Here are some things to understand and consider before signing-off on a proposal…
First off, I’m glad to see your interest in this incredible “piece of mind” purchase. On your way to a solid proposal and quotation there are things you should consider ahead of time. There is information you should be prepared to provide to whoever is preparing your proposal. When I’m preparing to provide a proposal, I find out what you’re looking for in a standby power solution. Often, time can be saved by starting the dialogue right away through email, or a phone call.
Customer Info that we require at Platinum Electrical Contractors:
Main service size (main breaker size on your panel) 100amp, 200 amp or 400 amp?
Are you looking for a whole home solution or just to back up the essentials? For example furnace, refrigerator/s, sump or well pump/s if applicable, alarm system general lighting and a few receptacles would be essentials. If not and it’s a whole home generator installation you want, is Air conditioning an important item to have on the generator?
Do you have Natural gas or Liquid Propane servicing your home?
Your furnace is gas forced air? Electric? Or other?
Do you have any other heat sources that are necessary to be backed up by the generator?
Your Hot water tank, is Gas or electric?
Your stove, Gas or Electric?
Are there any other big electrical loads in your home that need to be protected by the generator for example an exterior Hot Tub, sewage ejector, well pump, electric vehicle charger?
Two items that can really affect the size and cost of your generator solution are the Air conditioner and stove. If you require the AC then the size of the generator will have to reflect that, and if you want full use of your stove the same applies.
I like to think of generator installations in three categories. Understanding which is most suitable to you helps me understand what kind of installation will best meet your expectations. Then I can propose the most inexpensive way to meet the objective.
- Essential select circuit installation. This installation provides for certain circuits and only those circuits to be protected by the generator. It is often the least expensive solution
- Managed whole home solution. This installation allows the hole home to have access to generator power but requires the owner to be thoughtful during an outage. For example don’t use more than a burner or two on the stove, stay away from luxury items like saunas, hot tubs etc.
- Whole home solution. This installation allows the home to operate on the generator as if the power is not out with no concessions
Which seems best for you??
Once I have a good grasp of what the electrical demand is I can then determine a KW rating that will suffice. Based on the information above and further discussion I will have an understanding of the total demand load as well as the type of load. Is it largely magnetic motor loads like fridge compressors and pumps? Or is it resistive loads like baseboard heaters and incandescent lamps. Are the loads automatic, meaning will they come on in your absence like an air conditioner, or freezer compressor?
Using this information I calculate the most cost effective solution that will meet your requirements.
All of the above is the first half of what determines the cost of your generator installation. The next piece is generator placement.
Generator Placement: Choosing a Location for Your Standby Generator
The generator must be 5 feet minimum from any openable door window or vent. Do you have a good proposed location based on those restrictions ? Ideally we want it 18” off the wall of the home not too far from the gas and electrical meters. It’s not always possible and that’s fine we can adjust our installation methods. Some people want it far from the home out of sight and ear shot.
Installations that have the generator in close proximity to the gas meter (or propane regulator) and the electrical meter are the least expensive. We understand that aesthetics are at play for some and they want the unit where they want it. As long as it is code compliant we can oblige.