Q: Do I really want, or need, a generator for my home?

It’s well into hurricane season, and here in the Triangle the possibility of a hurricane is just a part of summer life. Additionally, this year the news seems full of stories about climate change, weakened power grids and coming energy challenges. Most homeowners have at some point wondered about getting a generator to power their home during an emergency or extended outage and this year is no different. Generators are a big investment, but offer a lot of benefits especially relevant this time of year.

Initial Cost:

A whole home generator with a fully automatic transfer system isn’t a small investment. On average these systems cost between $8,000-$12,000 fully installed. Exact costs depend on a number of individual factors like; the kW or “size” of the generator, existing install location, available fuel sources, permits and setup of the electrical panel in your home.

There are more affordable options, especially if you already have a portable gasoline generator and want to look at just powering a few crucial items like a refrigerator, coffee pot or a few lights.  If this is the case, consider setting up a transfer switch and dedicated circuits for your existing generator. This can be a solid option for many homes for some basic emergency power even if it does require a bit more involvement from the homeowner.

Maintenance & Repairs:

Like any major home system, your generator will need to be properly maintained if you expect it to be ready when you need it the most. Most whole home generators need at least an annual maintenance visit and “test start” to make sure the system starts and runs as intended if the power goes out.

If you live in a more rural area that has frequent power outages or use your generator for other situations, like powering an out-building, we suggest bi-annual maintenance to keep things running smoothly.

In addition to general maintenance, there will be possible repair expenses and replacements for “wear items” like batteries etc. Generac has a solid six-year warranty on all their whole home generators but it does not cover everything. Homeowners should be prepared for some ongoing maintenance & upkeep expenses.

Dynamic Electric offers a discount for our customers with annual service plans starting at $239/year and priority scheduling when possible.

Evaluate Your Family’s Specific Needs:

For some of us a few hours or even a few days without electricity might sound like a candle-lit adventure, for others it can be a nightmare. If you work from home, have a larger family or maybe a family member with medical needs, a generator makes great sense for peace of mind.  Or maybe you just don’t want to worry about food spoiling, summer nights with no A/C or the simple inconvenience factor of a power outage? Every family is different and the best way to start the conversation might be with a free estimate and discussion with our team about what you want to accomplish. There is also a great set of FAQ’s on our website.

We’re here when you’re ready!


Scott Cummings leads the team at Dynamic Electric, a Hillsborough-based full service electrical provider for both residential and commercial needs. Dynamic Electric is dedicated to providing quality workmanship, outstanding service, reliable installation and safe repairs or troubleshooting for all their customers.

In “Ask The Electrician,” Scott answers common questions about electrical work, from switches and outlets to safety issues and preventative maintenance. If you have a suggested question for us to answer – or need an electrician – please reach out to our office at (919) 370-0056 or visit our website.

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