Solar Power vs. Generator: What Are the Differences?


Power outages are a common occurrence in the United States, with the average American going without electricity for eight hours in 2020. In the worst-affected parts of the country, people went a full 60 hours on average without power.

To combat the problem of power outages, many homeowners are turning to either solar energy or a home generator. But which of the two is the better option for you?

In this blog, we take a closer look at the solar power vs. generator debate and what makes solar power the outright winner. Here are six top differences between the two energy sources.

Long-Term Cost

One of the first things homeowners consider when deciding solar power vs. generator is the long-term cost. Solar power is a more affordable option in the long run.

The initial investment for solar panels can be higher than a generator. Currently, the average solar panel installation is between $11,144 and $14,696 for the average-sized house, excluding solar credits. A generator will set you back a lot less.

But solar panels have a much longer lifespan than generators. Solar panels can last up to 30 years, while generators need to be replaced every few years. That means that, in the long term, solar power is the more affordable option.

Solar panels also generate free energy from the sun, while generators require fuel to run. Over time, this can save you a lot of money on your energy bills.

Besides, the government now offers attractive solar incentives, including solar tax credits and solar rebates, which can help offset the initial cost of solar panel installation.

Constant Power Supply

Homeowners who make the switch to solar power often do so because they want a reliable, constant power supply. A solar battery will provide just that; solar energy is available 24/7, regardless of the weather conditions.

This is especially the case if you invest in a top-quality solar panel system from the fastest growing solar company.

A generator, on the other hand, can only generate power when it’s turned on. If there is a power outage, you will not be able to rely on your generator for backup power unless you are there to turn it on.

Solar panels will continue to generate electricity, even during a power outage. And if your solar panel system is connected to the grid, you can even sell your excess solar power back to the utility company.

Reliability is important for many homeowners, and solar power provides a constant power supply that you can rely on.

Health and Environmental Impact

Solar power is also a more environmentally friendly option than generators. Solar panels don’t produce any emissions, while generators run on fossil fuels like natural gas or propane, which release harmful pollutants into the air.

With climate change being a huge topic at the moment, more homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Solar power is a great way to do that.

But solar panels don’t just benefit the environment; they can also improve your health. By reducing your reliance on fossil fuels, you can help improve air quality and reduce your risk of respiratory problems.


Another major factor when deciding between solar power and generator is maintenance. Solar panels require very little maintenance. Once they are installed, you can sit back and relax.

Generators, on the other hand, need to be regularly maintained and serviced. This piece of equipment tends to have many moving parts that experience a lot of wear and tear. Over time, you’ll need to repair or replace parts, which can be expensive.

With solar panels, all you need to do after the initial installation is wipe them down every now and then to remove dust and debris. Solar panels are a low-maintenance option that can save you time and money in the long run.


The most popular placement for solar panels is on the roof. These panels can be installed on any type of roof, including shingled roofs, tile roofs, and metal roofs.

Solar panels can also be installed on the ground, but this is less common. Ground-mounted solar systems are usually only used in commercial solar installations or when homeowners don’t have enough space on their roofs.

Generators, on the other hand, can be placed just about anywhere. The most popular placement for generators is near the home, so it’s easy to access in case of an emergency.

Solar panels have to be installed in a sunny location, while generators can be placed anywhere that’s convenient for you, as long as it’s not indoors due to the fumes.

Return on Investment

When considering a home upgrade, one of the factors you think about is the return on investment (ROI). Solar power has a higher ROI than generators. This means that solar panels will pay for themselves in a much shorter time than generators.

Solar panels also have a higher resale value than generators. Solar panel systems typically retain more of their original value when they are sold, compared to power generators.

This means that not only will solar panels save you money on your energy bills, but they will also increase the value of your home.

Solar Power vs. Generator: Make the Right Choice

When deciding between solar power vs. generator, it’s important to consider all the factors we’ve outlined here.

Solar power is a more environmentally friendly option that requires little maintenance and has a higher ROI, besides other benefits. For these reasons, solar power is the more beneficial solution of the two.

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