Portable generators

If you're considering using a generator to keep your power supply running through outages or maintenance jobs, here's some things you'll need to know:

  1. Contact a licensed electrical contractor to discuss alternative power supply options, including generators.
  2. If you have your own generator, or plan to hire one, contact a licensed electrical contractor to connect it to your property.
  3. If you plan to hire a generator, here's a handy list of generator suppliers.

General safety tips

A portable generator can be useful during power outages, particularly in storm season, but it’s safe use requires care and planning.

  • Don't plug a generator directly into a home's wiring. Power from a generator connected to a home's wiring will 'back feed' into powerlines, potentially causing a safety hazard for you, your family, neighbours, and Energex workers, and causing possible damage to your generator when power is restored.
  • Appliances can be plugged directly into the generator but always read the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
  • Use a heavy-duty extension cord rated for outdoor use.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for earthing the generator.
  • As petrol and diesel-powered generators produce deadly carbon monoxide fumes, always run portable generators outside the house - never inside or in a garage. Keep generators well away from open windows - including your neighbours' - so deadly exhaust does not enter the home.
  • Download our handy Electrical safety generator guide (PDF 514.1 kb)

For more detailed safety information on how to use a portable generator, visit the Electrical Safety Office.