How to Ensure Power Stays on During Hurricanes and Storms

Three Steps for a Home Standby Generator

MILWAUKEE, WI (April 5, 2024) – For the upcoming 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, Colorado State University predicts well above average activity with 23 named storms, eleven becoming hurricanes and five of those reaching major hurricane strength. With such significant severe weather on the horizon and impactful storms occurring more frequently, homeowners are looking for reliable ways to keep the lights on.

Instead of leaving things to chance, a home standby generator ensures power is just seconds away. Briggs & Stratton Energy Solutions shares three steps to become energy resilient.

Determine Power Needs

Begin by selecting a local generator dealer or electrician. An experienced professional with knowledge and insight can make the process smooth and easy. 

The next item is to determine the essential elements that must remain on during a power outage. Most homeowners will prioritize their kitchen appliances, refrigerator, lights and sump pump, if they have one. Internet routers and HVAC equipment are also typical. Then it’s time to figure out the starting and running wattage for each. A professional will be able to tally up the total load of the items and recommend the size generator that’s required.

Briggs & Stratton Energy Solutions offers four different PowerProtect™ generators to meet a variety of power needs, including 13kW, 18kW, 22kW and 26kW units. 

Fuel is another consideration. Home standby generators are dual source, meaning they can run on liquid propane or natural gas. However, more than 70% of households have access to natural gas. Only Briggs & Stratton PowerProtect generators have NGMax™ technology that provides maximum power output on natural gas so they deliver more power on natural gas compared to other generators in their class.

Prepare the Site

Home standby generators must be permanently installed outside, ideally on a solid concrete pad that can support their weight. 

Selecting the correct location is critical since it must comply with all local codes, be in a stable, well-drained area that’s not prone to flooding and is at least five feet away from windows, doors and fresh air intakes. In addition, there are other considerations a professional will keep in mind, such as clearance around the unit and ease of access for yearly maintenance.

Secure Permits and Make Connections

A home standby generator is a sophisticated piece of equipment that involves electrical and gas connections. Plus, it requires the installation of an automatic transfer switch (ATS) that’s hard-wired into the home’s electrical panel. The ATS is a critical component that senses when utility power is down and automatically starts the generator. The ATS also prevents power from back feeding into the utility lines and potentially endangering workers.

A professional installer will pull the necessary permits, handle all the connections, arrange for required inspections and test the system to make certain it’s functioning correctly without any leaks or safety issues.

“Once the standby generator installation is complete, homeowners can have peace of mind that they’ll have power to ride out hurricanes and severe weather that might hit,” says Clement Feng, vice president of product management for Briggs & Stratton Energy Solutions. “And, when it comes time to move, a home standby generator is an attractive feature to potential buyers.”

Battery Storage for Backup Power or Energy Independence

While home standby generators are widely known for their ability to provide backup power, battery storage is another option that’s becoming more prevalent. 

In addition to home standby generators, Briggs & Stratton produces SimpliPHI® Energy Storage Systems (ESS) that provide a versatile home battery backup power solution.. Battery systems can be configured to power only essential appliances or the whole home. And they can be installed indoors or out, run silently and produce zero emissions.

The batteries capture and store energy generated by solar panels, wind turbines, generators or the grid. Homeowners can then tap into the stored power whenever they want. Battery energy storage systems are extremely versatile and can be used for both short and long-term energy needs. 

In the short term, they can provide backup power when the grid goes down. In the long term, they can reduce energy costs. 

As part of a long-term, money-saving approach, homeowners can decide to use stored power from their batteries throughout the day or during the evening when many electric companies charge more. In some cases, homeowners can sell their extra power back to the utility for credit on their bill or to eliminate a monthly charge altogether. 

Better yet, when paired with solar and a generator, battery storage can help homeowners go completely off the grid and become energy independent. 

Home battery energy storage systems continue to come down in price and now qualify for a 30% tax credit as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. In addition, many states have incentives to make battery storage even more affordable.

“Today’s energy landscape is rapidly changing and more homeowners are deciding to ‘energy proof’ their homes with standby generators or backup batteries,” says Feng. “When evaluating the company and products you’d like in your home, consider the fact that Briggs & Stratton has 115 years of experience in power generation and we’re positioned to meet the evolving energy needs of today’s homeowners.”

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Monica Baer
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About Briggs & Stratton

Briggs & Stratton, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, provides innovative products and diverse power solutions to help people get work done. Briggs & Stratton is the world’s largest producer of engines for outdoor power equipment and is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of lithium-ion batteries, standby generators, energy storage systems, lawn and garden, turf care and job site products through its Briggs & Stratton®, Vanguard®, Ferris®, Simplicity®, Snapper®, Billy Goat®, Allmand®, Branco® and Victa® brands. Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in more than 100 countries on six continents.