How to overcome load shedding with a generator | SA Home Loans

#8 How to use generators to power up your home during load shedding

In the last two articles in this series, we discussed using batteries and inverters as an alternative source of energy during load shedding. We also showed you how to calculate how much power you need which is a good place to start no matter your source of power. Installing a generator or running a portable one during the dark hours are also options worth considering.

Depending on the type of generator you have and what your needs are, a generator can be used to power certain parts of your home, certain appliances or your whole home. There are two main types of generators, portable generators and standby generators.

What are the differences between a standby generator and a portable generator?

Portable generators

  • Typically, smaller generators are fuelled by petrol or diesel (manual fuelling).
  • They can be used to run certain appliances but not everything.
  • It is important that the distribution of the power it generates is professionally installed.
  • Need to be manually started and shut down.
  • More cost-effective solution than standby generators for load shedding purposes.
  • Widely available at many different stores, from hardware stores to major chain stores.

Standby Generators

  • These generators are backup generators able to power the house.
  • They engage automatically (it may take 20 – 30 seconds) when the power goes out.
  • Available in varied sizes, so you can source the generator you need.
  • Typically, the more expensive option, given the installation required and the fact that they can offer more backup.
  • They must be installed by a professional.

What are the disadvantages of generators?

Noise and fumes are the biggest drawbacks. While there are silent models, generators typically do make some noise, so installation is important. They also need to be installed in areas where fumes do not build up. Quieter generators also often attract a higher price. Small fuelled generators make a substantial noise, which may be unpleasant to neighbours, yourself and animals.

Unlike running a generator, solar power is quiet and doesn’t require re-fuelling. Maybe it’s a better option for you. Read our next article to find out.

Ready to invest in a power or water saving solution for your home? If you’re an SA Home Loans client, we'll help you finance it through your home loan. 

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Cost estimates provided in the Sustainable Living in South Africa series of articles are approximate and valid at the time of publication.

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