The generator Paulie is looking at
On August 16, the power shut off in the Clairemont neighborhood west of the 805 freeway.
“Our kids were doing online music tutorials,” said Steven S., “then ‘poof,’ the electricity went dead. The internet (modem) shut off, and we lost our Zoom connection.”
After they reestablished a wifi connection, Steve explained to the instructor why his kids suddenly disappeared from class. “She was cool with it, and walked our kids through the section of the lesson they missed.”
Steven and his wife work remotely from home, they said online school for their kids starts on August 31.
“How are kindergarteners supposed to remember their passwords, log in, activate their cameras and microphones and stay put during homeschool — after a power outage resets the computers and/or modems?”
Later that day, SDG&E posted a Facebook post that read: “State grid strained due to excessive heat and high energy demand, customer outages expected to continue. Learn more about how to plan, prepare and conserve energy during this critical time of record-breaking heat: http://ow.ly/Famp50B0XgW.”
In Carlsbad, about 25 miles north of Steven, a local commented underneath the aforementioned SDG&E post.
“I know there is a planned outage for maintenance in La Costa/Carlsbad tomorrow morning from 8:30-10. You may not be aware but most of the schools around here are doing the online Zoom classes in the morning between 8:30-11. If you are going to do a schedule[d] outage for maintenance, please consider a different time so that kids aren't affected for school.”
On August 16 and 17, temperatures in parts of our county surpassed 100 degrees. “August is the hottest month of the year,” said a reporter from NBC 7 San Diego that Sunday, “but this is definitely a long duration heat event where temperatures are staying elevated during the day and overnight.”
“SDG&E told us to minimize the use of our electricity,” Steven continued, “but we really need the AC. “
“When I use a power tool in the garage, and mom is heating something in the microwave and someone else is blow drying their hair — all at the same time — the circuit breaker trips. I guess it’s a similar scenario to when San Diego County [residents simultaneously] power up their air conditioners, fans, laptops, coffee machines, and LCD TVs — [I think] something trips at the power station and we have a blackout .”
Paulie, a Lakeside resident, said it was “100 degrees” on the 16th and 17th at his “neck of the woods.”
“I’m trying to get me a generator for free,” he said.
Paulie, a veteran and college student, was referring to SDG&E’s Generator Assistance Program where they provide residents with up to $450 in rebates for a generator purchased in Lowes or Home Depot.
“You must have an active SDG&E account,” says the gas and electric company’s website. “You must reside in a high-fire threat area and have previously experienced a Public Safety Power Shutoff in 2019. CARE customers who meet the criteria above are also eligible for an additional $150 rebate.”
Paulie’s neighbor wondered: “since our power was shut off in the recent rolling blackout, I wonder if that’ll work?”. Paulie disagreed, saying “the rebate is for us [that were] affected last year when our electricity was shut down for public safety reasons.”
For families looking to implement a generator within their homeschools, Consumer Reports says: “Generators are sold by power output, as measured in watts. The amount of power they deliver determines how many lights and appliances you can run at once; the quality and consistency of that power determines how well they'll run. Figure on about 5,000 watts to cover the basics in a typical home.”
“Here are some rough numbers for common essentials: refrigerator: 600 watts; sump pump: 750 to 1,500 watts; portable heater: 1,500 watts; window air conditioner: 1,000 watts; lights: 60 to 600 watts; computers: 60 to 300 watts.”
If Paulie qualifies for the generator rebate, he said he’s looking to purchase the 6,580/5,500-watt dual fuel (gasoline/propane) powered Recoil Start portable generator at Home Depot. “After rebate, I should only pay $50.”