There are really only three reasons a “residential” person would want to generate power:
- They live away from the electric grid.
- They wish to be electricity independent and this includes lowering or eliminating their electric utility bill.
- The gridded power has gone out for one reason or another.
Off-the-grid enthusiasts look at generating their own everyday power needs that can be anything from complete electrical self-reliance to just generating and storing enough electricity for a few hours and they deal with energy storage too. Off-Griders generally look at solar, wind, hydro and geothermal for energy generation. This article is NOT about energy independence – It is about Emergency Energy.
The greater majority of us fall into the power failure category, especially since electricity has become a necessary convenience to a large portion of the population. To many of us any power outage longer than a couple of hours is much more than just an inconvenience, it feels threatening too!
There are a good number of things that can cause a power failure from an accident, brownouts, high usage rolling blackouts and severe weather, to some kind of electromagnetic disaster.
These kinds of incidents have us thinking about alternatives to gridded power and for most urbanites that means some kind of Home Emergency Electrical Generator.
Emergency Power is typically for 3-7 days. Some industries have emergency back-up power for up to 10 days. Very few, if any look beyond that.
Understand that "whole house" emergency generator power is NOT the same as full scale off-the-grid. You still have to unplug and turn off non-essential appliances and devices. If you are truly looking for a full-house-no-change-in-personal-electrical-usage system then you need to look at Alternative and Off-grid systems, even if you only plan to use it in emergencies.
There are many kinds of emergency electrical generators for home or residential use from portable to stationary, from back-up power for the entire house, to just minimal back-up power for a few key appliances and devices. Each generator type has its own pros’ and cons’ and uses different types of fuel to generate electricity.
Options and accessories are many. Keep in mind just what kind of electrical outage you are preparing for. If you are looking at some kind of wide spread CME or EMP, then the more digital your generator and accessories are, the more you will need a Faraday Cage for each piece to guarantee the generator and its devices are operational. If you are just worried about several days of rolling outages, then how much you need to power while the grid is down will be one of the most important points you are looking for.
Key decision makers for us are usually the overall cost, followed by ease of use and maintenance.
Choosing a generator can be tricky because every home is different. Something that you may have had in your previous home may not work in the home that you are in at the moment.
Most importantly these generators are NOT something you can purchase, store and only worry about when the power goes out. They need regular maintenance no matter if they have been in use or not. The fuels utilized have various shelf-lives and risk factors too.
Bottom Line: Every power generator is NOT ideal in every situation!
Read more about some essential things to consider to ensure you get the right generator for your needs.