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Rolling Blackouts in CA & How Whole-Home Generators Can Help

By Your Advisor 9/17/21 12:41 PM Time to read:


In 2020, about half a million homes across California suddenly lost power due to a heat storm that impacted much of the state. The root cause of this blackout is said to be improper planning on the part of energy providers, who have said that they have since invested in careful organization to prevent any loss of power in the future. However, even with more extensive planning, there is no guarantee that power shortages like this one won’t occur in the future.

If you want to be protected from any future potential losses of power, investing in a whole-home generator is your best option.

In the blog below, we’ll share more details surrounding the blackouts of 2020, as well as provide you with information about the benefits of back-up generators and how investing in one now could be your best move to mitigate future blackouts.

If you’d prefer to have a professional provide you with a free whole-home generator estimate now, reach out to us! You can also learn more about our services via our whole-home generator installation page.

Rolling Blackouts: What you should know

As we’ve already shared, in 2020, there were rolling blackouts across California that affected quite a few homes and families. According to the LA Times, energy professionals shared that the blackouts happened because energy companies didn’t take climate change into account, failing to line up the proper power sources in order to keep electricity flowing after sundown. 

When California experienced higher than normal temperatures, there was a sudden demand for electricity which created an energy deficit. Energy officials say that these events may become more common in the future as climate change continues to affect temperatures, and that careful planning will be vital, especially as California phases out fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy. 

Blackout prevention: Whole-home Generators

As the risk of blackouts continues to increase, homeowners are looking for ways to protect their homes and to ensure that regardless of what happens with the power grid, their homes have electricity.

Whole-home generators are devices that work independently of the power grid, and can provide backup power to your home if you experience a blackout.

These stand-by generators have a part called an automatic transfer switch, which will automatically transfer your home’s electrical load from the power grid to the generator if a power outage occurs.

Types of generators:

There are a few different types of generators, ranging from small, portable generators that can power a few small devices to larger, permanent whole-home generators that can power all the appliances in your home. 

Portable generators are easily moveable and are a great option if you’re only interested in powering a few small appliances. Portable generators are less expensive than standby generators but do provide less power and require a manual start.

Whole-home generators, also known as back-up or stand-by generators, are permanent devices that are typically installed on a concrete pad outside of your home. These generators are more expensive than portable generators but can power your entire home.

If you’re trying to determine which type or size of generator is best for your home and needs, you should look at the kW rating. Generators are rated in either Watts or Kilowatts (kW), which indicates the power output of the generator. The kW rating of a generator should exceed the amount of power you need to keep the appliances you want going during a power outage.

Benefits of whole-home generators:

Outside of a backup electricity source in the case of a blackout, back-up generators can result in additional benefits like:

  • Improved safety and comfort A stand-by generator will keep your home’s appliances and systems running even when blackouts occur, preventing issues like frozen/burst pipes, damaged appliances, alarm systems going down, etc. Overall, having a whole-home generator can improve the overall safety of your home and keep you comfortable, no matter what the season.

  • Saved moneyIf your electricity goes out for an extended amount of time, appliances like your refrigerator will stop working, which means you’ll likely need to toss all of your perishable food and beverages. This can end up costing quite a bit of money. Investing in a back-up generator ensures that no matter what happens with the power grid, you will have electricity, saving you money in the event of a blackout.

  • Added home value A whole-home generator can add value to your home which means that even though it is an upfront investment, it’s one that you will likely see a return for if/when you sell your home.

Cost of whole-home generators:

Whole-home generators typically cost anywhere from $11,000 to $24,000, with the average cost somewhere around $16,000 to $17,000. 

The cost of a whole-home generator depends on: 

  • The kW rating of the generator or the number of appliances you need to keep powered if/when a blackout occurs
  • The type of fuel your generator uses - A gas-powered generator will usually cost less than a generator that runs off of diesel fuel or propane.
  • Any permits needed - Some locations require a permit depending on the size of the generator. A permit will increase the overall cost of your installation.
  • Any extra features - Some generators are more advanced than others and have features like sound-muffling devices. The more advanced your generator is, the more expensive it will be

However, the best way to determine how much it will cost for you to install a back-up generator is to have a professional check out your home, speak to you about your needs and budget and provide you with an exact estimate. 

Learn more about the cost to install a whole-home generator.

Ready to install a whole-home generator? Choose the pros at Burgeson’s!

If you think a whole-home generator is the best option for your home, reach out to us. We will listen to your needs and budget and then provide you with a fair, honest recommendation. All of our work is backed by an equipment guarantee and a workmanship guarantee, so you can trust us to install your back-up generator safely and correctly.

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