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Natural Gas Solutions for Power Outages

Natural gas has an important role in providing reliable, affordable and clean energy in Nova Scotia. However, the benefits go beyond this list when a storm rolls in and the power goes out. Natural gas can help you stay comfortable during a power outage.

How natural gas can help when the power goes out

  • A natural gas range can be manually lit in the event of a power outage, however it should not be used for space heating. A gas contractor is the best resource for advising on how to safely light a range manually.
  • Most new natural gas fireplaces will continue to work without power, either with a remote or a battery-operated start. The fan will not blow, but this cozy warmth will certainly make a difference, especially in the middle of winter.
  • Natural gas barbeques are a great when the power goes out. The endless, reliable supply of natural gas means homeowners do not need to fill up a tank when propane runs out. It is never safe to operate a BBQ inside or even in a garage with the door open.
  • An automatic standby natural gas generator is a very convenient way to restore power in the event of an electricity outage.

Benefits of a Natural Gas Generator

  • Keep selected electric appliances running when the power is out
  • Require simple and minimal maintenance
  • Directly wired to the electrical service panel
  • Automatically turns on when power goes off
  • Endless fuel supply and no fuel storage on-site
  • Cleaner fuel source, resulting in better air quality

Stand-By Generator Tips

  • Consider the household needs.
    • Generators come in many different sizes for homes. The larger the generator, the more appliances that can be powered in a home. For many homeowners, top priorities are the fridge/freezer, furnace/boiler, basic lighting, and a plug to keep devices charged. Homeowners with a sump-pump will also want to prioritize this as well.
  • One-size does not fit all.
    • Depending on a homeowners needs they’ll require a different size generator. Most homes install a 7.5KW – 22KW generator. An electrical contractor will be able to advise on the best size generator for a home, however there are online tools to start researching your electrical load needs, such as this generator selection tool.  
  • Automatic generators vary in price.
    • Every home is different and so is every installation. That said, a 9KW generator typically costs between $6,000-$12,000 to purchase and install.
  • Location is important.
    • Automatic standby generators are located outside of a home, with clearances from windows and positioned in proximity to the natural gas lines. The location also needs to be easily accessible for snow removal and scheduled maintenance.
  • Use trusted and credible contractors.
    • To install a natural gas generator, homeowners will require both an electrical contractor and a natural gas contractor. Oftentimes, the electrical contractor will sub-contract the gas work to someone they typically work with to keep it easier for the homeowner. Visit the preferred gas contractors’ webpage for a list of trusted contractors in Nova Scotia.

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