Generators a Hot Commodity in Chicago

October 05, 2011

Chicagoland residents dealt with multiple power outages this past summer due to severe weather, and the area saw a surge in the purchase of home generators.

Such a surge, in fact, that funding for a new Home Generator Rebate Program in Des Plaines ran out on its first day.

And, now, the Des Plaines City Council has approved more funding.

The Village had allotted $22,500 for the program, which started and ended on September 19, when residential applications for the purchase of generators were accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Rebates of $250 or $400 were granted to only 82 or the 379 residents who applied.

But now there is more money available.

lit candle on a black background

Sure, living by candlelight can be fun for a night of power outages, but multiple nights? Time for a generator.

Residents are still eligible to apply for the rebate if they purchased a portable or in-house generator as of June 22, 2011, when severe weather first shut off power to the area.

If you have already purchased the generator, you have until December 2 to apply for the current rebate program. Previously submitted applications will receive funding in the order in which they were received.

There is no deadline for those who have yet to purchase a generator. But funds are limited.

While it will still take $82,000 to help those that applied and were unassisted, only $50,000 has been allotted for the remainder of this year’s program. And the number of interested residents will undoubtedly grow.

Many of those residents might have to wait until next year. The Generator Rebate Program will be part of the 2012 budget discussions starting on Tuesday, October 11 at 7 p.m. at the Des Plaines City Hall, 1420 Miner Street.

The average portable home generator that runs on gas costs between $400 and $1,000. An automatic generator, which runs on natural gas and can power an entire home, can run $3,000 to $10,000.

Seems steep, but just remember how much the food cost that had to be thrown away during all the summer power outages.

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