In our area of South Central Texas, extended outages have usually been few and far between. For many members in the GVEC service territory, Hurricane Harvey and the February 2021 winter storm are the only two in recent memory. However, we understand these instances were enough to prompt people to take steps to be prepared if extended outages were to occur again. For some, this may include obtaining a back-up generator.
Why We Need to Know
If hooked up incorrectly, generators can cause dangerous backfeed onto power lines. Not only can this be dangerous for people in your home and neighboring households, but it also poses a threat of injury or even death to our linemen working to restore outages.
For this reason, it’s important for GVEC to be made aware of locations that may use generators in the event of a power outage. If you have a back-up generator, please be sure to contact us to let us know!
What You and Your Electrician Need to Know
If you have a new generator or plan to purchase one, and you have not had a transfer switch installed yet, you’ll need to contact us for important information. We’ll go over the easement and connection requirements the electrician will need to know.
If you own a generator and you’ve already had a transfer switch installed for use, we ask that you still contact us. This way, we can notate your account to be sure our linemen know where generators may be in use when they’re working an outage. Plus, if you have any questions about your setup, we can schedule a site visit with you to ensure everything is installed where it should be.
Additional Generator Safety Information:
- Never try to power your home by plugging the generator into a wall outlet or tying it directly into your home’s electrical panel. This practice, known as “backfeed,” is a serious danger. It can cause electrocution of linemen and utility workers, your neighbors and those in your home.
- If you intend to use a generator to power your home in the event of a power outage, be sure you have a transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician and know how to correctly operate it.
- Transfer switches should not be installed on a GVEC pole and should be located outside of the GVEC easement.
- Never use a generator indoors or in enclosed areas. Generators produce carbon monoxide (CO), and using them inside (or even outside, too close to doors, windows and vents) could cause serious illness or death by CO poisoning.
- Always read all manufacturer’s instructions before operating a generator, and follow them exactly.
Let’s Keep Everyone Safe!
To let us know about a back-up generator at your location, or for easement and connection requirements to install a transfer switch or any questions you may have, call GVEC at 800.223.4832.