What is a standby generator, how is it different from other types of generators and why is investing in one important for your home?
If you value energy independence and resiliency — especially if you live in a state where hurricanes, wildfires, snowstorms or other natural disasters can cause widespread, long-lasting power outages — then this could be one of the most important things on your property.
What Is a Standby Generator?
A standby generator is a backup power system that automatically turns on when your main power source is disconnected for any reason. It is most often powered by natural gas or propane and can provide enough electricity to power your entire home — including lights, appliances and HVAC systems.
When the power goes out, your standby generator automatically detects the problem and starts powering your home within seconds — there is no work needed on your end, and in some cases, you won’t even realize you’ve lost power.
Once the power comes back, the generator immediately switches into standby mode — hence the name — ready for the next outage. Unlike portable generators that require manual setup and connection to your home’s electrical system, standby generators are permanently installed outside your home and connected directly to your electrical panel – meaning more reliable power for all your critical energy needs.
Since a home standby generator runs on natural gas, it’s not only cleaner and safer than its portable counterpart, but you won’t have to worry about costly refueling or trips to a gas station during extreme weather or other dangerous road conditions.
Why Is a Home Standby Generator Important?
A home standby generator — alone, or in addition to solar panels or a solar plus solar battery storage system — can be an important last line of defense for your home, your family’s safety and your peace of mind during a power outage.
When your home loses electricity, it means more than sitting in the dark. It means losing access to vital lifelines like your phone, laptop, electric vehicle, electric garage door opener, internet connection and major appliances for heating, cooling and refrigeration.
The costs stemming from an outage — replacing spoiled food, staying in a hotel and paying repair costs — can add up fast, and not having air conditioning or heat during extreme temperatures can be dangerous.
All of that can be handily avoided if your home is connected to a standby generator.
Standby Generators in Extreme Weather
A home standby generator is particularly important if you live in an area prone to natural disasters. In Florida, for example, hurricane season — which runs from June through November — can render your home without power for days.
We saw this in 2022 with Hurricane Ian, when more than 2 million Florida Power & Light customers lost power. In California, utility providers like Pacific Gas & Electric routinely shut off power for thousands of customers as part of planned safety measures in response to wildfires. Though it’s often a tough decision made to protect the public, it’s terribly disruptive for the people it affects.
Severe winter storms handed Texas a major crisis in 2021, when energy infrastructure failure led to loss of power for more than 4.5 million homes and businesses.
In the Northeast, states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut face power outages stemming from polar vortexes, hurricanes, tropical cyclones, tornadoes and other storms.
Having a standby generator during any of these extreme weather events can put your home in a much better position to avoid resulting power outages.
Home Standby Generators
Do power outages have you thinking about an emergency power supply for your home? It might be time to consider getting a home generator.
Want Your Own Standby Generator?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to choosing a home standby generator. A trusted home energy expert — like a Sunnova dealer — can work with you to design and install the right system to fit your needs and budget.
Don’t wait to invest until after your home and family have experienced a power outage.
Be proactive, protect your property and get in touch with a standby generator expert near you, today.