The best home standby generators

A home standby generator can provide electrical power to your home when regular electrical power is lost. Portable home generators typically put out 3,000 to 4,000 watts of power and can be used for short-term emergency power to keep the lights on and the refrigerator running. Portable generators can be put to other uses such as when camping. Permanent standby generators are wired into the house and can start automatically when the power fails or by the push of a button. Permanent standby units can provide up to hundreds of kilowatts of power; however, the average house with air conditioning will need 15 to 20 kilowatts. This list of generators covers units with different power outputs.


The ETQ TG32P12 is a 4,000-watt, maximum rating, portable gas-fuelled generator from Northern Lights. The unit was rated 4 out of 5 stars at, with 81 reviews. The generator is very quiet and puts out clean-wave alternating energy for running sensitive electronics. In January 2009, this generator cost about £234.

Briggs & Stratton Elite Series

Briggs & Stratton offers portable generators with continuous power capacity of 5,500 or 6,200 watts and peak production of 8,550 or 8,750 watts. These gas-fuelled units have 4 star plus ratings at and were given top reviews at Pricing is in the £650 range.

Generac Guardian Series

Lazar Rosenblat, electronic switch and commercial power expert and author of home generator reviews, recommends the Generc Guardian Series for permanent standby generator use. The generators are fuelled by natural gas or propane and feature the lowest cost for kilowatt of power. Model ratings include 17-kilowatt, 20-kilowatt and 25-kilowatt peak power. Prices range from £2,600 to £5,200.

Northstar Tri-fuel Generator

For a multi-fuel application, Rosenblat recommends the Northstar 8000 Tri-fuel Generator. This unit is powered by a Honda engine and will run on gasoline, natural gas or propane. Steady power output is 6,600 watts, and surge power up to 8,000 watts is available. This generator makes sense in an emergency situation when certain fuel sources are hard to obtain and another is available. The price is about £1,300.

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