Although electricity is provided by TXU, periodic power failures will probably always be a problem -- sometimes for just a few minutes and sometimes for many hours. The backup generator provides a solution.
The house was designed to be energy efficient. Thermo pane windows are installed throughout. These windows provide a superior cosmetic appearance, don't require screens and save energy usage with both heating and cooling. However, when a loss of power occurs they cannot be opened to create a breeze in the house.
The generator was initially powered by the natural gas line coming into the house. When it was overhauled and upgraded to 125 KW to be capable of running the entire home with everything turned (although it is not connected to the sports center) the power source was changed to propane and a 500 gallon propane tank was installed. On average about 100 gallons of propane is used per year.
The generator tests itself once a week for about five minutes. A gauge confirms that it has successfully completed its weekly test.
When a power failure occurs, the generator waits about a minute before turning on automatically. When power is restored it automatically turns off. There have been a few times when the generator failed to work as expected. These occasions make one appreciate how much comfort and value is provided when is needed.