Gain Power with a Standby Generator
While demand for electricity in the U.S. is increasing, electricity supply margins are decreasing. On top of this, more extreme weather events where the grid or the surrounding environment is at risk leave Americans more vulnerable to power outages, which have been felt throughout California during the Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) that happened in 2019 and for Floridians in the wake of severe storms.
When the electrical grid goes down (or is shut off) in a home without power backup, the losses can include more than you might think, including:
- Loss of heating
- Reduced access to emergency services
- Ruined food in fridge or freezer
- Spoiled medications requiring refrigeration
- Loss of electrical medical equipment
This can hit some families harder than others, especially when you consider the costs of replacing spoiled food and medicine.
As power outages become more frequent and last longer in certain parts of the country — particularly California during wildfire season, and Florida during hurricane season — many homeowners are looking for ways to safeguard their homes with backup power.
Here is what you need to know about whole-home generators and options for generators paired with solar panels for keeping the lights on in your home. Also, learn how you can prepare for an outage by installing a generator backup power source with PACE financing.
Exploring Home Generators
Home standby generators come in a variety of types and fuel sources. Typical standby generators that are permanently affixed to the home are tied to a natural gas line or a propane line, and can also be paired with solar panels. Backup generators come in many sizes and output levels, so sizing your backup generator will depend on the specific needs and energy demands of your home. Though there are portable standby generators available, they typically do not provide enough electricity to power an entire home.
Automated backup generators can detect when there is an outage present (like a PSPS event) using an automatic transfer switch that turns a generator on right away to minimize the amount of time a home is without power.
Solar Backup Options
While grid-tied solar panels will stop producing electricity when the grid goes down for precautionary measures, there are also options for pairing a whole-home standby generator with your solar. When the grid is running, you can continue to generate your own clean, renewable energy from solar power and then rely on your gas or propane generator for backup when the grid goes down from a PSPS event or unexpected power outages.
Many homeowners may also choose to pair their solar energy system with energy storage from a solar battery for backup power or for using stored energy during peak times or when the sun isn't shining.
Finance Backup Power with PACE
Installing a backup generator will help ensure that your lights stay on, that your food doesn't spoil, and that any medical equipment or medicines you depend on will stay safe during an unexpected outage. While the costs of a home standby generator can start around $2000, the size required and the costs of the proper installation could go upward towards $10,000. For many homeowners, this could mean staying in the dark during the next blackout and facing the costs of an outage.
However, with PACE financing, 100% of the cost and installation of a generator is covered when financed with solar and with no money down. Eligible homeowners could be ready with backup power before the next power outage. Homeowners also benefit from fixed, low-interest rates, and you pay the money back over time as part of your property taxes.
So, if you’re looking for a fast backup power plan for your home in California or Florida, PACE financing can help. Generator installations that qualify must:
- Be permanently affixed to your home
- Run-on natural gas or propane
- Be paired with solar (in California)