When you have lost power, a portable generator can temporarily provide needed electricity.  However, it may present serious hazards if not used properly. NEVER plug a portable generator into your home as this can cause deadly feed back through your home onto the power lines.  This "backfeed" can be deadly for lineworkers and anyone near downed power lines.



With the increase of home offices, electronic equipment and reliance on electricity, many homeowners have purchased a portable generator for use in their home during power outages. However, they may lack a safe and economical way to connect their generator.

For those members using generators or wanting to purchase a generator, Beltrami Electric Cooperative now offers Generlink™, a meter collar device installed on your electric meter that allows you to easily connect a small generator to your home during power outages.

With Generlink™ you simply plug in the generator and use your household main circuit panel to select the circuits and appliances you want to operate based on the generator capacity. 

Not all generators are compatible with a GenerLink transfer switch due to plug type, wattage, voltage and/or GFCI. If you need assistance with generator verification, contact Beltrami Electric Cooperative or view the list of compatible generators here

GenerLink™ FAQs

Yes!  GenerLink™ provides a safe means for connecting a portable generator to your home, and it automatically disconnects your home from Beltrami Electric's power grid when the generator is connected and producing power.  It prevents deadly back-feed, which is a condition where electricity is being generated from a source outside the utility power grid and is feeding/traveling back into the power lines. Back-feeding onto the electric lines is a dangerous situation to line personnel because a line they consider as "dead" may, in fact, be energized by back-feed from a generator. The result can be fatal.  GenerLink prevents this dangerous situation from occurring.

Once you purchase a GenerLink™ from Beltrami Electric, we will set up an appointment for one of our technicians to install it at your meter.  We schedule a 60-minute appointment to allow time for questions the member may have.

Once the device is installed, you are ready to plug your generator into GenerLink™.

With GenerLink™, you can operate virtually any electric load/appliance in your home up to your generator's capacity - just not all at the same time.

Appliances wired through your home's breaker panel, such as a furnace, hot water heater and many lights cannot run using extension cords. GenerLink™ provides the flexibility to run these loads from your portable generator.  Your well pump, water heater, sump pump, and refrigerator are just some of the appliances you can operate with GenerLink™.

Please contact Beltrami Electric Cooperative's Energy Services Department at (218) 444-2540 for current pricing. Our pricing includes sales tax and installation.

We offer both a 30-amp or 40-amp GenerLink™ device with a 20-ft power cord.

To determine what loads you can support with a portable generator, you must consider the "running watt" and the "starting watt" requirements of the electric loads you want to operate. For example, when your furnace motor first starts up, it will require approximately three times more starting watts for a brief 1- to 2-second period then the running watts it needs to operate for extended periods. Your generator must have the capacity to start a motor and keep it running.

Sample generator sizing calculation:

To use a refrigerator/freezer you need 2,250 watts (750 W x 3 starting factor) to start it and 750 W to keep it running. Refer to the Appliance Usage Guide for wattage information.

GenerLink™ is connected to the generator's 120/240-volt AC receptacle using a GenerLok™ power cord with the appropriate generator connection.  The GenerLink™ cord has a minimum rating of 30 amps.

A 50-amp cord is available as special order.

Generators have different types of receptacles depending on the type of generator.  If your generator does not have a 120/240-volt AC receptacle, it is not suitable for use with GenerLink™.

For a list of compatible generators: (View and Download).

The GenerLink™ power cord is fitted with a male plug compatible with one of the following receptacles:

Generlink Power Cord Connections

GenerLink™ Transfer Switch Features and Benefits

  • 200 amp continuous, UL Listed meter mounted transfer switch

  • Prevents back feeding of the utility line

  • No rewiring or subpanel installation required

  • Takes 30 minutes to install

  • Works with most portable generators

  • Gives you the flexibility and control to select what you want to run using your home's circuit panel