Emergency Backup Generators
CARB regulations allow you to use your back-up generators during a Public Safety Power Shutoff. CARB has released a guidance document and several advisories, regarding generator usage during PSPS events. Contact your air district before you purchase, rent or use a large (>50 brake horsepower) generator to determine if any local permitting requirements apply to you.
- CARB’s Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) for Stationary Compression Ignition Engines (Stationary Engine ATCM) allows the use of stationary emergency standby engines to provide electrical power when a facility experiences the loss of normal electrical service that is beyond the reasonable control of the facility. More Information.
- CARB’s ATCM for Diesel Particulate Matter from Portable Engines Rated at 50 Horsepower or Greater (Portable Diesel Engine ATCM) allows the use of emergency-use engines to provide back-up power during PSPS events, subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable air district permit or PERP registration. More information.
- CARB’s Portable Equipment Registration Program (PERP) registered engines may be used during a PSPS event to provide primary or supplemental power. More information.
- PERP allows for the temporary operation of otherwise unregistered and/or unpermitted engines during an “Emergency Event” so long as certain conditions are met.
- In limited circumstances, portable generators may be operated during PSPS events up to 24 hours prior to the inactivation of the distribution line servicing the generator site if necessary to alleviate threats to public health and safety. For more information see Advisory 293.
- Where unregistered and unpermitted portable generators are moved frequently between sites, following the submittal of a CARB Form 40 within 24 hours of commencing initial operation, an owner or operator may submit subsequent Form 40s to CARB to list the location(s) of the where the portable generator has operated, on a weekly basis. For more information see Advisory 293.
- Small off-road engines, such as those used in small generators sold at retail stores, are required to be certified by CARB to be able to be sold in California. CARB does not establish in-use restrictions for such certified engines, and small generators are generally exempt from air district rules. Owners of small generators should check with the air district in which they would be used to determine if the air district has established usage limitations or permit requirements.
- CARB will exercise maximum discretion with regard to the sale and use of new generators less than 19 kilowatts (~25 brake-horsepower) in size by temporarily allowing (through December 31, 2019) the import, sale, and offer for sale of U.S. EPA certified generators subject to the following conditions. For information see Advisory 297.