Why are Generators a Tried and True Backup Power Solution?

Backup Batteries and Home Standby Generators

Time to read: 6 minutes

November 10, 2022

More Texans are installing backup power than ever before. In light of sky-high electric bills, power outages caused by the Winter Storm Uri, and blackouts caused by other extreme weather like wildfires and torrential rains, Texans are doing what they’ve always done; become more self-reliant and self-sufficient.. No piece of backup power equipment embodies these qualities like generators. 

In this article, we’re going to go over one of the oldest and most reliable forms of backup power that is, as IES PV Design Engineer Kevin Marceski described it, “tried and true”. Let’s explore the ingenious technology that keeps your home powered no matter what nature throws your way. 

How do generators work?  

Put simply, a generator creates electrical power. Most generators run on natural gas or gasoline. Usually, people will purchase a generator to have electricity in instances where power cannot be accessed or something interrupts the supply of electricity. In most cases, these are instances where someone is trying to construct something before electricity is available, primary power for some farming tools, or in an emergency situation when the power goes out.

When it comes to backup power, generators for homes and businesses is a must. In the best case scenario, the backup generator that is installed will have two qualities. First, it has been sized properly. This means that the generator has been installed to power everything that you need it to power, regardless of whether or not that is a few appliances or your entire home. Second, your generator will activate automatically when it detects a power outage. This is a significant benefit that comes with the proper installation of a backup generator. When your power goes out, a good backup generator will activate so that you can keep everything that you and your family or business needs running properly without interruption. This also means that you don’t need to manually activate your backup generators.    

Are there different types of generators?

Absolutely, but they are used for different things. While some may think that simply having a generator from the local feed store is the same as one that can power a home, the truth is a bit more complicated than that. Let’s explore some of the different types of  generators.

Home standby generator

The home standby generator is a reliable option for those who want to keep their home powered if there is ever a power outage. These generators are permanently installed and run on either natural gas or liquid propane. Some brands like Generac will activate automatically as soon as you lose power. These generators are installed like an outdoor air conditioning unit and can power your entire home in the event of a blackout no matter the cause.

These generators come in different sizes and generate different amounts of kW, so it’s very important to have a professional solar consultant size your system for you. As an additional benefit, these generators run very quietly and hardly create any noise unlike their diesel-powered counterparts. This means that during a blackout, not only do you get to power everything that you need, you also get to do so without losing sleep over a loud generator. 

These generators also pair exceptionally well with the innovative Enphase backup batteries that IES Texas Solar installs. When you pair home standby generators with Enphase backup batteries, you can consider your backup power problems virtually solved. On top of that, backup batteries also give you the ability to take advantage of solar buyback, a benefit that allows you to earn back money for your solar power.  

Business standby generator     

A business standby generator operates and functions the same way that a home standby generator does. When the power goes out, these generators will activate automatically in order to keep your business running. This comes with a slew of benefits, especially if your business relies on a constant stream of electrical power in order to run things like refrigerators, freezers, or medical equipment. 

Industrial generators

These generators are some of the biggest and most powerful in the business, and for good reason; they are used to provide backup power for very large buildings that need to keep everything running smoothly. These generators are either powered by gas, diesel, or a combination of the two. 

Portable generators

These are likely the type of generator that most people are familiar with. These generators are powered by gasoline and, though they range in size, they are easy to transport. Many of these generators are used on farms and construction sites as primary power sources for some equipment. Many of these generators run on gasoline, but there are now many portable generators that are emission free and are battery powered.

While the portability of these generators makes them useful for tools and many types of work, the downside is that many run on gasoline or diesel, making them unsafe to use in enclosed, indoor spaces such as houses. 

Mobile generators

The most unique option on this list is the mobile generator. Not to be confused with portable generators, mobile generators wheels and lights attached to them and are used for both lighting and power on job sites. Mobile generators are a fantastic choice for construction sites in which work at night is required.

Why should I install a backup generator?

This is the big question, and the answer is very straightforward: power outages happen. Whether power outages are caused by large, far reaching weather events like Winter Storm Uri (which caused rolling blackouts and caused Texans to lose power for days at a time), floods caused by torrential rain, or even wildfires, you and your family need a plan for when the power is gone. A Generac backup generator can keep your home powered with reliable electricity for as long as you need it. 

Why shouldn’t I just buy a portable generator instead? 

While extremely useful, portable generators fall short in several areas where home standby generators thrive.

  • Portable generators often run-on gas or diesel, making them unsafe to power your home and appliances in emergency situations due to the carbon monoxide they generate. Home standby generators are installed outside of your home, eliminating the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and are also able to generate more power than a portable generator.
  • Home standby generators never have to be refueled.
  • Home standby generators increase your property value
  • As a result of system sizing, a home standby generator will power what you need when you need it. 

As we had mentioned above, a backup generator also increases the value of your property. “I recently sold my house in a very tight real estate market” stated Bill Wiehl, the former owner of a solar powered system that was equipped with backup power.  “My buyer mentioned there were 2 factors that influenced the decision to buy my house. Both were installed by IES, the solar panels that reduced monthly electrical costs by $150 and the whole house backup generator. The buyer, having experienced 44 hours without power during the previous winter storm, was relieved to own a new home with backup power”. Bill now intends to install a new solar powered system with backup generators in his new home. 

IES has the generator solutions you need

Don’t worry about calling for backup when the next power outage occurs- IES Texas Solar has your back when you and your family need power during a blackout.  With a Generac® generator, you never have to worry about power outages caused by winter storms or other weather events ever again. Contact our team today for correct sizing and schedule your appointment!  

If you are considering switching to solar for your home or business, reach out to us by going to our website,, or by giving us a call at (855) 447-6527.