Back Up power solutions

Back Up power solutions

During the recent PG&E shut-offs we have received many inquires into batteries, generators, and other power security solutions. So we have made this brief summary to go over a couple of basic options for back up power in a power outage.

Situation 1:  
I just want the cheapest way to temporarily get some power to a couple of critical appliances.

Solution 1:
Propane/Gas powered Generator or Battery Based Generator.

This temporary solution involves having extension cords running from the generator to fridge or appliances that you want powered.

Small gas powered generators: Can cost $500 and up, excluding fuel costs.

Small standalone Battery based generators: Can cost $3,000-$6,000 and up and can include a small separate solar panel which can be plugged in to recharge the battery.

We recommend: Goal Zero for standalone Battery based generators.

If this is the direction you would like to explore, we do not install generators, but here are a few local generator installers we recommend:

Precision Electric – (530) 274-3438

Karl Sherry Electric – (530) 432-7566

C.A.S.E Contracting Inc. – (530) 575-6838

Sola Williams – (530) 305-5851

Situation 2:
I want power for most of, or all of, my home for an extended period of time.

Solution 2:
Whole House Generator or Solar Charged Battery Back Up.

This more permanent solution involves tying into the homes electrical panel.

To use a Generator if you have Solar, an electrician needs to make sure the generator is electrically separated from the solar circuit with a Transfer Switch, or it could cause catastrophic damage.  We can install a manual transfer switch starting at around $2,000. This would involve one of our electricians doing a site survey to determine if there would be any additional costs. The cost of the generator will vary from home to home.  We can recommend a local generator specialist to help you.

If you have Solar and want a Battery Back Up, the smallest systems we recommend start at $18,000-$25,000 for limited battery back up that can be recharged by your solar or a generator.  If you are interested in a solar rechargeable battery based system please let us know, and we would be happy to go over the details with you.

In most cases a battery system can be eligible for the 30% Federal Tax Credit. Please consult with your CPA to make sure you qualify.

If you are interested in seriously exploring Situation 2 you can fill out the online form here, or call (530) 274-3671 and ask to speak with one of our qualified solar designers today.