Purchasing a standby generator for your home or business is an investment that most people are not going to make without doing lots of in-depth research. You need to make sure that the benefits outweigh the costs, that you have the capital to install the best equipment for your needs, and that you will get a good return on your investment. Installing a standby generator is initially a costly operation, but will ultimately bring you and your home or business peace of mind in the event of an emergency.
Why Should I Install a Standby Generator?
EMC’s headquarters in Utah was hit by a 5.7 magnitude earthquake in March, followed by a hurricane force windstorm in early September. These two events caused hundreds of thousands of homeowners to lose power, some for several days. The shelves at home improvement stores were cleared of portable generators within hours of each incident and you couldn’t find one anywhere in the state for weeks afterward. The home and business owners who had the foresight to install a standby generator prior to these incidents had zero interruption to the comforts of regular life. Those without this foresight had to relocate for a while until power was restored, unless they could get their hands on a portable generator. Even with a portable generator, they had to choose which comforts they could go without, as most portable generators are not powerful enough to power a whole home or business all at once.
Can a Standby Generator Add Value to My Home or Business?
Standby generators will not only allow you to live comfortably when the grid is down, they can even increase your home’s value and lower your monthly payment on your homeowners insurance. A 2014 report published by Remodeling Magazine indicated that in certain areas prone to power outages, a standby generator provides a 150% return on investment when you go to sell your building or home. A similar report published in Generator Advisor in 2020 stated that a standby generator can increase your building’s resale value by at least 5%, even in areas where power outages are not as common.
Can a Standby Generator Actually Save Me Money?
Some homeowner’s insurance companies count a standby generator as a loss mitigation method, much like a security system. This is because after a severe storm where you lose all power for an extended period of time, most families will relocate and leave their home until power can be restored, leaving it open to squatters and looting. If you have a standby generator, you are able to stay in your home and deter squatting and looting. Some insurance companies will give you a monthly “loss mitigation credit” if you have a standby generator installed, for this very reason.
Some utility power companies have a “Demand Response” program for those with standby generators installed at their homes or place of business. This program allows the utility to switch your residence or business over to your generator during peak periods of power usage or critical outages to combat over usage and prolonged blackouts. You are then credited back for the power you generated during that time on your utility bill. This program used to only be available for commercial customers, but is now gaining more and more traction in residential areas as the demand for utility power increases.
Lastly, a standby generator will save you money by allowing your business to continue to produce even when the utility fails. If you are able to continue business as normal when your competition can not, this will give you an edge in the market by being able to continually deliver on time for your customers. Especially if you reside in an area with a high likelihood of power outages.
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Graduated from Idaho State University with a degree in Heavy Duty Diesel and Onsite Power Generation. Damien is a master tinkerer and has been working on anything with a motor since he was about six years old. Besides being a generator fanatic, Damien is also an avid snowmobiler and aspiring world traveler.