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Castle building supply stores in P.E.I. partner with Sommers Generators


August 4, 2020
By Sommers Generator Systems

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Two Castle building supply stores have partnered with Sommers Generators to provide storefront sales and service to customers on Prince Edward Island.

O’Leary Building Centre and Spring Valley Building Centre are both operated by Mike James. James met with Sommers’ President Chris McGregor to plan Sommers’ first retail locations in Prince Edward Island. Sommers designs and builds a full range of generator systems in Stratford, Ontario and maintains a regional head office and warehouse in Moncton, New Brunswick. Known as “Canada’s Power House in Generator Systems,” Sommers has been a Canadian leader in electrical power products since 1936.

Mike James says that demand for generator power has changed in recent years. “Our stores have carried smaller portable units for a long time but we have seen a growing interest in installed standby power with Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS). We are already stocking Sommers’ propane-powered HOME generators, in the 12 to 40 kW range. We are also providing sales and support for Sommers’ custom-built systems up to 2,000 kW for commercial, industrial and municipal installations.”

Sommers’ rental fleet of large mobile generator systems will supplement the stores’ own inventory of rental equipment for contractors and for emergency power. This includes a new trailer-mounted 60 kW package with in-base fuel storage.

Chris McGregor welcomed the James’ team to the Sommers’ sales network. “This is a new opportunity for us,” he explains. “Personal service is a critical factor in providing a successful installation of a new standby generator. Our Home Series Generator Systems are ideal for giving us a footprint at the local store level and for building our expertise to meet the specialized needs in the region.”

Islanders respond
Brianna Flood and Scott Fingler are leading the stores’ development of their generator business. As Marketing Manager, Flood has been highlighting the new HOME systems in social media. “We have been getting a lot of response to our posts. Our first goal is simply to build awareness that these systems are available and we have them in stock. Most homeowners here don’t know that there is a good selection of sizes and types and service to choose from and we can help them choose the one that’s best for their home.”

Fingler is the sales specialist for both residential and commercial systems. As a qualified electrician by trade, he’s able to walk customers through a complete assessment of their needs and the choices that are available to them. “I’m glad that we offer customers a product that really is technically superior and well proven in the field. Residential customers are very interested in standby power that kicks in automatically and to supply their entire home. They don’t have to learn all about load management to keep comfortable the next time a storm takes the power out.” According to Fingler, prospective customers are also reassured that the pre-packaged HOME system is driven by brand-name Briggs & Stratton engines.

Being prepared
“Commercial and municipal projects take more time and more consultation,” Fingler says. “I’m working on meeting as many planners as I can these days, so we’ll be in a good position by the Spring, when the customers start to think more about long term solutions for backup power.”

“PEI learned some hard lessons when Hurricane Dorian came through here last year,” Flood recalls. “We are especially vulnerable here on the island. Along with businesses that rely on electrical power to produce and communicate, installed systems are valuable for the safety of individuals who live alone or don’t have the strength to start up a portable unit. Working with Sommers, we can help the people, businesses and communities become better prepared for the next big event.”