Energy Costs

What to Look for in Buying a Standby or Portable Gas Generator

A failed power grid affected many Texans during the unprecedented winter storm of 2021. With the summer of 2022 causing one of the hottest heat waves in recent Texas history, many Texans are buying generators in the event of possible mass power outages due to energy overconsumption during extreme weather. An NPR article by Jeff Brady in 2022 states that home generator sales are booming due to these concerns, especially those related to the reliability of an aging power grid. Though home standby generators are the gold standard in backup power for homeowners, they are expensive. Another option is to buy a portable gas generator, which does the same basic task of backup power, but is much less expensive. Because of price, understandably more people choose to invest in portable generators. Still, an updated 2022 article by Consumer Reports states that home standby generators ‘“outperform all other types of generators in our ratings,” according to Dave Trezza, who conducts generator testing for the publication. Trezza says, “If you can afford it, I’d tell you to pick a home standby generator every time.” Ultimately, the decision to buy a portable versus standby generator comes down to power needs and pricing. Below are the pros and cons of each option to consider before buying a gas generator:

Portable Generator Pros:

● More economical (price range of $500 - $1,500)

● Can power almost as much as a standby generator, when properly connected

● Has built-in outlets for directly connecting extension cords Cons:

● Less power output than most standby models

● Tend to be noisier

● Require storage of large quantities of gasoline to get through a prolonged outage

● Can be tricky to set up and connect to a transfer switch Home Standby Generator Pros:

● Reliable, tends to be low maintenance, and comes on automatically in the event of an outage

● Can power an entire house ● Can run over a prolonged period of time time without having to refuel

● Tends to be very quiet

● Adds value to your home Cons:

● Pricier upfront costs to buy and install

● Permanent and not movable

● Takes up yard space

● Can have a lengthy permit process Interested in acquiring a generator for your home?

Call Mister Sparky San Antonio at (210) 899-2430 or visit our website at to learn more! Reference: