Home Generator vs Battery for Home Power Backup. Which One’s Right for Me?

When you live in areas with regular power outages or extreme weather, it is vital to get a backup source of power. There are several types of backup energy systems available in the market, serving the same principle role: keeping your appliances and lights on when the power goes off.

Home standby generators, also known as fuel-powered generators, have dominated the market in the past. But the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning has made many people look for alternative backups. Batteries are a safer and more eco-friendly option than traditional generators. 

Despite carrying out a similar function, generators and battery backups are different devices and each has a set of pros and cons.

Battery backups

Battery backups, like the LG Chem RESU or the Tesla Powerwall, store power, which you can utilize during outages. Battery backups systems run on electricity. Thus, they are more eco-friendly than fuel-powered home generators. Moreover, they are pocket friendly.

Additionally, you can engage the battery backup system during peak hours to save money on your utility bills. 


On the flip side, standby generators run on fuel — typically diesel, liquid propane, or natural gas. Some standby generators have a dual fuel feature in that they can use either liquid propane or natural gas.

Certain propane generators and natural gas can connect to the propane tank or home’s gas line; thus, there isn’t a need to manually refill them. However, diesel generators require topping up to keep running.

Standby generator vs Battery backup cost

Generators are cheaper than Home Battery Backup Systems upfront. However, standby generators require fuel to operate: this implies that you will spend more time keeping a constant fuel supply. 

The exact pricing of battery backups varies depending on the battery model you opt for. Nevertheless, it is common for a modest home battery system to cost between 10 and 20 thousand dollars.

For backup generators, on average, the cost of buying and installing may range between 7,000 and 15,000 dollars. However, the costs of your generator will depend on the size, fuel type, and the amount used to operate it.


Battery backups can be mounted to the floor or wall, while generator installations need the preparation of a concrete slab, linking the generator to a reliable fuel source, and fitting a transfer switch. That notwithstanding, you will require to engage an expert for both cases.


Battery backups run independently, do not produce emissions, and do not need any continuing maintenance.

On the flip side, generators can be noisy when in use. Moreover, they emit fumes, which may annoy you and your neighbors.

Which of the two is appropriate for you?

In summary, Battery backups are: 

  • Easier to install
  • Cheaper to run long-term
  • Better for the environment
  • Have longer warranties

On the other side, traditional generators are: 

  • Only require a single backup generator to reinstate power during an outage bringing down the upfront costs.
  • Last longer than battery backups in a session. Thus, they will be an ideal option if the power goes out for many days at a time.



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