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High Demand & Low Supply For Home Standby Generators

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Local news station, WTKR Newschannel 3 in Norfolk, reached out to Smith & Keene as a local generator expert. They learned about the supply and demand of home standby generators impacting Hampton Roads homeowners.


As is the case with other industries, the temporary closure of plants manufacturing standby generators has delayed the production of these products. Coupled with an increase in demand by homeowners, home standby generators are on back-order. While some installation companies say it will take 6 months to install a home standby generator, at the writing of this blog Smith & Keene has a 4-month delay.

With homeowners spending additional time at home during the COVID-19 quarantine, home improvement projects have been on the rise. There are several reasons why home standby generators are at the top of the home improvement list in Hampton Roads.

Benefits of a standby generator

A home standby generator’s greatest benefit is peace of mind that your home’s electrical needs can run smoothly if a power outage occurs. Access to a power source is incredibly important if you have life-saving medical equipment that runs off of electricity. Delivering power to your HVAC system, hot water, cooking appliances, or refrigerators can help you and your family ride out the storm in more comfort in the event your home loses power.

Honeywell Home Standby Generator

How a standby generator works

Here is how the installation of a standby generator including an automatic switch works.  When your home’s main power source is cut-off, the generator automatically initiates as an alternative power source.  When your home’s main power source is restored, the generator automatically turns off.  The standby generator provides peace of mind that your home’s power never goes out.

Standby V. Portable Generators

While some hardware stores still have portable generators in stock, they pale in comparison to the comforts of a standby generator. With a portable generator, homeowners must physically set up the generator each time they need it. This requires messing with gas cans and setting up extension cords to each power source you want to run. Additionally, it is not safe to have generators run 24-7 nor while homeowners are asleep. There is a very limited location where portable generators can safely be active and out of the way of a storm.

With a standby generator with an automatic switch, when the power cuts off – your generator turns on. No fiddling with power chords in a storm. Keith Doxey, the installation manager for Smith and Keene says it best. “We’ve had a lot of customers before that were thinking, ‘I’m on the borderline of [having a standby generator installed].’ 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 portable generator. He’s thinking, ‘Why am I doing this? Let’s go ahead with the whole house generator.’”

Call The Experts

​If you are one of those homeowners who are tired of wrangling a portable generator and ready to have a standby generator installed, contact the expert generator installation team at Smith & Keene. Our team will evaluate the power needs of your home and recommend the right size to accommodate your home when the power goes out. Contact Smith & Keene to schedule a free consultation to install your new standby generator.

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