Generators vs. Solar batteries: Which is the better backup?

by | Oct 1, 2021

solar system batteries
For the busybody or where power is essential – like when you are working at home – you need an energy backup.

With a home backup installed, you can continue with your electricity use even when the power is out. Generators were once the only option on the market when it came to securing energy, but today solar battery storage systems also stand as a clean and sustainable option.

So, what’s better?

Our energy specialists at Solar System Australia go through these comparisons with you, so that you can settle on the best option for your energy needs.


Generators have long been the traditional solution for back up energy. They can be powered by propane, natural gas, or diesel, and can be found in many hardware stores.


  • Affordable: Generators are a cheap option for backup electricity.
  • Easy to Access: You can easily pick up a propane, gas, or diesel generator from almost any hardware or home improvement store.
  • Portable or Standby: Smaller backup generators are also portable, allowing you to neatly store one away until you need it. You can also purchase a standby generator that automatically kicks in with big energy loads when the grid goes down.
  • Available in Natural Gas: Generators fuelled by natural gas are clean burning, providing a less disruptive option.


  • Pollution: Generator fumes places back a lot of pollution into the environment, particularly for generators fuelled by propane or diesel. Worse, it injects these fumes back into your immediate breathing area, affecting your family and your neighbours.
  • Dangerous gas: Both portable and standby generators produce carbon monoxide gases that are dangerous to inhale.
  • Loud: Back up generators are also rather loud while they are running. Many don’t really enjoy this interference and can find it a point of distraction when they need backup energy as a result.
  • Fuel required: As fuel is a requirement of a generator, you need to always make sure that you have enough on hand. When fuel supply is short or out, you risk being in the same place as if you had no generator.

Solar Batteries

A newer energy backup, solar batteries, provide nearly all the benefits generators do but without the disruption and harmful pollution. Many eco-conscious Australians are now investing in solar battery storage systems to use the clean and renewable energy of the sun.


  • Clean: Unlike generators, solar batteries make use of clean free energy from the sun and doesn’t put pollution back into the atmosphere. As such, they leave behind no harmful carbon footprint. It makes for an incredibly sustainable resource that you can easily use without any hassle at home.
  • Quiet: Solar batteries produce no sound or unnecessary disturbance while operating. So, you don’t have to choose between your peace or using appliances.
  • Self-sustaining: While there might be shortages on fuel or uncertainty with power whenever the grid goes down, you can always expect the sun to shine. With almost no maintenance or fuel cost, it’s also a technology that you can expect to pay for itself.


  • A Bigger Investment: For a battery storage system that runs off clean renewable energy, you will need more than just a solar battery. Solar batteries will also require an installation of solar panels and a solar inverter (a full solar system) to make the most of this sustainable technology.
  • Expensive: Battery storage unfortunately also costs more than a generator does upfront. But it has the potential for greater savings down the line.

Batteries Without a Solar System

While a solar system is recommended for batteries, they aren’t entirely useless without one. Some homeowners have a battery installed that they use to charge during off peak hours to supply power during high demand times or in emergencies. And you can too! Battery storage provides a cleaner way to power your home, without the pollutive fumes or disturbance. You also still don’t need to spend extra time and energy looking for fuel.

Summary: Generator vs Solar Batteries

What may make you choose between a generator or solar battery may come down to cost, efficiency, safety, and sustainability. Generators remain to be the cheapest option for a home energy back up. However, they require constant fuel and maintenance costs. They also produce harmful pollutive fumes both into the environment and your local breathing spaces.

On the other hand, solar battery storage is more expensive upfront. But with a self-sustaining system that pays itself off over time. On top of the environmental benefits, with no added pollution, they are also a quiet system for no disturbance.

Searching for a clean home backup? Get a free quote!

Our solar installers are happy to give you a free assessment and quote.

Give us a call on 1800 975 270, email [email protected] or you can fill in our enquiry form here.

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