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Safely connecting back-up generators to your home

Back-up generators, either portable or permanently connected, supply alternate power during emergencies. Generators produce carbon monoxide and the build up of these fumes can be fatal. If connected incorrectly, generators can also cause electrical shock or fires which is a risk to your family and utility workers.

Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro has recently approved the use of meter base plug-in transfer devices for use with our smart meters to help make connecting a back-up generator to your home easier and safer. This device allows you to connect your portable generator safely to your home's wiring system through the meter base.  If the power goes out, you will be able to run essential appliances and lighting in your home until the electricity is restored.   

Approved Devices: 

  • MA23-N   30 AMP Generlink - Non-Surge
  • MA24-N   40 AMP Generlink - Non-Surge
  • MA23-S   30 AMP Generlink with Whole House Surge Protection Built in
  • MA24-S   40 AMP Generlink with Whole House Surge Protection Built in

All approved devices shall have certification to ULC Standard or UL Standard UL 1008M as per ESA Bulletin DB-04/17.

What you need to do to install a plug-in transfer device

  1. Request a service layout design by calling our Meter Service Co-ordinators (MSC) at (519) 745-4771 x6199.

    1. A service design layout request will be submitted to the Design Supervisor. Information such as full name, phone number and email address will be required.

    2. After review conducted by our Design Supervisor, the project will be assigned to a Design Technologist and will be completed within approximately 2-3 weeks. When completed, the layout will be sent to the customer/or electrician via email.
  2. Contact an approved licensed electrical contractor

    1. It is the customer’s responsibility to select a licensed electrical contractor. Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro will not recommend a contractor.
    2. The selected contractor will provide you with a quote on the costs associated with the necessary upgrades, installations and inspections and may source the approved plug-in transfer device for you.
    3. Sign and submit the KWHI Waiver Form along with the payment of $125 + HST. Read the Installation Details of Customer Owned Meter Base Plug-in Transfer Switch (120/240V).
  3. Schedule an appointment with the Meter Service Co-ordinators at (519) 745-4771 x6199.

    1. Only Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro is authorized to disconnect and reconnect the power.
    2. Select a date and time that is minimum of 3 weeks before commencing work upon confirming with Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). 
  4. Installation of your device

    1. On the day of the appointment, Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro will arrive to disconnect your hydro service, and your licensed electrical contractor can install the plug-in transfer device. Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro employees are NOT authorized to install these devices.
    2. The customer or electrician is to call the Meter Service Co-ordinators for the reconnect at (519) 745-4771 x6199.

Installation Details

Image showing where the backup generator transfer switch should be installed.


  1. Meter base to be 200 amp rated minimum.
  2. The installation of the transfer switch shall not interfere with traffic, driveways, or sidewalks, nor obstruct the opening of doors and windows.
  3. A Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro representative will remove the existing meter. Customer/contractor to connect the transfer switch neutral to meter base neutral while the Kitchener-Wilmot representative is present. With permission of the Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro representative, customer/contractor to plug in the transfer switch. Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro representative to plug in the existing meter.
  4. All customer-owned equipment and installation must be approved by the Electrical Safety Authority.
  5. Refer to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code for wiring methods, including grounding and bonding requirements.