Ask the Expert: Looking At Generators

Mike MacDougall, Mallard Electric

If you’re one of the thousands of Nova Scotians who lost power for days following Hurricane Dorian, the thought of storms can create anxiety. And we are just starting storm season here in Cape Breton.


There are many things you can do to prepare for a storm, but there is one item that really helps during extended power outages — a generator.


In this article, we will review some options for backup power generation.


  • Portable Generators range between $500 and $2,000, and can be purchased at local hardware stores. With smaller models, you can run a fridge and a couple of lights. At the higher end, you can run several appliances, your furnace, and a water pump, all at the same time. Consult with a qualified electrician to learn you how to properly use a portable generator.


  • Installing a Gener-Link is a great option and sits in the middle price-wise. It is a device that is added to the electrical panel of your home and enables you to power the panel with a portable generator. You can select what breakers to turn on or off. The amount of breakers you can have on depends on the output of the generator. A Gener-link costs between $2,000 and $2,500 and can support up to 7,500 watts. You will need a qualified electrician to install the device.


  • Picture this — during a storm, you and your family are comfortable and warm in your home. Suddenly, the lights flicker several times and then go out. Ten seconds later, without having to move from your seat, light fills the room and you resume streaming your favorite show. This is what you get when you install a Propane Standby Generator System. This option costs between $8,000 and $10,000. It is a significant investment, but the benefits are huge when faced with an extended power outage.


Purchasing a generator, big or small, will bring you comfort and peace of mind during an outage. But do your homework and talk to a certified electrical contractor before purchasing. The team at Mallard Electric is ready to answer any questions, and of course, quotes are always free!

Mike MacDougall

Mallard Electric 


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If you’re one of the thousands of Nova Scotians who lost power for days following Hurricane Dorian, the thought of storms can create anxiety.
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Lorna MacNeil Follow Me
Hello, are quotes for heat pumps free as well? Would you be able to give a ballpark cost for the installation of one in an old drafty house with an oil furnace?

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