Snow day! How to keep your kids entertained during a school closure.

Girl at frozen window on a snowy day

A bomb cyclone moved through the Northeast this week. Winds were clocked at up to 90 mph, leaving behind downed trees and power outages. More than 580,000 across New England were without power, with effects felt as far south as North Carolina and as far west as Ohio. 

Pre-season storms such as this bring a “wintry mix,” of snow, sleet and freezing rain that can lead to power outages, property damage, dangerous road conditions and school closures.  

Stay safe by staying home and use these suggestions to keep your little ones entertained while snowed in!

  1. Movie time: Pop some popcorn and watch movies.
  2. Pretend play: Build a fort… then crawl inside to read books or tell stories.
  3. Arts and crafts: Make your own playdough or slime, paint with homemade puffy paint, and more.
  4. Play games: Play your children’s favorite board games or try charades, red light/green light, or Simon Says. 
  5. Cooking: Put on your chef hat and get to baking! Bake sugar cookies, decorate them, and then have a tea party.
  6. Dance party: Get out some of that energy with a dance party. Dim the lights, break out some glow sticks and turn up the music!
  7. Get holiday-ready: Get into the holiday spirit and make salt dough ornaments or holiday cards. 
  8. Put on a show: Play dress-up and have a fashion show!

The best part, most of these don’t require power!

If you lose power due to a winter storm, layer your clothes and use plenty of blankets to keep warm. You should also consider your options and if it's worth investing in a home generator.

A whole house generator like the Cummins QuietConnect Series turns on the moment an outage occurs, keeping your home warm during a winter power outage. These generators are designed to power your entire home and can power everything from kitchen appliances to smart home devices to keep you and your family safe, warm and entertained. Our Cummins Onan portable generators are a great option to power select appliances such as your heater or refrigerator or to assist in post-storm cleanup. And remember: if you’re using a portable generator, operate it outdoors at a safe distance away from your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
It only takes one snow or ice storm to wreak havoc on a community. Protect your home from winter storms and prepare for power outages with these tips from Cheryl Nelson, Cummins Weather and Preparedness Advisor and FEMA-certified disaster preparedness expert. And be sure to sign up for the Cummins Home Power Generation newsletter to get valuable resources and tips, including information on backup power options, to help your family weather the storm.

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.

Energy IQ: What you need to know about Microgrid basics

Earth View of Microgrid

Whether it is through homeowners that install rooftop solar panels or businesses that invest in wind farms, more of us will access electricity through decentralized technologies than direct connection to the grid by the mid-2020s, according to Bloomberg NEF. While most of us translate this outlook to simply implementing more solar panels and wind turbines, that is only half the story. Decentralization has much more profound impacts in our society, including presenting consumers and businesses a choice. A choice to decide how to source their energy needs. Decentralized technologies help enable that consumer choice.

Microgrids are a key part of these decentralized technologies. The term Microgrid can be intimidating, because it may mean different things to different people, so let’s break it down and highlight some of the benefits.

Let’s cover four common questions and answers about living on microgrids to boost your energy IQ.

No. #1: What is a microgrid?

Microgrid basicsA microgrid is a local energy system capable of producing, (potentially storing) and distributing energy to the facilities within the network. Microgrids can be made up of several different assets, also called distributed energy resources (DERs). Commonly used DERs to generate power are solar photovoltaics (PV), wind turbines and power generators. Energy storage systems, intelligent controls and management software are other elements of the system that provide further functionality to the microgrid. Microgrids can be connected to the centralized grid or completely off-grid and self-sustaining. With the obvious need for continuous, reliable power, healthcare facilities can be good applications for grid-connected microgrids. Remote mining sites that need a lot of energy, can be great applications for off-grid microgrids. 

No. #2: What is the difference between microgrids and centralized generation?

The difference can be summed up in two words;  Proximity and resiliency.

Microgrids are near facilities they power. On the other hand, electricity, in centralized power generation, is produced in central power plants that could be hundreds to thousands of miles away from facilities being powered. This proximity of microgrids reduces losses in energy transmission and the significant cost of installing new transmission and distribution networks.

Most microgrids deliver improved energy resiliency through redundant DERs, a combination of solar PV, natural gas or diesel power generators and energy storage systems. Depending upon the microgrid design, facilities can still be powered even if any of these DERs fail. In comparison, a failure in a power plant could put businesses in the dark.

No. #3: How does a microgrid work?

Intelligent controls and management software are at the core of microgrids. Many control systems can track the energy needs of the facility and determine how to supply the needed energy. These control systems consider and evaluate factors such as cost, fuel supply, weather and energy load required to decide which DERs to utilize.

As mentioned, microgrids can be made up of many different assets, these control systems are the key element to manage dispatching the best asset based on these factors. Finally, some microgrids also feature energy storage systems to capture the energy produced at one time for use later.

No. #4: Why do we need microgrids?


As more businesses focus on sustainability and deploy renewable energy sources such as solar PV, microgrids come to help by integrating these renewable sources into the energy infrastructure. These renewable sources become a physical part of the microgrid and the intelligent controls manage their utilization.


Microgrids feature intelligent controls that can help businesses save money and improve economics. These systems can monitor the cost of energy from different DERs and utilities, then make choices on activating the lowest cost option. They also maximize the contribution of different sources. For example, when the wind isn’t blowing, the energy storage system can be activated to utilize the energy stored from when it was blowing to meet the load. Microgrids also help businesses participate in demand response and demand charge management programs to lower their costs.


Microgrids improve the resiliency of the local energy infrastructure by adding redundant DERs, which provide energy to the businesses. For a grid-tied microgrid, this means local DERs, ranging from solar PV to power generators, can continue to power the businesses and facilities during a utility outage.

Cummins involvement in microgrids

Cummins is a leading provider of diesel and natural gas power generators, digital solutions and control systems; and has partnered with businesses ranging from greenhouses to healthcare facilities in their efforts to build microgrids. Recently, Cummins’ investments in energy storage and advanced microgrid control technologies has boosted its capability to provide critical microgrid components and deliver complete microgrids tailored for each business’ unique needs.

Microgrids will continue to play a key role in our energy future. Businesses can evaluate the relevancy of microgrids per their unique needs as a part of their broader energy management strategy.

Sign up below for Energy IQ to periodically receive relevant insights and trends about energy management. To learn more about distributed generation solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage.

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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.

Belgian greenhouse gets more than 100% return with new HSK78G gas generator installation

The Valegro greenhouse in Belgium uses the reliable power source of the HSK78G to flexibly meet its own energy needs.

With the installation of Cummins’ newly released HSK78G gas generator series, a greenhouse in Belgium is getting more than a total return on investment.

The Valegro greenhouse in Belgium uses the reliable power source of the HSK78G to flexibly meet its own energy needs. Varegro, in Oostrozebeke, a small town in the province of West Flanders, has already been using the Cummins QSV91G gas generator series in their premises, and selected the new HSK78G to replace the existing generator installation and support the additional power requirements. Pricing, along with previous experience with Cummins offering complete aftermarket and sales/service support, were the main factors behind the customer’s choice to continue powering their greenhouse operations with Cummins.

The HSK78G generator installed offers 2 MW and an electrical efficiency of 44.2%, which leads to greater fuel savings by turning waste heat into productive energy. In this application, its total return is greater than 100%. The customer can use this reliable power source to flexibly meet their own energy needs – specifically, the electricity produced can be used for its lighting, CO2 and hot water. 

Thanks to its heat buffer, the customer can also influence the variable energy market and support the grid network. The generator is self-managed, which implies that it has a higher tolerance toward variable natural gas fuel qualities and resistance to any external environmental factors. As a result, the benefits of cogeneration will be even greater for the customer, providing higher efficiency compared to former installations. The surplus of the electricity being produced is sold back to the grid network, offering greater financial savings for the company. Upon the completion of the installation, the exhaust gas has been measured frequently to make sure that the generator’s service life is longer.

Cummins is supporting the project’s full maintenance. Thanks to highly qualified technicians and specialists working on a 24/7 basis, the installation runs continuously with limited downtime, which further increases the total profitability of the installation.

“Cummins provided a custom-made gas solution to offer maximum efficiency with the greatest possible cost savings to the customer,” said Stefan DeWit, Project Manager - Cummins Power Generation.

Find out more on the HSK78G generator series here.

To find out more about Cummins cogeneration power solutions, visit

Adam Sidders Marketing Communications Leader Power Systems

Adam Sidders

Adam Sidders is the Marketing Communications Leader for the Power Systems Business Unit of Cummins Inc. Prior to joining Cummins in 2012 Adam worked in Financial Services for Europe’s largest independently owned insurer as their Marketing and Communications Manager. [email protected]

When is the best time to buy a whole house generator?

Home Being powered by generator

When it comes to shopping for a household appliance like a refrigerator, dishwasher or television, most consumers know the best times to purchase. However, it becomes a little bit more difficult to find the right time when it comes to investing in a whole house generator, since the right time changes depending upon your unique circumstances and the prices of these products don’t tend to change throughout the year.

Here are the three considerations to determine when is the best time for you to invest in a whole house generator.

If you know you will need it, buy it before you need it

You can buy a TV or a refrigerator and begin using them the day you need it. If there is a power outage and you need to get a generator, this might take several days to weeks, depending upon the severity of the outage. For instance, weather events such as hurricanes or wildfires could leave thousands to millions in the dark. Finding a local dealer to install your whole house generator, when thousands of others are looking for the same, would be a challenge.
If you live in an area where frequent power outages occur, don’t wait for the next power outage to persuade you to get a home generator. The cost of an extended power outage could exceed $14,000, and your investment in a whole house generator could pay for itself with that first power outage.

Consider the timing of severe weather events that might put lights out at your home

Severe weather events tend to impact specific geographies photoSevere weather events ranging from hurricanes to snowstorms are the number one reason for power outages. Most severe weather events take place at certain times of the year and impact specific geographies. Hurricanes tend to take place from May to November and impact eastern seaboard and south. Wildfires tend to happen during summer months and occur more frequently across the western half of the U.S. For instance, you would have a difficult time getting a whole house generator with a short notice during the summer months in Florida, since the hurricane activity increases the demand for generators.

Consider the severe weather events that might impact you and your family and get a whole house generator a few months in advance.

Be prepared for the unexpected, including squirrels

You can plan around hurricanes, snow storms or even wildfires. What about earthquakes or a squirrel like the one that has left hundreds in the dark including the local community hospital? Whether it is weather or other reasons, power outages are a part of our lives, and electricity customers in the U.S experienced an average of over seven hours without power due to outages in 2017. If you are seeking the ultimate peace of mind and no power interruptions, then the best time to invest in a generator is now, before you and your family experience the power outage.

Are you and your family prepared for power outages? Start your preparation by checking out What to Do Before, During and After a Power Outage. For more preparedness tips and to get valuable resources, consider signing up for the Cummins Home Generators newsletter.

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.

What can you do if the planned power outages turn the lights off in your state

Planned power outage powerline photo

If planned power outage sounds like an irrelevant phrase, think of this: you get up and find out that your phone’s battery is dead and can’t be charged, schools are closed so kids need to stay at home, and you can’t check your work emails from your laptop since internet is not working without electricity.

Beyond these simple activities, planned power outages put the more critical elements of our lives including healthcare facilities and airports at risk; if these facilities don’t have emergency back-up power.

What are planned power outages?

Planned power outages are deliberate decisions made by electric utility companies to cut the power supply to residents and businesses. Most electric utility companies periodically announce planned power outages to conduct maintenance within the electricity infrastructure. These short outages could impact small groups of customers and are nothing more than a simple inconvenience for most of us.

On the other hand, for over two and a half million Californians that are at risk of losing power for hours to days, planned power outages are not simple inconveniences anymore.

Recent planned power outages in California are not for maintenance purposes, instead they aim to reduce wildfires and associated risk to lives and property. This method got increased traction after the Camp Fire destroyed the town of Paradise, California, and killed 85 people in November 2018. The Camp Fire and several other wildfires are considered to be caused by trees hitting the power lines or by faulty transmission lines.Planned power outage wildfire map

Could your state experience extended planned power outages?

Yes, if you live in a state with a high risk of wildfires. The wildfires can threaten lives and property, making residents more prone to experiencing extended planned power outages. Within the U.S., residents of western and southern states face a higher risk of experiencing these extended planned power outages due to higher occurrences of wildfires in these states.

Preparedness is key to protecting your family during a planned power outage

Here are the preparation tips if you live in an area that could be impacted by planned power outages for an extended period.

  • Sign up for updates via phone, text, email and/or social media to be aware of latest developments.
  • Take an inventory of household items that rely on electricity.
  • Plan for any medical needs – like power-dependent medical devices or medications that need to be refrigerated.
  • For peace of mind and no power interruption, consider purchasing a whole house generator. A whole house generator like the Cummins QuietConnect will automatically restore your power the moment it goes off.

If you are interested in a more detailed list, check out What to Do Before, During and After a Power Outage. For more preparedness tips and to get valuable resources, consider signing up for the Cummins Home Generators newsletter

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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