Okay, necessity is the mother of projects. My house on Long Island has been without power since Saturday and will be for several more days, which is not the worst thing in the world, but it is a weekend house and the idea that we could be without power for a week in the summer is a pain, but a week without power in the winter would be a disaster, and a disaster I might not know about.
So, we are looking at generators. In the abstract, I would not care about having full access to power but only powering heat (oil fired hot air), well pump and a few outlets, but if we are going through this process I am thinking something more versatile is the way to go. But, I also don't really need some massive, loud generator running 24/7, particularly during the week when we are not there annoying neighbors. So, I saw some interesting computer controlled generators that shift loads and can power the entire (3300 sq ft) house with a relatively "small" unit.
I am thinking about installing a propane fired generator near our pool heater, which is about 200 feet from the house. We have a 500 gallon propane tank that powers the pool heater, and our grill and stove. Is this going to be an insane expense to run electric 200 feet? Does the control need to be nearer to the house for any reason (the electric meter is between the two, about 20 feet from the house, and the generator would be behind a detached garage, so electronics could be indoors)? Any other issues with being that far away? Can these generators be programmed to cycle off (i.e., when I am not there during the week, I really just want to be sure that the house stays heated, and the refrigerator/freezer stays cold)?
Thanks for any insight you can provide. I also would welcome any recs/criticism of particular generators.