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Portable Generators

Posted on August 15, 2019

Electricity Generating Station

With PG&E’s plans to shut down power at vulnerable times during high fire season, residents and business owners alike are gearing-up to prepare for power loss over extended periods–and some folks are considering using portable generators. Here is some general information that is good to know:

  • Portable generators that use fossil-fuels (i.e., gasoline, diesel) are not permitted as a primary source of power to any structure or use. 
  • City permits are not required for a portable generator.
  • Portable generators can be noisy and are subject to the limits identified in our Noise Ordinance.
  • Stationary generators (permanently installed) that are powered by natural gas or propane are subject to City permits (building, electrical and plumbing permits).
  • Like barbeque grills, certain types of generators can be a fire hazard and cannot be sited on balconies or in similar areas.

This subject can get a little complicated, so if you have any questions or concerns about the use of portable generators, please contact the Building Division at (415) 485-3367.

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