After thousands were without power, in some cases for several days, after the brutal Thanksgiving Storm in October 2019, a business idea was born… Standby Power in Reinfeld.

“It was apparent to me our area was in need of someone knowledgeable in generators,” explained owner Wayne Klassen. “I have a vast amount of experience in the electro-mechanical world, and have repaired generators for over 25 years in my spare time.”

It all started for Klassen after his college training at Assiniboine Community College (ACC) in 1994, where he graduated from automotive electronics. He worked with Peter Rempel Electric for many years repairing and rewinding electric motors, and has remained in the electrical field his entire life. 

“Generators are essentially the culmination of what I enjoy, mechanical tied to electrical,” he shared.

Standby Power is southern Manitoba’s alternative power source provider. Not only do they sell Generac generators, but they also service and repair all types of them, as well. Standby Power is also dealer for Baumalight power take off generators for use with your tractor, King portable generators, and EcoFlow power stations. They also offer a selection of rentals including mobile generators, distribution boxes, heaters and cabling. 

“Standby generators should be considered by any home owner, farmer, or business owner,” he explained while noting the reasons for installing one are numerous. “A residential system looks similar to an air conditioning unit beside your house, powered by natural gas, propane, or diesel fuel. Upon a Hydro grid failure, they automatically take over, powering your home and return you back to the Hydro grid when their power comes back and is stable.” 

Klassen noted the transfer to the standby system is automatic, and the systems have Wi-Fi communication so you can monitor your generator status. 

“This ensures life goes on as normal,” he said. “Even when the power grid fails, you have peace of mind that your pumps, heating and cooling, and all your electronics are safely powered and operational as per normal. Your insurance company will also appreciate your effort of protecting your assets.”

He added, with the push to electric vehicles, we will be even more reliant on steady power, meaning if you have generator power, you can still charge your vehicle, and be able to commute during a power failure.

The benefits for a rural homeowner, yard site owner or farmer are similar.

“We can power the whole yard,” he noted. “This allows you to keep things up and running like shop floor heat, aeration fans, or even the ability to open large shed doors, keep your tractor block heater powered, or the livestock heating, ventilation, and feed systems operational.”

A system geared toward a business would more than likely be a little different taking into account the unique needs for that scenario.

“Power failures wreak havoc on computer systems, and the ability to even take payments is often lost during a power outage,” he stressed. “It’s common during a power outage for employees to be unproductive, because they can not work or even do basic tasks. Keeping your business powered can prevent financial loss, and possibly bring more revenue if your competition cannot serve the public and you can.”

Beyond generators, Standby Power also retails portable power stations which are battery back up systems that charge from the hydro grid, solar panels, or even your car, and take over during a power outage. They operate similarly to a UPS (uninterruptible power supply). They are portable, meaning you can take them with on a camping trip, a job site, or move them around your home to where needed.  

“They are perfect for a home with a natural gas furnace, because we can install a system where the furnace is backed up by a power station, so you can still have heat when the hydro grid fails,” he explained. “They are also perfect for use on sump pumps. Ultimately, power stations can be used by almost anyone as a cheaper solution than a generator.”

And for those looking for a temporary power solution, Standby Power has mobile generators for rent. There are currently three sizes available – 20KW, 38KW, and 58KW. These are diesel powered units and are completely self contained. They also have a portable furnace available to rent to provide safe, easy to use temporary heat from the generator. 

“We are flexible and will meet your needs,” he said. “We can provide a complete installation including all electrical, gas, trenching, and required permits, or we can supply any portion or service you require. After reviewing your scenario, we provide you with the options available for your situation, and build the system that fits your needs.”

And Standby Power goes beyond the initial sale providing servicing for the product lines it retails, and also all makes and models of generators.

“We also have load banks for testing and loading down generators, so we can come to your site and provide load bank services, too,” he said. “This is not only for testing purposes, but diesels that never get worked hard get what is called ‘wet stacking’, and need to be worked hard for a period of time to burn off the tar like substance that collects in the exhaust system. Load banking is the ideal way to remedy this issue.”

And one final thought from Klassen, a piece of advice for those considering a generator system.

“Many times, I’ve seen do-it-your-self folks set up a system that is unsafe or illegal,” he noted. “I encourage you to do things according to the appropriate codes. Standby Power has the products to do this, and the knowledge of codes to make things safe and reliable.”

You can reach Wayne  at Standby Power in Reinfeld at 431-775-1711 or by email . You can also visit their website . They are open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm, but are also available for emergency service 24 hours a day, seven days a week