In 2016, when the manager of the 108 Mile Airport convinced the regional district about the need to purchase a back-up generator for the airport, no one could have predicted what would happen the very next year.
When last summer’s wildfires meant the airport’s electricity had to be shut off, having the generator in place was crucial to the firefighting efforts: “Without it, they would not have been able to fuel those planes,” says Janet Lilly, co-owner of Garth’s Electric, with husband Garth.
While homeowners and businesses may not have plane refuelling to accommodate, extended power outages are common to the Cariboo region, and whether it’s having access to lights and computer or ensuring your fridge stays cold and your home warm, a back-up power source can be vital for your continued comfort and safety.
If a generator makes sense for your home or weekend getaway, here’s a few things to think about:
Evaluate your needs: “First, think about what you’d like to have running when the power is out,” Lilly advises. “Then, based on your needs and home, we’ll do a load calculation to help you choose the right generator.”
For example, while the refrigerator, a few lights and TV can all run without too heavy of a draw on your system, heat draws far more heavily, and would require a larger unit. However, if you have an alternative heat source, like a wood stove, that might not be an issue.
If a more specialized generator is required, the local experts can help with that, too.
“As more people are trying to off the grid, we can also recommend generators compatible with options such as solar, for example,” Lilly says.
As the only Kohler distributor in the Cariboo, the respected brand is Garth’s best seller – well known for its combination of reliability, price point and Canadian accessibility – and but additional quality options are available in Generac, Onan and Aurora generators.
Servicing essentials: While a back-up generator is typically a long-lived investment in your home comfort and security, like any piece of mechanical equipment, routine maintenance is necessary to keep it operating at its best, when you need it. Be sure to ask about the appropriate home servicing schedule, which can be booked directly through Garth’s.
Certified technicians: Because Garth’s team members are also certified technicians for all the brands they carry, if you do have any issues, support and repairs are close at hand, Lilly says. “There’s nothing worse than not having the support when you need it.”
Garth’s Electric has provided electrical services since 1981. Visit at 320 Industrial Ave. in 100 Mile House, where a full-time journeyman electrician is in the store weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Learn more at 250-395-2545.