Generator vs. Home Battery Backup: What Emergency Power Source is Right for You?

Cubix Mark
House with lights on

Emergency power outages can happen at any time and often leave homeowners scrambling to figure out how to keep their homes and families safe. Two popular emergency power options are whole home generators and backup batteries, but which one is the best option for you? This blog post will compare two popular emergency power sources and help you decide which one is right for your home.

About Home Battery Storage Systems

Home solar battery systems work by harnessing the solar energy produced by your solar panels and converting it into usable electricity. The batteries store this energy, which can then be used to power your home. These systems can be installed in your home or garage and are either wall or rack-mounted. However, they do have some limitations. For example, they are usually limited in size due to the amount of space available for installation. Additionally, they may not be able to store enough energy to provide power for an entire household over an extended period of time without needing to be recharged. Nevertheless, home solar battery systems are a great way for homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their electricity bills as well.

home battery backup system

About Whole Home Backup Generators

Whole home generators are an important and useful tool for providing backup power to the whole house during a power outage. They work by using natural gas or propane to generate electricity that is then distributed throughout the entire home. The generator can be installed outside of the home and is connected to the electric system within the house to provide power in case of an outage. There are certain limitations to these types of generators, such as size and fuel capacity, but they can generally provide enough power to run all essential appliances like lights and refrigerators during an emergency. Whole home generators are becoming increasingly popular due to their reliability and convenience for providing backup power when needed.

What’s the difference between backup batteries and whole home generators?

Deciding between a whole home generator and a solar battery backup system for off-grid power can be overwhelming. While both are reliable and efficient sources of energy, there are a few key differences to consider.

Budget will be at top of mind for many. Solar batteries are typically more expensive up-front, but they require less maintenance. They can also be configured to power your home on a daily schedule. If you live in an area where you pay more for power during certain times of the day, your solar battery can power your home for free by using the stored power generated by your solar panels. This can significantly reduce the amount you pay for power each month.

Federal tax credits help offset the cost of a solar battery system. The Inflation Reduction Act passed in 2022 gives homeowners a 30% tax credit for newly installed solar and battery systems.

On the flip side, generators may be less expensive to install, but they do require some maintenance. Generators run on natural gas or liquid propane. These fuel sources are non-renewable and must be purchased. Because whole home generators do not rely on the sun, they can continue to generate power regardless of current weather conditions.

Pros and Cons of a Home Battery Backup System

Solar batteries offer a unique and eco-friendly take on traditional home backup power solutions. On the plus side, they generate clean energy as well as store it, meaning you can tap into your battery storage even during blackouts. In addition, solar batteries are quiet, require minimal maintenance, and have flexible installation options.

However, home battery storage may not be suitable for households with high electricity usage since the stored energy capacity can sometimes be limited. Also, installing solar batteries may require additional hardware and incur high up-front costs depending on how many you need. By weighing their pros and cons carefully in comparison to whole house generators, homeowners can make an informed decision when it comes to picking the best option for them.


  • Generates clean energy
  • Stores renewable energy for use during blackouts
  • Easily installed and requires minimal maintenance
  • A good option for households with low electricity usage
  • Can reduce monthly electricity costs due to federal tax credits


  • Limited stored energy capacity
  • May require additional hardware and incur high up-front costs

Pros and Cons of a Whole Home Generator

Whole home generators are becoming an increasingly popular backup energy source for homes across the country. On the plus side, they require little maintenance and tend to last a long time. Additionally, they can provide energy when the main grid fails, which makes them useful in emergency situations.

whole home generator

Despite the advantages, whole home generators come with some drawbacks; depending on size, type, and usage level, their costs can be quite high upfront. Further, due to their heavy fuel consumption in comparison to renewable options like solar batteries, operating costs are often higher over time as well. As such, it is important to research all your options carefully before deciding which power backup solution is best for you and your household.


  • Can produce energy for long periods of time
  • Provide energy when the main grid fails
  • Useful in emergency situations


  • Higher operating costs over time
  • Requires routine maintenance to keep running properly

Which Backup Power Source is Right for You?

Deciding between whole home generators and solar batteries for emergency power can be a daunting decision. First, consider the climate of your region and how it might impact your energy needs over time. If you experience frequent or extended outages, a whole home generator may be the best option as they provide power to your entire house in times of grid outage. At Cubix Power, we specialize in helping people find the best whole-home generator option for their homes.

On the other hand, if you have regular access to sunshine, solar batteries offer renewable and more cost-effective energy solutions beyond backup electricity in an outage. Additionally, if you’re only looking for backup power that’s available at any time to protect sensitive electronics, both battery and generator systems could meet those needs while saving you money on your monthly power bill. Our friendly team can help you design a battery storage system to meet your needs.


In conclusion, whole-home generators and solar batteries can both provide a reliable source of power when your main electricity is cut off. Which one you choose might depend on the size of your home, how often you need to draw backup power and the type of energy sources available in your area. Whole home generators harness a combustion engine to generate energy in either gas or diesel, whereas solar batteries use stored energy from a renewable energy source.

The purchase and installation cost of a generator can be significantly higher to start with, but ongoing costs for fuel over its lifetime could prove more economically efficient than frequently replacing solar batteries due to their shorter lifespan. Ultimately, it’s important to consider all factors before making an informed decision about what type of backup power is right for you.

Ready to get started?

Our team will give you a free custom solar design for your home.

You May Also Like