Propane and Portable Generators: New Englanders Seek Alternate Sources Of Power For Cooking And Producing Electricity

Posted by erik devaney

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With thousands of New England households still without power following Irene’s devastating whirl through the region, many have given up hope that the power will be restored “any minute now” and are taking matters into their own hands.

New Englanders are heading out in droves to supermarkets and chain stores in search of two key items: propane, for keeping grills fired up and portable generators, for keeping homes lit up.

I recently spoke with an employee from Sandy Lane Gas & Convenience in Warwick, RI. He informed me that the demand for propane tanks is higher than usual, but is beginning to drop back to normal as residents get their power restored. “Only three or four nearby streets are still without power,” he said. Residents in the area apparently expected the worse and planned accordingly, “as there was a big rush for propane tanks before the storm hit.”

In other parts of New England, however, finding propane for the grill is still a troublesome task. I recently spoke with an employee from Tedeschi Food Shops on Hanover St. in Hanover, MA. The store, which has been without propane tanks since Monday, is still propane-less as of Thursday afternoon.

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The other item on many New Englanders’ post-Irene wish lists is a portable generator. Depending on the specific model, a portable generator will provide power to your appliances by burning gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas or MAPP, which is a trademarked fuel consisting of methylacetylene and propadiene.

You can buy a 1,000-watt portable generator for under $200. There’s also the option of buying a standby generator which  is permanently attached to a home’s electrical system and is ready for action as soon as the power goes out. The only problem is they cost thousands of dollars. While relatively rare in the Northeast, where hurricanes do not typically cause frequent power outages, some New Englanders have already jumped on the standby generator bandwagon.

I recently spoke with a representative from Dunlap’s Propane in Plymouth, MA, who told me that since Irene, the company has been making more frequent propane deliveries. Their customers? Powerless Plymouth-area residents who are relying on their propane-fueled standby generators until the power returns.

Related posts:

  1. Coping With A Hurricane Irene Power Outage: Tips For Living Without Electricity
  2. Hundreds of Thousands Still Without Power In MA, RI and CT; When Will Your Home’s Power Be Restored?
  3. Social Media Storm: The Best Online Sources For Tracking Hurricane Irene
  4. Irene Indirectly Responsible for House Fire on Cape Cod
  5. Power Outages Rise as Irene Approaches Bay State

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Posted by erik devaney on Sep 2 2011. Filed under Business, Featured - For home page featured article. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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