Many people believe that a standby or backup generator is only relevant if your area is prone to power cuts. Whilst this would be an obvious choice if you currently suffer with power outages on a frequent basis, there are many predictions that over the coming years there will be immense demand on the national grid – and with this increase in demand power cuts will become more common across the country. Investing in a home generator now is sure to pay dividends longer term, possibly financially, but definitely from a comfort and peace of mind perspective.
The National grid, over the last month alone have warned on three separate occasions of potential strain or power outages due to a mix of old power plants being offline, their reserve generators being offline for routine work and instances when their renewable sources cannot make up the shortfall vs the expected demand. You can see one of their Tweets here highlighting this warning from November 3rd 2020.
In their winter report, they are also saying there will likely be less reserve this winter compared to last year, and many people suffered last year from unplanned power outages.
As Infrastructure gets older and the demand continues to get higher, planned maintenance and planned power outages will also increase in frequency and duration. It may, as we mention later in this article, increase the appeal or value of your home.
Why buy a backup or emergency generator?
Lots of points are obvious when you think of power cuts, we wrote a blog highlighting what you may miss out on during a power cut, which you can read here, but we have summarised why you should backup your home with a diesel generator below;
- Keep the lights on – which can be dangerous if you do not have lighting, especially in the long dark winter nights
- Keep your central heating on – and stay warm
- Prevent your food from spoiling or going off within your fridge or freezer – which saves you money having to re-purchase perishable items
- Stay entertained – by keeping your TV on, and by keeping gadgets charged up and ready to use
- Stay connected – Wifi is almost essential these days, with so many devices relying on it, being without internet is surprisingly inconvenient
- Continue working – with many people working from home on a part time or full time remote basis, especially at present with the current COVID implications, no power = no work! This could put even more financial and emotional burden on people should there be planned or unplanned outages.
Overall, the main benefit for you is peace of mind that should there be a power cut, you can effectively continue to work, eat and live as you ‘normally’ do.
If you rely on electricity for health reasons, such as keeping medication cool, keeping equipment running or even if you have tropical fish or exotic animals which need a stable temperature then a backup generator is a must have.
Does a standby generator increase the value of your home?
In short, yes it can increase the value and also the appeal.
Many people ask us if a standby or home backup generator can increase the value of their property. This is hard to define exactly, as a home generator can be more important to some than others. It really can be used as a selling point – and as mentioned above – if someone relies on electricity as a must have then this would set your property apart from others.
Some studies say that backup generators, when properly installed with a transfer switch can increase the sales value of your property by 5% or more. Depending on the value of your property, this can make installing a standby generator a realistic option for a return on investment if that is the main driver for you considering one.
Which standby generator do you need?
In all cases, we strongly recommend you consult a qualified electrician before finding a suitable generator for your home. Backup diesel generators can suffer from something called underloading, so bigger isn’t always better when it comes to fixed speed diesel generators.
You will need an electrician to come out and test the power that you are using within your property.
Once you know the backup power you require, try to find a generator which, based on it’s ‘standby’ rating is 70% of that. For example, if you need 70 Amps of power to run everything in your home, try to find a backup power solution which produces around 100 Amps so you are using around 70% of the generator’s max load. This will prevent underloading, but also give you a cushion should you ever need a little more.
So which standby generator is best for your home?
Bare in mind, before getting an electrician, decide what you would want to keep running in the event of a power cut. Most residential homes have a main breaker of 100Amps, meaning that the absolute most you will ever be drawing off the national grid is 100 Amps. This equates to a generator that can produce around 23kW – so, based on specifying a genset, which, when you are using everything you want, you are using around 70% of the generators maximum output, a 28kW diesel generator like our EVO28KSEm should give you ample power to run everything in your house should the power fail, if you are needing 100Amps of power. In most cases, a 230v single phase generator will be sufficient for your home/residential needs. Our 400v Cummins powered generators are usually used for more commercial or industrial applications.
However, the likelihood of you having all of your lights on, all of your TV’s, having an electric shower…etc all during a power cut is low. So, deciding what you would like to keep running as an essential, then getting an electrician over to measure the amount you are using would be beneficial.
Then, simply give us a call or contact us with those figures and we can help recommend the right generator for your needs.