St. Louis Backup Generator Considerations : What's Happening
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St. Louis Backup Generator Considerations

by Carol Wischmeyer on 10/04/16

Most home or small business owners have probably thought it would be great to have a backup generator at times.  But is it worth the cost?  Only the home or business can make that decision, but here are some reasons why our customers have decided to install a generator.  The following are not in any order of importance except the first:

  • Health Issues
  • Area with unusual amount of outages
  • Grandparents that want their home to be somewhere the family can gather in an emergency
  • Experienced an extended outage
  • Safety concerns
  • Work from home
  • Convenience
  • Travelers want their homes protected while away (sump pumps, freezers, refrigerators, electric heat, etc.) 

Here are some quick recent St. Louis power outage facts:

September 1, 2016:  4000 without power due to woman grabbing a wire at substation.  Amazingly, woman was taken to hospital and survived.

August 15, 2016:  15,000 without power due to falling trees/weather.

July 13, 2016:  165, 000 were without power after storms, falling trees/weather. 

July 25, 2016:  14,000 without power  due to falling trees/weather.

May 11, 2016:  22,000 without power due to falling trees/weather

The most memorable is undoubtedly the St. Louis ice storm of 2006 when AmerenMO reported a peak of 510,000 customers without power.  300,000 were without power for over 4 days and we worked with customers that were moved out of their homes for up to two weeks.  It was then that many decided they would have a generator installed. 

The options available for home backup generators:

Automatic full backup:  It provides 24/7 automatic backup of your entire home.

Critical needs backup:   Critical need automatic backup generators work exactly like the name.  You choose your critical needs and it is sized to handle that load.

Manual transfer switch:  This installation is for use with a portable generator.    This is also a popular cost effect choice for backup power.  With that stated, it does require some customer hands on experience and you should be trained by a licensed electrician on how to safely put the generator in place when needed for safe ventilating.  A transfer switch allows for a portable generator to be connected to the home electrical system safely disconnecting you from the utility grid.  This eliminates the possibility of any dangerous electrical feedback.

If you are considering a backup generator, use a contractor that has a free home or commercial assessment of your backup needs and sizes your generator specifically for you.  Most homes do not need full backup, as the fuel availability to sustain a full backup generator is not only costly but in an emergency situation may be unrealistic.  A critical needs system is the easiest and most cost effective way to go for most home owners.  It’s also a good idea to use a company that not only sells the generators but installs them.  Make sure they have plenty of references, are licensed, and insured.  Use one that does not require a large down payment, a reputable company will not need to take half your money before you get a generator.  Check the BBB for reviews and to make sure any company is in good standing. 

Any questions or comments, please post them.  We enjoy getting feed back and would love to hear the reasons you feel a generator would be beneficial.


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