At home with Cummins: Michigan family’s smart investment for the next power outage

Purchasing a whole house generator can be daunting – from determining if you actually need one and if it’s worth the investment to deciding on brand and size. 

To help ease your burden, we chatted with your friends, neighbors and colleagues that recently purchased a Cummins home standby generator.

In our latest Q&A, Craig Lyon of Saline, Michigan talked to us about the value of a home generator and how to select the correct size. 


Craig, can you share a little bit about you and your family?
We are just an average American family of four living in Saline, Michigan, and I work few miles away in Ann Arbor. Our home is about 3,800 square feet and has a well and septic system. Without electricity, we can’t cook or shower. In fact, we rely on electricity even for basic water needs.

Why did you decide to invest in a generator for your house?
Last year, we had our fourth extended power outage, and I got tired of losing all my food again. When we lose power, we can’t stop our lives: we still need to eat and work. We stayed at our neighbor’s home, so we could cook and shower – basically just continue our lives as usual. After that outage, I decided to get a generator. 

How did you decide what size generator you needed?
We chose to power the whole house so that we are not isolated to one part of our home during an outage. I didn’t want to power selected appliances or rooms and eventually wish I had because we were unable to use wireless or do laundry, for example, during an outage. In addition, the cost difference between a whole house generator and a smaller generator was minimal, making the decision a no-brainer for my family.Cummins home generator set outside a home in Michigan

Do you think a whole house generator adds value to your home? 
Yes, I think having a generator increases the value of our home, but it goes beyond that. It is important for me to know that my sump pumps and Wi-Fi will work during a power outage. If we lose power due to a severe storm and my sump pump stops, I will have a flooded basement. It would cost me more to repair a flooded finished basement than getting a generator. 

When it comes to different brands, how did you choose the right generator?
I work with commercial grade generators, and Cummins always stuck out to me for their dependability. Cummins always has had a strong reputation for their engines and generators, and when I found out that Cummins had a smaller unit, I know I found the perfect product for me. Another reason I chose Cummins was its appealing look. It fits well with our landscape. Other generators are narrow and long, while Cummins QuietConnect generators are more of a square, allowing more options around where to place it. 

How was your experience with the local authorized dealer?
The local dealer, Kennedy Power Systems, was very supportive and was helpful throughout the process, from the in-home assessment to installation and maintenance. The process was smooth and very pleasant.

If you live in an area susceptible to power outages, contact one of our local authorized dealers to find the right solution for your home. If you are evaluating which generator to buy, use our online generator size calculator to understand how much power your family needs.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins backs up top sports destination Kigali Arena in Rwanda

Adem Ersoy, Project Engineer at Cummins Turkey's authorized distributor Mepa Energy, stands next to the standby power system at Kigali Arena.
Adem Ersoy, Project Engineer at Cummins Turkey's authorized distributor Mepa Energy, stands next to the standby power system at Kigali Arena.

Kigali Arena, the largest sports stadium in eastern Africa, is now open. Located just outside the Amahoro National Stadium in Remera, Rwanda, the 10,000-seat facility was inaugurated in August by Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Kigali ArenaThe arena is scheduled to host the inaugural Basketball Africa League inaugural semi-finals and finals in March 2020, and expected to host the 2021 FIBA Men’s Africa Basketball Championship after it was announced earlier this year that Rwanda will host the tournament. In addition to sporting events like basketball, volleyball and martial arts, it will also be a centre for concerts, conferences and exhibitions. The complex sits on 28,000 square metres of land and includes 13 cafeterias and restaurants, six changing rooms, two coaching staff rooms , a fitness centre and a media hall.

Summa Company of Turkey built the arena in only six months. The standby power system consists of three units of Cummins C1100D5B 0.4 kV generator sets, which are synchronized and commissioned. The three Cummins C1100D5B generator sets proves this capability by being able to start and synchronize with each other and take the full load at about 8-12 seconds. Cummins Turkey Dealer Mepa Energy has engineered, installed and commissioned the power system with daily fuel tanks, automatic replenishing system and sound attenuators.

Anisha George

As a Marketing Communications Specialist, Anisha supports marketing, communications and event management for Africa and Middle East regions. Prior to joining Cummins in 2011, she gained industry experience working in the event management field. [email protected] 

Powering the final frontier: A quest to return to the moon

Cummins India - moon mission

Earlier this summer, India attempted humankind's 39th soft landing attempt to the moon. The lander traveled more than 200,000 miles in an attempt to land on the moon's South Pole. 

Just 1.6 miles. That was the distance between India's Vikram moon lander and the moon before the communication with the lander was lost. But optimism and pride for the mission still abounds, as the orbiter was successfully deployed and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) plans to map the surface of earth's closest - and only - natural satellite. 

A mission filled with excitement and pride from the beginning

July 22, 2019 was a historic day for the country of India and Cummins Inc., as the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched its second successful mission, titled Chandrayaan-2, to the moon.  

In addition to the entire country of India watching Chandrayaan-2 exiting earth’s atmosphere with great pride, a team of Cummins employees were experiencing an additional feeling of accomplishment as they played a significant part in powering the entire launch. A specially engineered Cummins generator performed flawlessly to ensure the Chandrayaan-2 had the power to leave the earth.

Cummins has been powering the world for over 100 years but powering beyond our atmosphere was a challenge the company enthusiastically accepted. A few months back, Chandrashekhar Chougule, Senior General Manager of Technical Support at Cummins India, and Shantha Kumar, Business Development Manager at Cummins India, had embarked on solving a very complex problem of ensuring the Cummins C500D5P genset could perform under extreme temperatures with very limited ventilation. 

It was during the installation and commissioning the team realized the genset was going to be placed directly under the launchpad and was going to power the liftoff. The installation was also quite complex due to the need for continuous operation of the genset when the rocket is moved from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launchpad. The controller also needed to be integrated with a remote monitoring system that was part of the mission control center. This entire setup was also synchronized with two remotely installed C1250D5P 1250KVA gensets. 

The month of the launch, the Distribution segment team asked to place a team of people and a service van at the service site to respond immediately in case of any emergencies. Sunkiah, Vamsi and Christopher were the service engineers deputed to the site. They were on 24/7 standby for a few days prior to the launch as the ISRO went about their readiness actions for the launch. 

And when the liftoff happened, the Cummins C500D5P was more than up to the task. And when the entire nation cheered for the ISRO, Cummins India cheered both for ISRO and the Power Generation and DBU teams who defined Cummins’ role in the space exploration history of India.

To read similar stories follow Cummins on Facebook and connect on LinkedIn. To learn more about how Cummins is powering a world that’s “Always On,” visit our web page.

Think your friends and colleagues would like this content? Share on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Top five U.S. states with the longest power outages

Most Americans have lost their power at one point or another. Here are the top-five states with the longest average power outages, and a few power outage preparedness tips for you and your family. 

After a long day at the office, many Americans relax by watching TV… watching over 2.5 hours of TV to be exact 1. But imagine coming home to no power. How would you spend your free time? 

Being without power is a very real possibly for most Americans. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Electric Power Industry Report, every state in the U.S. experienced a power outage in 2017. While the average U.S. power outage lasts over seven hours, residents of the following five states experienced power outages lasting at least twice that long:

Top five states with longest power outages
The average duration of a power outage in the U.S. was seven-plus hours according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration

Maine: Maine led the nation in length and frequency of power outages 2, with average power outage lasting 40 hours. While severe weather, winter storms in Maine’s case, was the leading cause of these outages, the slower than expected pace of the local utility company to restore service caused a public outcry. 

Florida: It is said that wherever you are in Florida you are less than 60 miles away from ocean. While Floridians and visitors enjoy the sand, sea and sun, they also experience more hurricanes than any other state. In fact, about a quarter of all hurricanes that hit the U.S. Mainland hit Florida. In 2017, category 4 Hurricane Irma hit Cudjoe Key and left 7.7 million people in the state without power at some point. 

New Hampshire: Mount Washington peaks at 6,288 ft and offers breath taking scenes for viewers whether it is summer or winter. But if you plan to visit the Granite State in the winter, consider packing a flashlight and comfort items in case of a power outage. In October 2017, a winter storm left one third of New Hampshire without electricity for several hours to days 3

Georgia: With more than 10 million residents and one of world’s busiest airports, Georgia consumes more electricity than most other states and has more to lose if faced with power outages. Yet Georgia residents experienced an average of 17 hours without power in 2017, partially due to Hurricane Irma leaving more than a million residents in the dark. 

Vermont: Forests and snow, two things most of us imagine thinking of Vermont. Vermont gets lots of snow, more than 80 inches per year to be accurate 4, and is one of the most heavily forested states. A combination of dense forests and heavy snowfall makes falling tree limbs a key reason for power outages averaging 15 hours.

Preparedness is Key to Protecting Your Family and Home During a Power Outage

  1. Take inventory of items you need that require electricity, including security systems and medical devices. Speak to your medical profession about a back up plan for medical devices requiring electricity and medications requiring refrigeration. 
  2. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by installing carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home and by operating portable generators outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. 
  3. Weather is the leading cause of power outages in the U.S. Sign up for local weather alerts and follow your local news providers to stay up-to-date on weather systems impacting your area. Take two minutes to watch preparation tips for every season and type of disaster from meteorologist Cheryl Nelson, Disaster Preparedness Advisor for Cummins.
  4. Create a disaster prep kit for each member of your family to ensure their safety and comfort during a power outage. A basic kit should include bottled water, non-perishable food and battery-powered flashlights. 
  5. Consider purchasing a home generator to ensure vital medical equipment and appliances like sump pumps stay on during a power outage.

A home standby generator like the Cummins Quiet Connect Series turns on automatically the moment an outage occurs to power your entire home or just select appliances, based on your power needs and budget. For families with basic power needs or minimal risk of power outage, a Cummins Onan portable generator may be the right choice. Use our online generator size calculator to understand how much power your family needs.

For more power outage safety tips, check out our weather prep tips page. And visit homegenerators.cummins.com to learn more about backup power options for your home, including criteria for determining whether a portable or standby generator is the right choice for your needs and an online calculator to help you understand how much power your family consumes. 

References: 
1 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2019, June 19). American Time Use Survey Summary. [Report]. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov
2 U.S. Energy Information Agency. (2018, Nov 30). Average U.S. electricity customer interruptions totaled nearly 8 hours in 2017. [Article]. Retrieved from https://www.eia.gov/
3 Tuohy, D. (2017, Nov 3). Top 5 Power Outages in New Hampshire. [Article]. Retrieved from https://www.nhpr.org/
4 National Weather Service. (n.d.). Historical Monthly Snowfall - Burlington, VT. [Data Table]. Retrieved from https://www.weather.gov/ 
 

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

Don’t be caught unprepared for a power outage

What would you do if you were without power for seven hours? A recent Cummins survey found that people spend time with family and friends, play games, read, nap, enjoy the quiet, or get productive. Many simply get frustrated. 

Being without power is a very real possibly for most Americans. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Electric Power Industry Report, every state in the U.S. experienced a power outage in 2017, with the average outage lasting over seven hours! 

How does your home state stack up against its neighbors? We’ve ranked every state by average power outage duration annually1

U.S. states ranked by length of power outages

Over 20 hours
1. Maine 
2. Florida

15 to 20 hours
3. New Hampshire 
4. Georgia

10 to 15 hours
5. Vermont
6. Michigan
7. Rhode Island
8. West Virginia

5 to 10 hours
9. Tennessee
10. Mississippi
11. Texas
12. Arkansas
13. Louisiana
14. South Carolina
15. Kansas
16. Alabama 
17. Oregon

Less than 5 hours
18. Idaho
19. Connecticut
20. Massachusetts
21. Oklahoma
22. Washington
23. Hawaii
24. Missouri
25. North Carolina
26. New York
27. Ohio
28. Colorado
29. Montana
30. Wyoming
31. Wisconsin
32. California
33. Indiana
34. Kentucky
35. Virginia
36. Pennsylvania
37. Delaware
38. Nebraska
39. Alaska
40. Utah
41. New Mexico
42. Minnesota
43. Illinois
44. Maryland
45. Iowa,
46. South Dakota
47. Arizona
48. New Jersey
49. North Dakota
50. Nevada

What causes the power outages? 

Severe weather is the leading cause of power outages in U.S., followed by vandalism, physical attacks and system operation issues. Changing weather patterns have brought an increasing number of severe weather events ranging from hurricanes and wildfires to winter storms and tornadoes. Hurricanes and wildfires bring down transmission or distribution lines and force power plant closures, leaving consumers without electricity. Heat waves increase the usage of some power-hungry amenities including air conditioners, causing a surge in the demand for electricity. This surge can overheat the grid or overload the supply, both can result in blackouts.  

How can you protect you and your family during these power outages?

Despite the preparedness hype that comes with each new season, a 2018 survey by Cummins found that most people (75%) wished they had been more prepared for severe weather and more than 60% wished they had backup power for their homes. Consider purchasing a whole house generator to ensure vital medical equipment and appliances like sump pumps stay on during a power outage. A home standby generator like Cummins Quiet Connect Series turns on automatically the moment an outage occurs and has the ability to power your entire home, including smart devices and entertainment systems. For families with basic power needs or minimal risk of power outage, a Cummins Onan portable generator may be the right choice. 

Find additional prep tips for every season and type of disaster from meteorologist Cheryl Nelson, Disaster Preparedness Advisor for Cummins, here. And visit homegenerators.cummins.com to learn more about backup power options for your home, including criteria for determining whether a portable or standby generator is the better choice for your needs and an online calculator to help you understand how much power your family consumes. 

References: 
1 U.S. Energy Information Administration. [July 31, 2019]. Annual Electric Power Industry Report for 2017. Retrieved from https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861/ 

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

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