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Generac: CA wildfires creating 'incredible demand' for our generators

A leading manufacturer of backup generator products is seeing a huge boost in demand, with California roiled by rolling blackouts imposed by Pacific Gas and Electric (PCG), which are likely to continue indefinitely.

With parts of Southern California engulfed by wildfires, PG&E has come under widespread criticism for its policy of turning off the lights in order to prevent power lines from sparking more blazes.

The lack of reliable electricity has forced citizens to turn to generators — which one company told Yahoo Finance has sent demand for its products skyrocketing.

“We're seeing, obviously as you would expect, incredible demand right now. Well beyond what we would normally see out West,” Generac (GNRC) CEO Aaron Jagdfeld told Yahoo Finance’s “YFi PM.”

Generac’s market cap exceeds $5.8 billion, and shares are up over 85% year to date.

A wildfire burns near the Getty Center along the 405 freeway north of Los Angeles on Oct. 28. REUTERS/ Gene Blevins

The wildfires have forced thousands of residents to evacuate, and Governor Gavin Newsom has also declared a state of emergency amid “unprecedented” high winds that are fueling the flames.

“Normally, California's had a pretty solid grid as history shows. They don't really get the severity of weather we see in other parts of the country, like hurricanes or ice storms. So frankly, this fire situation is a brand new dynamic for us, and we're really trying to figure it out,” Jagdfeld said.

Over the weekend, PG&E shut off power to roughly 960,000 customers, in order to prevent its power lines and equipment from creating more fires. During grim situations like this, Jagdfeld said the real hurdle is getting the backup generators installed.

Generac’s stock is up nearly 90% year to date.

“The actual supply of the products not the difficult part. It's the actual installation of the product. These are products that need to be installed by professional electricians,” he said.


McKenzie Stratigopoulos is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @mckenziestrat

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