How SchagrinGas has grown its generator business

March 21, 2022 By    

Mark Wood, vice president of operations at SchagrinGas in Middletown, Delaware, shares insights about the company’s generator business. 

LP Gas: Can you explain the work you’re doing on the generator side?

Photo of Mark Wood


Wood: We are a Generac Elite Plus dealer, so we sell, install and service their residential and commercial standby generators.

LP Gas: Why get involved in the generator space – what spurred the decision and when did it start?

Wood: We started selling generators in the mid to late 1990s to help some of our propane customers fulfill their backup power needs. Fears surrounding Y2K produced a spike in sales that cemented our place in the market for installation and service. Over the past 20 years, home standby generators have gone from a luxury item to a “must have” for many people.

LP Gas: How many employees are involved in this segment and who does the generator installs?

Wood: We have four locations that install generators throughout Delaware and parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania, and it’s usually a two-person crew to set the generator and do the gas piping. We’ve also got installation coordinators that schedule the work and make sure permits and inspections are taken care of. Our generator installation crews also install the other gas appliances that we sell and service, such as hearth products, grills, tank and tankless water heaters, and HVAC equipment. We’ve also got one full-time generator service technician that we keep busy doing routine maintenance and repairs in our highest density areas, along with several other cross-trained technicians to ensure coverage over our entire customer base.

LP Gas: Is this segment growing? How do you market this side of the business to customers?

Wood: It’s definitely growing, and we typically see some seasonality with hurricane season and winter storms. Our area had some severe storms including a rare tornado in August 2020 that gave us a bump in sales, and we’ve seen a sustained increase in demand that we attribute to “work from home” customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We market using print, social media, radio, vehicle graphics, email and invoice stuffers.

LP Gas: How much propane does a generator burn?

Wood: A typical air-cooled residential generator burns around 2 to 3 gallons per hour, depending on load. It can be a little higher if everything is maxed out, but most people don’t run everything all-out, 24 hours a day.

LP Gas: What type of reaction are you getting from customers?

Wood: Our customers love their generators. Generators provide peace of mind that comes from knowing we can continue to enjoy the necessities and comfort items we’re accustomed to – heat, air conditioning, lights, internet connectivity and, around here, sump pumps – no matter what Mother Nature sends our way. It’s taking control of your home instead of being dependent on utility power.

Featured homepage photo courtesy of Generac

This article is tagged with , , and posted in Current Issue, Featured, From the Magazine

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

Comments are currently closed.