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Do You Need a Backup Generator for Your Home?

back up generator

4 Reasons Why a Backup Generator Is a Brilliant Idea


Power outages can cause more problems than just turning off the lights in your home. A single power outage can be devastating, from damaging your appliances to putting your daily routine in shambles.


While proper preparation and a comprehensive safety plan can help mitigate the impact of a power outage, they may not be enough to protect your home thoroughly. A backup generator and energy storage system can give you the defense you need to survive even the most prolonged power outage.


As the premier team of electricians in the Santa Clara Valley, Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric has years of experience helping homeowners add the appropriate house battery backup and energy storage systems to withstand a variety of power outages. We’ve put together a guide on what you need to know when considering a generator or whole-house battery backup system for your home.


Power Outage Problems

Power outages can come from several places: extreme weather, car accidents, falling trees, atypical high power demands, damage caused by animals, and more. When your electricity goes out, a variety of unwanted things can happen.

  • Loss of heating or cooling

  • Water wells stop working

  • Food is ruined from lack of refrigeration

  • Loss of lights

  • Impaired functioning of Medical equipment like stair lifts, CPAP machines, and critical monitoring systems

  • Loss of internet, phones, and other communication equipment

  • Flooded basements from lack of sump pump functionality


While some of the impacts of a power outage are merely inconvenient for homeowners, others could be expensive to remedy or even life-threatening in the right situation.


The most damaging impacts of a power outage often occur when the power is restored. Energy surges caused by resetting the power can damage expensive electronics, electric appliances, and your overall home electrical grid. It is even possible that unprotected equipment, like an electric vehicle plugged into an outlet, could be damaged beyond repair. Since most power outages fall under “acts of god,” your insurance company does not have to cover any of the damages.

What Kind of Generator Do I Need?

Home backup generators provide a number of benefits that appeal to homeowners. In general, they use fuel sources like gasoline, natural gas, or solar energy to produce electricity for your home.


Generators come in various shapes and sizes to meet a variety of needs. On the smaller end, portable and inverter generators can be useful for short periods of time but are not typically great options to power your entire home. Some property owners prefer a standby generator. This semi-permanent equipment is slightly larger than a standard AC unit and uses a large fuel tank, and will automatically activate if there is a power outage.


The biggest challenge with using the most common backup generators is that they require another fuel source to operate. Using gasoline or natural gas has an added expense. There are also inherent risks of storing and using combustible fuels. Even most solar backup generators are only rated for short-term use and do not work with the sun is not visible.


Home Energy Storage Systems

While having some kind of backup generator is undoubtedly better than nothing, a better option is to have a licensed electrical contractor install an energy storage system. Energy storage is a general term that includes a whole house battery backup, solar house battery, and more.


Energy storage systems store electricity from your home’s standard electrical grid or solar panels. Most modern solar panels come with short-term solar energy storage, but an energy storage system can store energy for days or weeks. The best part is that an energy storage system does not require keeping dangerous fuels or refilling tanks. With the proper setup with a smart electrical panel, you can even monitor and control when and how backup energy is used.


The Benefits of Backup Generator/Energy Storage System Installation

The best way to get through a power outage unscathed is to be prepared. Regardless of the size of your home, whether or not you have solar power, and the cause of the power outage, a backup generator or home energy storage system provides various benefits.


Maintain Comfort

Power outages do not only happen when the weather is moderate; they can hit during extreme heat or cold seasons, meaning staying home during an outage can be uncomfortable or even unsafe. With the right energy backup system in place, you can ensure that your heating and cooling systems can continue operating.


Access to energy reserves also means not fumbling around with flashlights, lanterns, etc. You may also be able to continue working from home by having electricity to power your computer, cell phone, and more. Your neighbors will also appreciate not listening to the cacophony of a gas-powered generator humming all day.


Protect Your Appliances

Since a power outage can damage expensive and necessary appliances, electronics, and medical equipment, it is prudent to have some kind of protection in place. While a whole house surge protector or point-of-use surge protectors are great options to protect your valuable gear, a battery backup storage system can offer additional protection to keep them running.


Preserve Your Food

Even a simple power outage can compromise the safety of your food in as little as four hours, even if you do not open your fridge or freezer. Harmful bacteria multiply exponentially, and frozen foods can start melting in no time. Having an option to keep the power on means preserving your food.


In the case of more prolonged power outages, having access to safe food is paramount. Your backup energy storage system also provides a way to use electric appliances to prepare your food throughout the blackout.


Lower Electric Bills

There does not have to be a power outage to enjoy the benefits of an energy storage system. Your batteries can capture electricity during non-peak and less costly hours, and you can then use that energy when electric costs are the highest. Installing a battery storage option to your existing solar panels can extend these savings even more.


California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) offers a number of rebates and tax incentives for homes that use advanced energy storage systems, which can further increase your savings.


Let Watson’s Help You Be Prepared

Power outages can happen at any time and without warning. When you install the proper backup generator or energy storage solution in your home, you will be ready for anything, from maintaining comfort through the outage or protecting your electrical equipment from being damaged.


For more information and a free consultation, contact Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric. A certified electrician can help you evaluate your home’s electrical grid, explore energy storage options, and create a plan to best suit your needs and budget. Let us be your resource for all your electrical needs in Gilroy, CA, and the Santa Clara Valley. Call today!