How to Keep Your Lights On in a Power Outage

How to Keep Your Lights On in a Power Outage

California is facing some serious problems when it comes to our energy supply. Recently, wide swaths of the state experienced rolling blackouts in response to a surge of wildfires across the state. This wasn’t the first time blackouts were used to attempt to curb the threat of wildfires and it certainly won’t be the last unless either problem shows any signs of improving. And that means power outages are going to become more and more of a normal part of our lives for the foreseeable future.

However, as a homeowner, you don’t have to settle for the reality of a power outage. Instead, you can take action and prepare your home to deal with outages in one of several different ways. Here are a few things you can do that will help you keep the lights on and your appliances running during a power outage, whether it a rolling blackout or a different, unexpected issue.

Purchase a Backup Generator

Backup generators are hardly new technology. In fact, they’ve been around for ages and today they’re more efficient and powerful than perhaps ever before. Today, these generators are capable of providing a considerable amount of emergency power to your home for long periods of time - and all for an affordable cost. Additionally, technology has helped cut down on some issues, including emissions, noise pollution and general maintenance needs.

There are two primary types of generators: portable generators and standby generators. Portable generators are the units most people think about when they hear the term “generator”: a small box with an engine in it that spins a motor to generate electricity. They can be easily moved and are typically powered by normal gasoline. Standby generators are permanently-installed generator systems that are often powered by natural gas. When an outage hits, these systems fire up and provide electricity automatically. They are the more expensive of the two options, but their value may never have been higher than it is in our state today.

Switch to Solar

Switching to solar can help you continue to have the power you need in the middle of a power outage. Solar panels can and will continue to generate electricity during an outage, and that means you could use it to keep your lights on while the rest of the grid is down. Likewise, when you consider that California’s beautiful weather, with more than 300 days of sunshine in an average year, the investment in solar energy makes perfect sense.

However, solar can only be used in an outage if you have the proper inverter and hookup system set up in your home. If your solar energy system is connected to the public grid full-time, then your electricity will shut off with the grid. A specialized inverter that can temporarily “island” off your home by disconnecting it from the public grid will allow you to use your panels to keep your home powered. However, this usually requires an additional investment but one we feel that the overwhelming majority of people could greatly benefit from making.

Install a Battery Backup System

Battery backup systems are another great way of powering your home in an emergency. Battery backups are exactly what they sound like: gigantic batteries that store enough energy to power your home. How and when they power your home is entirely up to you: they can turn on to help you avoid costly peak-use energy costs, they can turn on at night to help you fill in the gap between the hours when your solar panels are producing and they can even help you keep the power on during an outage.

In fact, combining solar energy with a battery backup system can, in some cases, almost completely eliminate your dependence on the public energy grid. When combined with proper equipment that allows you to turn the power back on during an outage, you might also be able to completely avoid outages in the future as well. Plus, all of the power you use will be renewable and clean, meaning you’ll be doing the environment and those around you a great favor!

Talk to our team about how we can help you keep the lights on during a power outage! Call Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar at (408) 868-5500 today to learn more.