How To Choose a Backup Generator for Your Business: A 3-Step Guide

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When the power grid collapses or a severe storm hits your area, a power outage is inevitable. A backup power source is vital to ensure that daily operations proceed normally. Therefore, you should know how to size a commercial generator so you can select a reliable power source that mitigates the various risks when power is down. 

Here is your ultimate generator sizing guide. 

Determine Your Power Needs

First, determine why you need a commercial generator and then outline how you plan to use it so you can choose one that meets your specific needs. Commercial backup generators serve three main uses. 

Emergency Power

An emergency generator only powers your safety systems and not your entire facility during a blackout. These generators only power essential operations like emergency lights and fire alarms when the power goes out. 


A standby generator powers your whole facility during a blackout. Oftentimes, these generators switch on as soon they detect a power failure. A standby generator kicks on without delay to ensure minimal disruptions to business operations.

Primary Source

A primary generator can serve as the primary power source for your business. Some businesses opt for these generators to lower their energy bills and carbon footprint and only use electricity from the power grid as a backup or complementary power source. A primary source generator can be a viable option if you are far away from the power grid.

Define the Type of Generator

After you figure out how you intend to use the generator, you need to choose your preferred generator type. Would you like a portable or stationary generator? A stationary or stand-alone generator will fit the bill if you run your business from a single location. Although these generators can sometimes cost a pretty penny, they can provide standby power for longer. 

On the other hand, portable generators often provide less electric power than static models. However, some professional-grade portable units boast high power capabilities with the ability to run for longer periods. This property makes them a go-to remote power source for temporary events or projects, especially if there's construction work within your business premises.

Consider the Type of Fuel

Generators can use diesel, natural gas, propane, or solar to run. Natural gas generators are a popular choice because they never need refuelling as long as you have a natural gas connection in your facility. 

If your business is located in a remote area with no access to natural gas, a diesel-run generator will suffice. In fact, most standby generators use diesel as fuel due to their reliability and quick kick-on time.

With the right generator, your business will remain operational even during unexpected power outages. Talk to a commercial electrician to help you choose a unit. They can also install the generator for you in a location that won't be an inconvenience.