The Best Home Generators for Power Outages

4 minute read Graham Lumley Last update February 2024

Unfortunately, the state of Texas experiences lots of power outages. Sometimes, blackouts last for just a few minutes; other times, outages caused by storms can last for hours or days. That’s why many Texans have their own generators for power outages. 

Looking to invest in backup power but not sure which is the best emergency home generator for you? In this guide, we’ll explore the most efficient electric generators to help you make an informed choice.  

Choosing the Best Generators for Power Outages

Research shows Texas ranks 2nd in the country for power outages, making emergency power a higher priority for residents in the Lone Star State. But with so many options, how do you choose the best house generator for your needs? Let’s delve into the specifics of each type. 

Portable Generators

For those seeking a flexible solution to uninterrupted power, portable home generators can be a game-changer. While some are light enough to be handheld, most have wheels, meaning they can supply electricity for both indoor (never operate a gas, diesel, propane, or natural gas powered generator indoors) and outdoor use. The average purchase cost is typically between $500 – $2,500.

Gasoline Generators

Gasoline models are among the most efficient generators and are often a go-to choice due to their widespread availability and ease of use. They can effectively supply power for a range of purposes, from running essential home appliances like stoves and refrigerators to providing energy for outdoor needs. 

Diesel Generators

One of the most fuel-efficient generator options, portables running on diesel fuel are durable and robust — even during an extended power outage. Their ability to handle prolonged usage ensures a continuous and reliable source of power for your home essentials until regular service resumes.

Propane Generators

Propane generators for power outages provide a cleaner-burning alternative with lower emissions compared to gasoline and diesel models, making them an excellent choice for those looking for more environmentally friendly options. Additionally, many homeowners prefer them for their reliability due to the extended shelf life of the propane fuel. 

Natural Gas Generators

Natural gas is cleaner and less expensive than most other fuels, produces fewer greenhouse gasses (like sulfur, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide), and is odor-free. As one of the most effective fuels, natural gas generators are particularly beneficial for ensuring seamless and uninterrupted power output for homes with an existing nat gas connection. 

Inverter Generators

Inverters are a unique type of electric home generator due to the way they convert direct current (DC) power produced by the engine into alternating current (AC) power. This advanced technology delivers stable power for sensitive electronics like computers, laptops, and mobile phones. Plus, they are quieter and more fuel-efficient than gasoline and diesel models. 

Standby Generators

Standby generators for power outages operate using an automatic transfer switch, so you don’t even need to think about turning them on. When the power goes out, the transfer switch senses the loss and transfers the electrical load directly to the generator. So, in addition to ensuring an uninterrupted supply of electricity, standby systems also reduce the need for multiple extension cords. 

Standby models are available in varying sizes, so the right generator for you will depend on how much power you need based on the size of your home. Prices typically range from $10,000-$20,000.

Natural Gas Standby Generators

One of the most efficient gas generator options on the market, natural gas solutions prioritize convenience and low generator exhaust emissions. They produce enough electrical current to charge batteries, power appliances, and even run large pieces of equipment.

Propane Standby Generators

For those without an existing natural gas connection, propane is a logical alternative for households seeking a clean-burning fuel with low carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions. Plus, the almost infinite shelf life of propane makes it a logical choice for long-term use. 

Diesel Standby Generators

While not the most environmentally friendly option, diesel remains one of the most popular types of generator for homes across the state. They are efficient enough on fuel to provide a robust and practical short-term power solution, although they typically have slightly higher maintenance requirements than other models.

Solar Generators

Fixed and portable solar generators harness renewable energy, providing sustainable power alternatives for homeowners seeking an eco-friendly approach. 

The average price of installing solar is usually between $18,000 to $36,000. However, as solar can increase the listing price of your home, the investment could be worth it. Plus, solar panels have no moving parts, so maintenance costs are minimal. Let’s break down the components in more detail. 

Photovoltaic Solar Generators (Solar Panels)

Photovoltaic solar generators, commonly known as solar panels, convert sunlight into electricity. They can be mounted either on rooftops or in open spaces. As a silent and low-maintenance solution, photovoltaic solar generators are ideal for reducing reliance on traditional power sources and minimizing your environmental footprint.

Solar Battery Storage Systems

Battery storage systems complement solar panels by storing the excess energy generated during sunny periods for utilization during power outages. So, you’ll always have a constant source of electricity — even when the grid is down.

Biomass Generators

Biomass energy harnesses renewable organic matter to generate power, providing an eco-friendly alternative to traditional power sources. There are two primary types of biomass generators, both with retail price tags starting at a few thousand dollars. 

Biomass Gasification Generators

Biomass gasification is a two-stage combustion process as it requires the anoxic (oxygen-deprived) combustion of the original biomass fuel, which then produces combustible gas to facilitate electricity generation. 

Biomass Combustion Generators 

Biomass combustion generators burn organic materials directly to produce heat, which can then be converted into electricity. This one-stage combustion process is known as direct combustion. 

Which Household Generator Is Right for You?

Before making a purchase, ask yourself the following questions to ensure you make the best choice by balancing power requirements, safety factors, budget considerations, and more:

  • How often do you experience blackouts in your area? 
  • Do you need an electric generator for house and yard use?
  • How many essential appliances and devices do you need to power during an outage?
  • What is your total budget for purchase and installation?
  • Do you need to invest in additional safety features like automatic shutoff, surge protectors, or carbon monoxide detectors?
  • What are the maintenance expenses and fuel requirements of your preferred solution?
  • Can the generator you’re considering withstand the environmental factors specific to your region? 
  • Are there any noise restrictions related to generator usage in your area?

Affordable Electricity Plans from BKVE

At BKVE, we understand that electricity is an essential service, which is why we’re dedicated to offering the most simple and affordable plans in Texas. Our number one goal is to help Texas homeowners and renters save money on electricity.

Enter your zip code to learn more and find the right plan for your household.