Safe & Sound: Do I Really Need A Power Generator?

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The lights flicker, the hum of your appliances ceases, and you’re suddenly in the dark and without power. Most of us have been in a situation where the power has gone out and have had to cope with the challenges that go along with it.

Power outages are a fact of life as interruptions in service can be caused by violent storms or downed power lines. Keeping flashlights and a battery-operated radio in a familiar place is a good start to an emergency plan for a power outage, but installing a backup generator can help keep needed appliances running until power returns to your home.

Backup generators are a great security amenity for any home; however there are some circumstances where having one becomes even more of a necessity. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • You live in an isolated area where it might take longer than usual for your power company to restore power.
  • You or one of your family members relies on medical equipment that requires access to electricity.
  • You run a business out of your home and a prolonged power outage would inhibit your ability to conduct necessary operations.
  • Health issues cause you or one of your family members to be sensitive to extreme heat or cold.

You’re the best judge of whether a backup generator is necessary for your home. If you decide to outfit your home with a generator, Consumer Reports offers a guide that can help you decide what type of generator is best for your home and provides some of the important safety issues that go along with using a generator.

Another option as a backup power source for your home is installing a renewable energy system that either works on its own or can be used in concert with conventional power sources. The reliability of these types of systems for emergency purchases may vary so it’s good to do your homework before purchasing one. The U.S. Department of Energy offers information on how different types of renewable energy systems work.

We encourage our customers to contact their Transmission Distribution Utility (TDU) when power outages occur. Although you purchase electricity from sellers like TXU Energy, each area of the state has a regulated “poles and wires” company that’s responsible for restoring power during outages. You can find the number for your TDU at, along with other helpful power-outage tips.