Utility co.'s strange quote

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Quote from Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G to us locals) Y2K project manager Robert Green. Asbury Park Press 7-11-99

Utility companies said they are concerned about "irrational behavoir" by customers, such as buying electric generators. "Large-scale use of that equipement could make it more difficult to deliver power"

"We'd prefer people didn't go up on backup generators"

I just find that rather odd. How could the use of a generator affect the ability of the power company to deliver power?? It's makes no sense to me. Anyone?

-- kritter (kritter@adelphia.net), July 12, 1999


A few generators or even a few hundred would not affect load, but improper hookup of a generator would/could cause serious problems. If the power goes out and someone hooks a generator up to an outlet or dryer outlet to send power to the house and then the power comes back on - it will cause the generator to "blow" and if a lineman is working on power lines, the power that you hooked up to the line will feed back (backfeed) into the lines at a very high voltage and could kill a utility worker.

-- dw (y2k@outthere.com), July 12, 1999.

I checked with my "local" utility company to get their stance on this whole generator issue. All they are concerned about is that you have disconnected to the main power inlet side of your panel. In other words turn off the main breaker before you "back feed" to your house. An even better solution is to install a manual knife style switch between the utility side and your house. Make sure it's rated for the amps you are getting from the power company. If the power goes out then you walk around to the side of your house, throw the switch and you are disconnected from the power grid. When power is restored then disconnect you generator, throw the knife switch and you are re-connected to the grid. It cost me 1 hour of an electricians time and the cost of the switch. I can not possibly fry an lineman by utilizing this setup.

You have to use common sense when thinking about the whole generator routine. They are for emergencys but you have to plan ahead on how to utilize them. If things happen too quickly to get a switch in then pull the power meter out. You will definetly not be connected to the grid. The least of your worries at that point should be will the utility company be mad at me for pulling the meter. I don't think I'm going to be worried then about what a company rep. thinks!! :) It's your life, your house, your decision. Follow your own best judgement in that situation.

-- Freelancer (mercenary2000@yahoo.com), July 12, 1999.


Got a link? I searched the APP site and found a Y2K-power article but it didn't have a PSE&G quote.


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), July 13, 1999.


-- kritter (kritter@adelphia.net), July 13, 1999.

Funny, my utility's y2k manager/spokesman actually suggested I get a generator. I, in turn, suggested it might be difficult for me to have enough fuel on hand, either in the form of gas or propane, that would not violate local covenants and my house insurance. He fell silent. Guess he understood what I was talking about.

-- OR (orwelliator@biosys.net), July 13, 1999.

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