dBALDWIN CO., Ala. (WALA) - Many people are still recovering from 2020’s devastating hurricane season and even thought the next season is still months away, many people are already preparing. Generators are in high demand. One type, so much so that there is up to a six-month delay on orders. The COVID-19 pandemic has also played a role in the delays.
“This is something completely unprecedented. I don’t think anybody really expected it to get this bad,” said owner of Redline Electrical Services, Steve Alexander.
Redline is one of Baldwin County’s few independent, licensed Generac dealers and Alexander said demand is the highest he’s ever seen. Generac brand is the largest and best-selling brand of whole-home backup generators in the country and Alexander said there is up to a six-month wait on some models. Why? Alexander said it’s because when COVID restrictions hit Generac’s workforce in its home state of Wisconsin, manufacturing slowed considerably. Then, multiple tropical systems hit the US mainland, driving up demand.
“All that added together along with the need for generators in California, dealing with wildfires and rolling blackouts, the demand for generators had just pretty much exploded,” Alexander said.
The delays are similar with the big box retailers. The website for the Lowe’s-Daphne store shows an order made February 5, 2021 would take until mid-June to come in. Home Depot’s Daphne store is working to change the expected delivery dates on its website to reflect the same delays. The good news is that for most people, portable generators will suffice during an outage and at least at Home Depot, no shortage is expected.
“The company definitely looks at the trend we had last year, and we want to get ahead of that situation,” said Specialty Sales Manager for Home Depot, Rob Duncan. “We want to make sure that we have the product available going into the year. Our District Manager does a very good job ordering product ahead of time and I’m sure we’ll see an influx of generators coming in the building.”
If a whole-home system is what you need, Alexander said the time to order is now.
“If you were to place an order today or this week, you’re probably looking at the beginning of June before we’d actually have those units in hand and even then, there’s possibly a week or two of coordination just to actually get it fully installed,” explained Alexander.
Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday for Alabama will be February 26-28, 2021. Dozens of items less than $60 dollars will be exempt to sales tax. Portable generators costing less than $1,000 dollars will also be exempt.