How should I use a portable generator?

Portable generators, especially generators designed for home use, are not powerful enough to run your entire home. Necessary appliances such as the refrigerator, freezer, or a space heater should be plugged into the generator. You should never plug your generator in your home's outlets. This can cause our line workers to be electrocuted when they attempt to restore power to your home because they believe that your home is not energized. Also, you should never bring a generator indoors. It should only be run outside in a well-ventilated area. Using a generator indoors may cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which is lethal.

A generator connected to your home's wiring systems must have a double-throw switch that disconnects the generator and your home from GCEC’s power system. This switch must be installed by a licensed electrician and must be inspected by the state or county electrical inspector. If you plan to use a portable generator during an extended power outage, we ask that you call Sid Dykes, supervisor of our engineering department. He may be reached at (850) 265-3631 or (800) 568-3667.

Farm and commercial generators must be installed with a switch that disconnects the home or building from GCEC's power system while the generator is being used.