Don’t worry, you’re not tempting fate! Look at getting a backup generator as a wise and prudent decision that you will thank yourself for later. No matter if Armageddon isn’t on the horizon; around the Bay Area we face the looming prospect of PGE outages often enough to make generators worth the investment.
Like any utility, PGE does a great job most of the time. Perhaps we should all say thanks to PGE every time we flip a light switch and it works! But the truth is that PGE outages occur regularly. At any given moment, at least hundreds of customers face a power blackout. It’s not uncommon for restoration to take several days or longer.
PGE outages are common in Marin County and Sonoma County for several reasons:
- Frequent storms and heavy rains damage equipment
- Our unique terrain makes it difficult to perfectly run power to customers in all PGE service locations
- PGE crews feel pressure to service higher-density areas (San Francisco and otherwise) when outages occur throughout the region
Remember, PGE outages include small, localized problems in addition to the major outages reported on the news. Sooner or later, your street or neighborhood will be affected by power loss.
Generators Help During Outages More Than You Realize
When PGE outages happen, television and Netflix might be the last thing on your mind. But gosh, we need electricity for much more than entertainment:
- Work. People are starting to work from home more than ever. When PGE outages strike your office and your home, it’s nice to have the option to work from home.
- Health. Someday, if not already, you may have medical devices or other serious concerns that require power sources.
- Food. During an outage, food can stay good in your refrigerator for a while — but only until you open the door and let the cold air out.
- Safety. Home security systems need power, and many kinds of accidents can occur when you don’t have light and try to rough it during a blackout.
- Family. Besides looking out for everyone in the household, you definitely want power to charge your smartphone — family members will want to know you’re okay!
Installing a Backup Generator to Prepare for PGE Outages
Backup generators must be installed by licensed electricians. When poorly installed by an amateur, a generator poses terrible hazards to your home and property — and a lethal risk to you. Moreover, there are various California and federal laws regarding these things. Professionals know how to install generators safely and up to code.
Standby generators get wired into your home’s electrical system. It’s important to keep the generator separate from PGE’s lines, or else you could damage their system and be liable for enormous repair costs. You really don’t want to be held responsible for causing PGE outages yourself!
After installation, you’ll need an inspection for the new wiring as well. A residential electrician knows how to follow all the right protocol so you avoid being hassled by the county.
Portable generators power your appliances without running through the home’s wiring. You can obtain a portable generator yourself, but it might help to consult with an electrician to see if it will suit your needs.
Don’t let PGE outages put you and your family at risk. From mother nature to human error, there are tons of reasons why your electricity might go out — be prepared by asking your local electrician to install a backup generator.