Trump Knew of Whistle-Blower Complaint When He Released Aid to Ukraine
Ebony Lopez’s electric company in Napa wine country used to get a handful of inquiries a week from people asking about generators. After PG&E shut power to millions of Californians last month, it’s more like 10 to 15 calls a day.
“It’s been nonstop,” Lopez said. “People are definitely being reactive.”
As Californians face years of intentional blackouts -- a strategy by the state’s utilities to prevent wildfires -- homeowners are rushing to find alternative sources of power to keep the lights on. Last month’s outages, in particular, swept across affluent areas just outside of San Francisco, hitting people who have the means to pay up for pricey equipment.
The trend isn’t unique to California. With climate change colliding with an aging grid, residents of areas from snowy New England to the hurricane-threatened South face more disruptions to power. But with costs for whole-house generators or solar and battery packages running tens of thousands of dollars, the demand for backup systems underscores a stark reality: Wealthy people will be able to endure outages while the poor are left in the dark.
“Like a lot of things that we’re talking about in society today and the inequality that exists, that gap in inequality could show up in even how you get your power,” said Aaron Jagdfeld, chief executive officer of Generac Holdings Inc., the country’s biggest standby generator company. Its shares have almost doubled this year on the prospect of rising demand.