Friday, September 02, 2011

Generator Etiquette

A Tales of Two Cities netizen who goes by “Interested Party,” sent me an email about generator etiquette. The recent prolonged power outages that resulted from Irene had many homeowners resort to producing their own power with portable generators. IP notes that many neighbors who have these devices were also generous about sharing a plug with those who didn't. IP was most appreciative of this.

IP’s issue was the noise. These gas powered power plants produce a sound which is akin to a lawnmower. Yet unlike lawnmower noise which stops when the lawn is cut, a generator tends to operate 24/7.

The problem is at nighttime. “Fortunately, it is cool enough for those with no AC to open windows, but hard to do when a loud machine is right outside the window.”

IP would like to suggest a generator curfew, say from 11 PM to 7 AM. I think that would be even more neighborly than lending a neighbor a plug. I can go without electricity much longer than I can go without sleep.

UPDATE:  According to this story by MariAn Gail Brown in the Connecticut Post, you can have your food and happy neighbors too. Take Joe Palmisano for instance.

"We shut ours off every night around 9 o'clock or so," Palmisano says, "because it is admittedly a loud machine, and our food can keep overnight without spoiling. Then we start it back up in the morning and run it for 10 or 12 hours or so."

Way to go Joe!
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