Demand for standby backup generators that use natural gas or liquid propane has grown in the Quad Cities area of eastern Iowa and western Illinois. "We started doing installations in 2005 and used to get about one inquiry a month. Now we get at least an inquiry a day," said Jeff Lanum, owner of Russell Electric. Although the installation of standby generators costs more than buying portable units, experts say the standby types can provide power for everything in a house, whereas owners of portable units need to calculate the wattage of the appliances used.

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