Backup electric power

An electric generator can be a valuable addition to your preparedness plan in the event of a power outage. Because generators are not connected to the power grid, they can help keep lights on and appliances operating, as well as charge important electronic devices.

We can help you determine if a portable generator or portable power station is right for your home and learn how to safely use these sources of backup power generation. 

Learn about equipment types and safety

Steps to help select backup power

A portable electric generator or a portable power station can help provide electricity to the appliances, devices and systems that you need most in an emergency. But they can also be loud, costly and potentially pose safety hazards. If you decide that a portable generator is right for you, it is essential to learn how to safely operate the device prior to an emergency. Generators also require proper storage, access to fuel and regular safety checks.

Types of generators for home use

Portable power stations

Always follow all manufacturers' instructions and heed all warnings.

Portable generators

Because generators require the storage and combustion of a fuel source, special safety measures are necessary for responsible use:

  • Always operate a generator outside at least 20 feet away from your home.
  • Never smoke near a portable generator. Always avoid having open flames near your backup power system.
  • Be sure to run your generator in a place where its exhaust can vent safely. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to death.
  • Turn off a gas-powered generator at least 5 minutes before refueling to allow the system to cool and prevent risk of fire.
  • To prevent overheating, use an extension cord that is the right size for your generator. The American Wire Gauge chart can be used to determine the appropriate cord.
  • Avoid running an extension cord in a high-traffic area to minimize tripping hazards.
  • Remember that a portable generator can turn off without notice, particularly if it is over-loaded.
  • If installing a permanent standby generator, be sure to hire a licensed contractor or other qualified professional for installation.

More resources

Generator Safety|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Generator Safety|U.S. Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response

Generator Safety|The American Red Cross

Additional considerations

Energy source: Portable generators can run on natural gas, propane, gasoline and diesel fuel. In each case, there are emissions created when the generator is in use. Portable power stations can be charged with solar power (with the purchase of a concurrent system of solar panels) or from an electrical outlet (prior to a power outage).

Energy needs assessment: 

  • Would the generator be used to power an entire home, or just a few devices?
  • What are the essential items that would require power?
  • How much energy do each of these require? 

Type of installation:

Does your backup power source need to be portable? Permanent standby generators can provide immediate power but require professional installation and are often subject to building code requirements.

Regardless of the type of generator being used, it is critical to consult the owner’s manual for all safety requirements and instructions.

Depending on your location, operation of a generator may be subject to specific air quality regulations

Choose your state for equipment rebates

    Oregon medical backup electric power rebate

    We’re offering eligible Oregon customers a rebate of up to $4,000 on the purchase of a portable power station, battery, or permanent backup generator to support readiness and resiliency efforts for our customers.

    Program eligibility

    To be eligible for the program, applicants need to meet the following requirements:

    • The applicant must have an active Pacific Power account number as either a customer or a tenant of a customer.
    • Be enrolled in Pacific Power’s Medical Certificate program, or a licensed residential care home, facility, adult foster home or hospice.
      • Local providers of support services to seniors and people with disabilities are also eligible to claim a rebate and can assist eligible customers with rebate applications.
    • The purchased product should be on the Qualified Products List. Qualified products include portable power stations, portable batteries, and permanent standby generators powered by natural gas and/or propane.


    Backup Electric Power Rebate Program Application

    Backup Electric Power Rebate Program Terms & Conditions

    California backup electric power rebates

    We’re offering eligible California customers a rebate on the purchase of a portable generator or portable power station to further readiness and resiliency efforts for our customers.

    Program eligibility

    To be eligible for the residential backup electric power rebate program, applicants must satisfy both of the following requirements:

    • The purchased product should be listed on the Pacific Power Qualified Product List and must be compliant with all local, state and federal regulatory and environmental requirements for backup electric power.
    • The applicant must have an active Pacific Power account number as either a customer or tenant of a Pacific Power customer.


    • Eligible Pacific Power customers will receive a rebate of $300 on one generator or portable power station found on the Qualified Product List.
    • Customers registered with Pacific Power in either the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) or Medical Baseline programs will be eligible for an additional $500 added on to their rebate. 
    • Rebate amounts cannot exceed the purchase price of the qualified product, nor can the amount include any taxes or shipping/delivery costs.

    Qualified Product List

    Backup Electric Power Rebate Program Application

    Backup Electric Power Rebate Program Terms & Conditions

    Do you represent a community or municipality? We also offer grants for communities purchasing portable renewable backup generators and more.

    California free portable battery program

    California customers who rely on electric power for medical needs may qualify for a free portable battery. These batteries can help power medical devices, assistive technology and medical equipment during power outages. They can also help refrigerate medications like insulin.

    This program is available to residential customers who are enrolled in BOTH the Medical Baseline program and the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program. The California Medical Baseline program provides energy assistance to customers who rely on electricity to meet medical needs. The CARE program provides a discount on monthly electric bills for customers who meet certain income qualifications.

    Program eligibility

    • Have an active Pacific Power residential account in California 
    • Enrolled in the California Medical Baseline program AND enrolled in the CARE program.

    Pre-qualify to participate

    To pre-qualify for a free portable battery, please contact us toll free at 1-888-221-7070 to confirm your eligibility. 

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