Power outages can happen at any time

Backup electric power can be a part of any preparedness plan. Find out what you need to know about using backup power. View the Backup Generation Fact Sheet (PDF, 50 KB).

Generators are not connected to PG&E's grid

Backup electric generators can operate as a stand-alone power source and some require interconnection to PG&E’s electric grid. Backup power is typically fueled by solar plus storage, batteries, natural gas, gasoline, propane or diesel fuel.

Ready to go solar? Learn more about your options.

Solar customers, please note: During an electric power outage, your solar system will not function unless designed to work with a battery or standby generator. For more information, call your service provider.

Backup power can keep the lights on, help appliances stay running, save perishable food, and power essential equipment and electronics during a power outage.

Generators can be expensive, noisy, and can pose safety hazards. It's important to understand how to safely operate your generator or battery before an emergency occurs. This means doing regular safety checks and being sure you have enough fuel to last a few days.

Please be aware that operating a generator may be subject to Air Quality regulations. To find the air quality regulator serving your area and obtain more information please visit arb.ca.gov/app/dislookup/dislookup.php.

Consider these factors when deciding whether you need a generator.

General rates

Energy needs

Do you own certain devices or equipment that need to keep functioning in the event of a loss of power? How crucial is it for you to have power during an extended outage? This is especially important for customers who are dependent on life-support equipment or require special heating or cooling needs for a medical condition.



Are there community ordinances where you live or work that restrict or limit the decibel level allowance for outdoor equipment?



Generators can cost thousands of dollars. Take any immediate needs into consideration as you examine which generator option may be the best choice for you.




Medical assistance

Are you dependent on electricity for a medical device?

If you rely on electric or battery-dependent medical technologies such as assistive technology, breathing machines, a power wheelchair or scooter, and home oxygen or dialysis, it is critical that you have a plan in place for an extended power outage.


General Business

Is your facility prepared for a power outage?

Power outages can occur at any time. Ensure that your employees, tenants and customers know what to do during an emergency and that you have plans for backup power.

If you decide to purchase a generator or battery, explore what will work for you. Factors to consider include:

Energy Needs

Sizing your energy needs

Generators and batteries can produce enough electricity to power your phone and laptop or power your whole home.

  • How much power would you need during an outage?
  • Would you want power for a few critical items, or for an entire home, business or facility?
  • Which appliances and equipment need to be functional and how much energy does each require?


Your preference may be determined by environmental concerns, accessibility, affordability, and available space for secure generator storage.

Installation requirements

Installation requirements

  • Small batteries used for power are often portable and do not require professional installation for use.
  • Rented generators can offer a source of power but you must follow all safety tips. Your rental store professional can also instruct you on the proper use of your rented generator.
  • A permanent standby generator requires professional installation because of the direct connection to a home or business electric system.
  • Permanent generation requires high ground, where flooding is not likely to be a concern. Building code requirements must also be taken into account, particularly in densely populated areas.
  • No matter what type of generator you have, always consult the owner's manual for detailed instructions and safety guidelines prior to operation.

If you don't understand how to use your generator or battery, you risk damaging your property, endangering your life and endangering the lives of PG&E employees who may be working on power lines in your community.

FOR YOUR SAFETY: Operating a portable generator improperly can contribute to fire ignition risk. Users should follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacture before operation. Never connect any generator to another power source, including PG&E power lines.

power line

Portable generator safety

  • Be sure that the power needs of the device (electric load) is supported by your generator and does not exceed the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Position your generator where its exhaust can vent safely to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and death.
  • Only use extension cords that are properly sized for your generator to prevent overheating. The American Wire Gauge (AWG) chart can be utilized to determine which extension cord is right for you. AWG measures extension cord thickness; keep in mind that the thicker the cord, the smaller the AWG rating will be.
  • Keep cords out of high-traffic areas so they don’t present a tripping hazard.
  • Never run cords under rugs or carpets where heat can be generated or where damage to a cord may go unnoticed.

Permanent-standby generator safety

  • Installation requires a licensed electric contractor or other qualified professional.
  • Ensure electricity from your generator does not flow or "backfeed" into PG&E's power lines. The most common way to prevent backfeeding is to install a "double-pole, double-throw transfer switch" along with your permanent standby generator.
  • Any additions or adjustments to your house wiring should be inspected by your city or county building department.
  • Once installation is complete, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to let us know about your backup system. PG&E line workers will then be aware of your generator when working on an outage in your area.

Portable battery safety

  • Follow all warnings and manufacturers' instructions for portable power stations/batteries.
  • Never put a battery in a completely sealed environment.
  • Do not smoke near batteries.
  • Do not have any open flames near batteries.
  • If storing on shelves or racks, make sure they are secure.

Home battery safety

  • For home battery systems, ensure you are working with a reputable battery manufacturer and a high-quality, trusted installation company.
  • Ensure that battery manufacturers meet standardized industry safety regulations.
  • Work with a certified battery installer.

PG&E is offering eligible customers a rebate on the purchase of a qualifying product (generator or battery) to prepare for outages.

Generator and Battery Rebate Program Eligibility Requirements (must satisfy all to qualify):

  • You must have an active PG&E account.
  • You must reside in Tier 2 or 3 high-fire threat areas as determined by the CPUC on the High Fire-Threat District map.
  • You must meet one of the following criteria:
    • Rely on well water pumping for your premise water needs (i.e. your address is NOT included in the CA Water Agency map) OR
    • Are enrolled in the Medical Baseline program OR
    • Are a small/micro non-critical care essential business (Grocery Stores, Convenient Stores, Veterinarian Services, Dental Offices, Urgent Care/Clinics, owners of Mobile Home Parks)
  • Your product must be in the Qualified Product List


  • Customers who are dependent on water well pumps OR are small/micro essential businesses are encouraged to purchase a Qualified Portable Generator from the Qualified Product List to participate in this program
  • Customers who are on Medical Baseline are encouraged to purchase a Qualified Portable Power Station (portable battery) from the Qualified Product List to participate in this program

Level Rebates (based on retail price points):

      • Level 1:  $300/Product priced $0-$500
      • Level 2:  $500/product priced $501-$1000
      • Level 3: $1,000/product priced $1,001 and above
      • Rebate amounts cannot exceed the purchase price of the product, nor can it include taxes or shipping costs. Customers who participate in PG&E’s CARE or FERA Program can receive an additional $200 if the total Rebate amount which includes the applicable Level amount, does not exceed the qualifying Product’s purchase price.

PG&E’s Catalog Qualifying Product List
    Generator and Battery Rebate Application

    Please Note: Rebates are available for qualifying purchases made from January 1, 2021 that satisfy the QPL.

    PG&E does not make any endorsements or recommendations. Below is a representative list of suppliers and contractors that may be able to help you. This list is not inclusive. Contact retailers directly for additional information, including FAQs, pricing, and financing.

    Alternatives to generators

    In contrast to generators, with portable power stations and battery technology you can charge anything from phones to refrigerators and everything in between. These solutions work indoors and out, without the noise, fumes, or maintenance of a traditional gasoline-powered generator.

    For more information on portable power stations and battery technology visit PG&E's Marketplace.

    Financing options for backup generators and batteries

    Find out about our financial incentives

    PG&E provides financial incentives for business and residential customers installing new, qualifying equipment for generating and storing energy.

    Learn about the Self-Generation Incentive Program

    Find financing for emerging technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions