Backup Generation

Your business is important. Doing business without electricity during a power outage may not be acceptable. A portable generator may be able to provide just the right amount of backup power for your critical processes.

Important safety considerations

A portable generator can pose serious safety hazards to you and others. Follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Portable generators

  • Are designed to be connected only to selected equipment or lights.
  • Should never be connected directly to a building's wiring system.
  • May "backfeed" electricity out of your building and energize dead power lines.
  • Anyone contacting those lines, such as our MGE crews or other emergency service people, could be seriously injured or killed.
  • Can be damaged when power is restored.


Connecting a portable generator

  • Read and follow all instructions.
  • Connect appliances to the generator one at a time, starting with those that draw the largest load.
  • Prioritize your needs. Use the lowest wattage lightbulbs that provide a safe level of light, reserving power for additional lighting elsewhere or for a small appliance.
  • The greater the load, the more fuel your generator will use.
  • Only use three-pronged extension cords of adequately heavy gauge.
  • Make sure appliances plugged into the generator have over-current protection provided at the generator.
  • See your electric code authority for more information.

Operating a portable generator

  • Only use generators outside. The carbon monoxide fumes they emit could be deadly indoors.
  • Operate generators on a firm, level surface. Running on an incline could cause the piston to seize.
  • Check extension cords frequently to make sure they have not become hot.
  • Don't use generators under conditions that are dusty, sandy or wet.

Maintaining a portable generator

  • Run the generator under load monthly.
  • Trickle-charge the battery every month.
  • Keep the tank filled with fresh fuel.
  • Use fuel conditioner to keep the fuel from breaking down.

For more information