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2024 Home Safety and Convenience Upgrades: Generator and EV Charger Installations

Homeowners in 2024 have some great options for upgrading their homes. Modern electrical solutions have come a long way over the years and are more affordable than ever. In particular, we’d like to call attention to two home upgrades built around the twin pillars of convenience and safety: at-home backup generators and electric vehicle charger installation.

What Is a Backup Generator?

Backup generators provide emergency power to homes during outages. Generators are powered by diesel fuel, natural gas, or propane. These backups can be standalone devices or connected to the home’s electrical system and automatically activate when grid power is lost. For Annapolis homeowners, these outages are usually related to storms and inclement weather. A reliable backup generator protects homeowners from these types of unexpected issues with a dedicated, uninterruptible power supply.

Types of Generators

One of the great things about backup generators is that they come in several types. Homeowners can choose from a variety of options to suit their needs:

  • Portable: Small and functional, these generators can be moved across locations to power essential appliances, tools, or other devices.
  • Standby: Standby generators, also known as “whole-home generators” are permanently installed outside homes and feature a direct connection to the electrical system. This allows them to activate when power is lost, and they maintain continuous, uninterrupted power for sensitive electronics.
  • Inverter: Inverters convert electricity from AC to DC and back to create a more stable energy supply that will protect equipment from power surges. Inverters can be purchased as portable or whole-home units.
  • Solar: These eco-friendly generators rely on solar panels to generate electricity, which is stored in a battery for later use. These generators are forward-thinking, clean, and use renewable energy, but their energy storage capacity is limited, making them suitable for only minor applications.

Is a Backup Generator Necessary?

Short answer: It depends. Many homeowners choose to forego backups, especially those who have lived in areas with stable power grids and a qualified electrician repair service that can address outages quickly. In these cases, a generator might not seem necessary. However, homeowners should think carefully about their own situation.

The North American Electricity Reliability Corporation (NERC), the group responsible for overseeing the power grid in North America, predicts that electricity shortages will increase between 2024 and 2028. They estimate that up to 300 million residents in North America could be affected by power outages in that timeframe, brought on by increased demand for power and risks related to grid failure.

With that in mind, we encourage all homeowners to consider their situations and whether the risk of foregoing a generator backup outweighs the costs.

Benefits of Backup Generators

Generators give homeowners independence from publicly-managed power grids. Having a generator on hand produces several benefits:

  • Emergency Power: Naturally, backup generators provide power during outages and ensure that essential appliances, systems, and devices continue to operate. These may include comforts like air conditioning or serious medical devices such as ventilators.
  • Safety: Generators ensure that all home safety and maintenance equipment, such as security systems, monitoring devices, or sump pumps are never left idle.
  • Work From Home: In our era of remote work, generators provide the energy needed to keep routers, laptops, and other critical work devices operational.
  • Convenience: Backup generators eliminate the inconvenience of power outages. Homeowners can go about their routines until power is restored. This peace of mind can go a long way.

The idea of installing a generator might seem like a big project, but working with the right generator company in Annapolis makes the process a breeze. Generator installation services give homeowners a hands-off way to reap the benefits of generator backups without any hassle.

What Are EV Chargers?

Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers convert electricity from external power sources into a form that can be collected by the EV battery. These chargers come in different types, including Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 (discussed more below) and offer a range of charging speeds and compatibility options with various EV models.

Basic EV chargers are provided with the EV purchase, but many public and commercial EV charging stations are available for on-the-go charging. The state of Maryland offers 15 publicly-available charging stations for users, and many businesses like Whole Foods, Walgreens, and others offer EV charging stations in their parking lots.  

Depending on the EV in question and the driver’s desired destination, trips taken by EV must be planned around charging infrastructure to make sure vehicles always have the charge they need. In fact, a lack of quality public charging infrastructure is an oft-cited problem for prospective EV owners, even in 2024. This makes it all the more important to ensure EV owners have the charging infrastructure they need at home.

Types of EV Chargers

There are three “levels” of charging station available:

  • Level 1 chargers are included with EV purchases as a basic charging method. However, they’re quite slow and take 50+ hours to charge a vehicle fully.
  • Level 2 chargers can charge an EV fully in around 10 hours, which makes them the most popular choice for EV owners seeking an upgrade.
  • Level 3 or “DC fast charging” can charge a vehicle in as little as two hours and is the fastest charging option available.

While DC fast charging sounds like the ideal choice, they aren’t feasible for at-home use. DC fast charging requires specialized infrastructure and is typically seen only in commercial or public settings. The best-known example is Tesla’s Superchargers. To attempt to install DC fast charging infrastructure at home would be time-consuming, expensive, and is not recommended.

As most homes operate on the grid, AC will be the system of choice for EV charging. In essence, homeowners are left with a simple choice: stick with the out-of-the-box Level 1 charger or upgrade to a faster Level 2 option. When considering an upgrade, consult a commercial electrical company to perform the work.

Benefits of Upgraded EV Chargers

The Level 1 chargers included with an EV purchase are 120 volt portable ones that plug directly into the wall outlet; while fine for overnight charging, most homeowners prefer to upgrade to a Level 2 charger. Doing so has several benefits:

  • Charging time: Level 2 chargers are 240 volts instead of 120, allowing them to deliver power much more quickly. An EV battery can be charged from empty to 80% in just 4 to 10 hours.
  • Lower energy bills: Level 2 charging is more energy efficient than Level 1, and charging overnight may allow homeowners to benefit from lower energy rates during off-peak hours.
  • Energy-efficient infrastructure: EV infrastructure paves the way for easy integration with other renewable energy sources. For example, some EV chargers and solar panel systems can be integrated with energy storage solutions, such as batteries. This allows homeowners to store excess solar energy generated during the day and use it to charge the EV in the evening or during power outages.

Like generators, this retrofit might seem like a complex undertaking—but with Maryland EV charger installation services, EV owners will be primed to enjoy the benefits of fast, energy-efficient charging options.

Our Approach to Generator Installation

For homeowners who seek the best protection available, our generator installation services are the best way forward. Letting a professional like Weisman Electric Company handle project planning is crucial for two reasons: It eliminates any personal risk that homeowners may experience when working on electrical projects, and it ensures that the system will be installed correctly—to prevent catastrophic electrical malfunctions down the line.

As a leading commercial electrical company, we offer a range of generator installation services. These include complete design, build, construction, turnkey installations, propane, natural gas and diesel connections, and the installation of new or additional propane or diesel tanks with necessary concrete pads. We also provide crane rigging and trenching services, along with flexible planning to accommodate all budgets and needs.

The process starts with generator selection. Our electricians can assess each home and help clients select a generator that meets their needs. For installation, we provide a comprehensive generator installation service that integrates generators into an existing electrical system so it automatically activates during a power outage.

Of course, like any other appliance, generators require maintenance and repairs over time. Our team keeps every generator we install running smoothly with our preventative maintenance services.

Our Approach to EV Charger Installation

As with generators, a qualified electrical company can ensure that all components are installed correctly. As a newer technology, many homes don’t have the available electric circuits for a Level 2 EV charger. Weisman helps homeowners assess their electrical systems and streamline these decisions:

  • Where should the charger be located?
  • What electrical work will need to be done?
  • What type of EVs will be using the charger?
  • How will energy savings over time compare to gasoline?

Fortunately, in Maryland, EV charger installation isn’t complicated. The 240 volt outlet required for Level 2 EV chargers is similar to the ones needed for clothes dryers. It’s not a complicated project, but for safety reasons, all homeowners will want a qualified electrician to install the new charging station.

Weisman Electric Company has been a leading electrical contractor in Annapolis, MD for over 30 years. We’re a family-owned shop capable of performing same-day work, and services are available around-the-clock. If you’re looking for an upgrade for generator installation, EV charging, or any other electrical task, leave it to Weisman to get the job done right.