What type of generator is right for me?

Generator Types and Sizes

  • Large, fixed generators have the potential to power an entire home. They are connected to building wiring and can turn on automatically during power outages. Installation of a fixed generator must be performed by a qualified electrician and is often subject to building code requirements.
  • Portable generators are designed for use with appliances, devices, and systems that have power cords connected to them. They can be directly plugged into outlets on this type of generator.

The size of portable generator that’s right for you depends on what lights and appliances you want to use when the lights go out. Generators are rated in watts. To determine the number of watts you’ll need, start by adding up the watts used by each light, device, and appliance you want to connect, then add at least 50 percent more. The additional wattage is needed because the generator should not be run continuously at more than 80 percent of its rated capacity. Also, appliances that operate with a motor (like the refrigerator and freezer) can require two to ten times their listed wattage in order to start. Remember, the bigger the portable generator is, the more it will cost.

If you’re still unsure which type of generator will work best for you, call us! We'll be happy to discuss the different options with you and help you make an informed decision. To connect with EPUD's Energy Experts, call 541-746-1583 or email Energy Services.