California PG&E outages, climate change increased this company's stock

As PG&E executed rolling blackouts in California with the hope of preventing wildfires, residents expressed frustration.

But Generac Chairman and CEO Aaron Jagdfeld joined FOX Business’ Liz Claman on "The Claman Countdown" to discuss how his backup generator company has benefitted from these power outages, with Generac stock up 67% compared to this time last year.

Generac provides generators for both the residential market and the business-commercial market and Jagdfeld pointed out the need for power ranges from homes to cell phone carriers to hospitals and more.

Jagdfeld said the outages have driven a tremendous amount of interest in backup power from homeowners and business owners alike.

“We're doing everything we can to get as much product to that part of the country as we possibly can right now,” he said.

Some have questioned PG&E’s reasoning for the blackouts, like California Gov. Gavin Newsome, who said “this is not — from my perspective — a climate change story, as much as a story about greed and mismanagement over the course of decades.”

In response to this, Jagdfeld said climate change has actually been a large factor in his company’s growth and stock rise.

“We've grown 10 percent a year for the last decade ... Really, because of the severity of weather,” he told Claman. “The severity and the frequency of storms has increased. And as that happens, you're more susceptible to experience a power outage. And as people go through those outages, they turn to a product like ours to help them work through it.”

Jagdfeld also spoke on the future of the energy industry and said he sees major changes coming in the next 10 years.

“We believe that traditional utility model — this idea of power being generated in a central plant by coal or nuclear power and being transmitted hundreds or thousands of miles across wires to your meter, your home, or your business's electrical meter  ... That arrangement is gonna change,” he said.


Earlier in 2019, Jagdfeld’s company acquired Pika Energy, Inc., which works to capture and store solar energy and grid power, which could lead to each individual home generating its own electricity.

“Whether that's solar or wind, they're going to store that power," Jagdfeld said. "They're going to consume that power when they need it, and they're going to have a choice and a say and more flexibility in what they pay for that power.”