This is an alternative backup power provider. If you’re not using a portable generator based on the sizeable electrical service in your home, you can use a home standby generator as an alternative.
Its installation and usage format are different from what portable generator provides. Homes that use 200amp service require standby generators because of the high wattage. Meanwhile, homes that use DC power outlets use standby generators to provide consistent power distribution throughout every circuit in the house.
Users are to mount the generator outside and connect its switch to a transfer switch before it can be used.
Types of Home Standby Generators:
The three types of standby generators are Gas, Liquid, and bi-fuel standby generators. Gas types use either liquefied or natural gas fuel, while those on liquid fuel run majorly on diesel fuel because of the heavy-duty engines.
|Whole House Generator||$3,000 – $6,000|
|Installation||$3,000 – $5,000|
|Total Cost To Install||$6,000 – $11,000|
*A complex installation costs $5,000 to $12,000+. Learn more
First things first
Aside from these, other features that differentiate standby generators are characterized by the manufacturer based on the model.
|Size||Price Range||Typical Coverage|
|2 – 5 kW||$250 – $1,400||One appliance and a few lights.|
|7 – 10 kW||$2,000 – $3,000||10 lights, refrigerator, sump pump, well pump, microwave, TV, laptop, coffee maker, and furnace fan.|
|13 – 16 kW||$3,000 – $4,500||Full home under 1,500 square feet.|
|17 – 20 kW||$4,000 – $6,000||Full 1,500 to 3,000 square foot home.|
|22 – 25 kW||$4,500 – $12,000||Full 3,000 to 5,000 square foot home.|
|30 – 48 kW||$10,000 – $16,000||Large luxury home or commercial applications.|
*Not including installation.
- Standby generators are mountable outdoors and in an enclosure. The generators are safe if homeowners adhere to the safety instructions that the manufacturer instructed.
- Check the manual firstly to have an insight into the safety suggestion from the manufacturer to have the best use of the generator.
- First of all, despite the mandatory rule of situating the generator ten feet away from the nearest door, the mounting format should be in accordance with the zoning code of the region.
- The running of the gas line from the source to the generator should be safely placed. Envisage a life without a standby generator.
- Life would fill with imbalances and endurance of all sorts.
- Food spoilage would become the order of the day.
- The power stabilizer and home inverters may lose their core essence entirely in the absence standby generator.
- Microwaves, blenders, toasters, and other powerful electronic units won’t always be usable because of insufficient power supplies from other power sources.
- In fact, the flexibility standby generators offer makes them exceptional.
- You don’t have to be worried about low power supply or overload with the necessary supply of the needful.
- Standby generators keep your home gadgets consistently running always.
Does a Standby Generator Increase Home Value?
|National Average Cost||$8,500|
*Prices for a 13 to 22 kW backup generator plus installation.
Are Standby Generators Worth It?
When listing your house for sale, the acquisition of your home in the nearest future wouldn’t be like others. It is virtually a liquidity asset that you can sell if it is well maintained. Standby generators can serve a plethora number of needs.
|Gasoline||$250 – $4,500||--|
|Natural Gas||$900 – $4,300||$2,000 – $6,000|
|Liquid Propane||$250 – $4,000||$2,000 – $6,000|
|Diesel||$3,300 – $6,700||$5,000 – $18,000|
|Solar||$500 – $3,300||--|
*Prices for units with power capacity of 2 to 24 kW. Not including installation.
Avoid making this mistake ...
It could be helpful profoundly at home and workplaces. The amperage required to power the entire appliance would predicate the standby generator’s capacity you’ll be buying actually. The wattage capacities of standby generators ranged between 2kw and 50kw, and the price could range between $2000 and $20,000, respectively.
How Much Do Standby Generators Cost?
Some seller vendors offer these services to rate their discounts. The most important feature that drives the cost of generators is their output capacity. This means the amount of power the generator can generate. For example, a 7KW generator can generate 7KW or 7,000 watts.
The higher the power output, the higher the cost. A 10KW generator costs higher than a 7KW but costs less than a 20KW generator. Another factor that plays a prominent role in the determination of the cost of a generator is its brand.
Known brands cost higher than new brands, and that’s because they have been tested. So, they’re now trusted. In other words, a Generac 20KW generator will definitely cost higher than a 20KW generator from a new brand. That being said, a 20KW generator costs around $5,000 and above, while a 10KW generator begins at $3,500.
What is a Home Standby Generator?
Higher power output will cost more. Remember that this does not include the installation cost. We’ll discuss the installation cost below. The installation cost is the amount it will cost you to install your generator. It is different from its purchase cost.
Are Standby Generators Safe?
However, virtually all distributors of standby generators also render installation services and may add the installation cost to the purchase cost if you request it. The factors that determine installation costs are the power output, size of the generator, and the complexity involved.
|Power Capacity||Average Price|
*Prices not including installation.
It will cost you more to install a bigger generator with higher power output.
Tips on Buying a Standby Generator
Generally, it will cost you the range of $500 to $4,500 to install a 7-10KW generator professionally. To install a 12-20KW generator, you’ll cough out about $4,000 – $10,000, depending on the size and the quality of the cabinet.
On the same note, installing a 22 – 45KW liquid-cooled generator will cost about $9,000 – $15,000. This is because it is more complex and difficult to install this kind of standby generator. Sometimes, there may be additional costs apart from the purchase and installation costs.
What You Should Bear in Mind?
Upgrade Your Gas Meter. Your generator will share the same gas source with your home, and the volume of gas that you use may shoot up dramatically, depending on how often you use your generator. It is likely that your existing gas meter may not be able to handle the new volume of gas.
Now it’s time to determine the right generator for the job
So, you may need to upgrade your gas meter. The average cost of upgrading a gas meter is $1,000. You may be lucky to have your existing gas meter handle the volume surge easily. In that situation, an upgrade won’t be necessary.
|Typical Installation||$3,000 – $5,000|
|Complex Installs (Longer Distances or > 20 kW)||$5,000 – $12,000+|
*Not including generator.
Let’s talk about overall project costs
Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions to the rule. If the automatic transfer switch does not come with the package, it may cost you around $1,000 since that is the average cost of an automatic transfer switch.
|Home Energy Assessment||Free With Installation|
|Labor Charges For Electrician||$40 – $100 per hour|
|Transfer Switch Installation||$400 – $2,000|
|Electrical Wiring||$6 – $8 per foot|
|Gas Line Installation||$12 – $25 per foot|
|Concrete Pad||$150 – $400|
|Propane Tank Installation||$400 – $1,800|
|Permits||$80 – $450|
- Also, this switch sometimes packs up. So, even if a transfer switch comes with your generator, it may stop working after several years, and you’ll have to replace it.
- If you’re not an expert in this field, don’t do the installation yourself. So many things can go wrong. Remember, if your generator is installed by non-qualified personnel, the warranty on it will be voided.
- And if anything goes wrong, you’ll bear the cost. You don’t want to start paying for repair works on a generator that has not even served you. Generators are fueled by natural gas, propane, gasoline, or diesel.
- Natural gas is the best option as the fuel will be supplied by a utility company. Also, natural gas gives off less fumes.
- A standby generator is installed outdoors, on a cement pad. Its installation requires wiring it into your home’s electrical system.
Generator Transfer Switch Installation Cost
A subpanel may be added. An automatic transfer switch should be in the equation so that when an outage is sensed, the generator will start up automatically. And some generators will go off on their own when electricity from the grid is restored.
|Type||Average Total Cost|
|Manual||$400 – $1,300|
|Automatic||$600 – $2,000|
*Transfer switch plus installation.
- Get Your Total Power Consumption. To order a generator, you must know your total power consumption.
- You don’t want to buy a generator that can’t power all your appliances or, at least, the essential ones.
Generator Transfer Switch Prices
So, you must sum up the total power consumption of your appliances. At this point, we need to make a clarification. The startup wattage of every appliance is higher than its running wattage.
|30 Amp||$150 – $500||--|
|100 Amp||$200 – $700||$350 – $1,000|
|200 Amp||$450 – $1,000||$700 – $1,450|
|400 Amp||--||$1,650 – $2,700|
*Transfer switch only. Installation labor adds $200 to $500.
You must base your calculation on the starting watts. For example, a refrigerator requires about 2.8KW (2,800 Watts) to start, but it runs on 700 Watts. If your generator does not offer up to 2,800 Watts, your fridge will not come on.
Generator Interlock Installation Cost
So, you need to get the starting power of all your electrical appliances and sum them up. You can then order a generator that can provide enough output. Select a Known Brand. A generator costs several thousands of dollars. Buying an obscure or new brand is like gambling.
|Interlock Kit||$50 – $150|
|Breaker, Power Box, Cords, Misc.||$200 – $400|
|Electricians Labor||$150 – $300|
|Total Cost To Install||$400 – $850|
You don’t want to gamble with your money. It is better to buy a product of a brand that has a proven track record of producing great products. That being said, some of the brands that have carved a niche for themselves are Winco, Kohler, Generac, GE, Cummins Onan, Champion, and Briggs & Stratton.
Potential Installation Drawbacks
- You can select from this branch. When you make up your mind on a particular model, try to read some of the reviews of the product before you purchase it.
- You may discover something you don’t like about it, or you could also learn from other users’ mistakes. Compare Price Deals. To get the best price offer, you need to check the prices on several platforms.
- One online store that has been blazing the trail in competitive prices is Amazon.
Portable Generator Costs
The prices of generators on the platform are competitive. Buying and installing a standby generator is not something you can rush into. A lot of considerations have to be taken in your decision. Finally, when calculating how much you need for a standby generator, add the purchase cost to the installation cost.
|Less than 2,000||$250 – $700|
|2,000 to 4,900||$300 – $1,400|
|5,000 to 9,900||$600 – $2,500|
|10,000+||$1,500 – $5,000|
Standby generators come in a wide variety of sizes, varying in cost from just under $2,000.00 to $20,000.00 and more.
Portable Generator Installation Cost
Generators are sized in kW or kilowatts, so a 10kW generator will produce 10 kilowatts or 10,000 watts of power. A qualified generator installer can help you determine the proper generator size after calculating the anticipated electrical loads.
|Manual Transfer Switch||$200 – $800|
|Electrical Work||$200 – $500|
|Total Cost To Install||$400 – $1,300|
Keep in mind, a standby generator can be connected to all of your home’s electrical circuits or just a few “essential circuits”.
|Heavy-Duty Extension Cord||$30 – $200||Plug major appliances directly into a portable generator.|
|Wheel Kit||$30 – $300||Make it easier to move a heavy generator.|
|Generator Cover||$20 – $165||Protect a portable generator from the elements when outdoors.|
Portable vs. Standby Generators
Examples of the more common essential circuits include the refrigerator/freezer, kitchen receptacles, a few light and receptacle circuits, the fan blower motor for gas heating equipment, the security system, garage door opener and, if you have them, water pumps and sump pumps.
|Generator Cost||$500 – $2,500||$2,000 – $6,000|
|Lifespan||2,000 – 5,000 hours||10,000 – 30,000 hours|
|Power Output||2 – 10 kW||7 – 22 kW|
|Fuel Cost||$30 – $70 per day||$50 – $150 per day|
|Fuel Needs||12 – 20 gallons of gasoline or diesel per day||20 – 75 gallons of liquid propane or 3,000 to 8,000 cubic feet of natural gas daily|
Generator Rental Cost
Most manufacturers include ways to load-shed the non-essential loads, such as a second air conditioner or hot-water heater. Even though the upstairs lights and receptacles are still “hot”, these circuits will not consume power from the generator unless a light is turned “on” or an appliance is operated from a receptacle.
|Power Capacity||Rental Price Per Day|
|1 – 2.5 kW||$40 – $55|
|3 – 4 kW||$50 – $65|
|5 – 7 kW||$70 – $90|
|8 – 10 kW||$80 – $110|
|100 – 300 kW Towable||$300 – $500 per week|
|500+ kW Towable||$700 – $1,100 per week|
Can Portable Generators Run A House?
What’s important is to disable heavier non-essential loads such as air conditioning, electric hot water heaters with load-shed devices available from the generator manufacturer. Now that we’ve identified which electrical circuits are important, we can project the total electrical load from these same loads.
Home Generator Cost Factors
Here’s a sample scenario during the summer months where we are doing the laundry but we’re conserving power and not operating the washing machine and dryer at the same time.
We’re also not operating any cooking appliances. Someone is watching TV and downstairs, one ceiling fan is “on” as well as the downstairs air conditioner.
What Size Generator Do I Need?
Let’s look at the results:. We’re conserving power where possible because, for budgetary constraints, we decided to have a 20kW air-cooled generator installed.
- The 20kW generator coupled with a 200-Amp Automatic Transfer Switch can be connected to all house circuits installed on a 200-Amp Load Center, making it a “whole house generator” for homes 2500 square feet and less.
- Keep in mind the generator is rated at 20kW when using LP as the fuel source, and 18kW for natural gas. Costs for typical 20kW generators (with ATS) vary from around $4,500 for a Generac generator to around $4,800 for a Cummins.
- Most manufacturers now offer a 5-year limited warranty (generally, 5-years on parts and 2-years on labor) with an optional 5-year comprehensive warranty.
- The Cummins RS20A Home Standby Generator is growing in popularity with homeowners for good reason.
|Type of Load||Wattage||Generator Size|
|7 kW||20 kW||48 kW|
|Two Lighting Circuits||200 W||✓|
|Four Lighting Circuits||400 W||✓|
|10 Lighting Circuits||1000 W||✓|
|Refrigerator / Freezer||1200 W||✓||✓||✓|
|Sump Pump||1000 W||✓||✓||✓|
|Well Pump||1000 W||✓||✓||✓|
|Furnace Fan||500 W||✓||✓||✓|
|Garage Door Opener||850 W||✓||✓||✓|
|Microwave Oven||1000 W||✓||✓||✓|
|Electric Oven||2000 W||✓||✓|
|Desktop Computer||200 W||✓||✓|
|4-Ton Central Air Conditioner||8500 W||✓||✓|
|Washing Machine||1200 W||✓||✓|
|Electric Clothes Dryer||3000 W||✓|
|Coffee Maker||900 W||✓||✓|
|Gaming Console||100 W||✓|
|Jacuzzi Bathtub||1500 W||✓|
|Hot Tub||6000 W||✓|
|EV Charging Station||7200 W||✓|
*Running wattage is shown. Some appliances startup wattage can be double the running wattage.
Home Generator Accessories & Prices
It happens to be the quietest air-cooled generator on the market and Cummins has been awarded "Brand Leader" recognition for each of the past five years at Builder magazine. If you live in the northern half of the USA, you will need a cold-weather kit.
|Generator Battery||$70 – $300||Starts the generator when the electricity goes out.|
|Cold-Weather Kit||$130 – $500||Ensures the generator starts in regions where temperatures drop below freezing.|
|Wireless Monitor||$200 – $210||Provides access to generator status from inside the home.|
|Smart Load Manager||$130 – $250||Allows smaller generators to power more appliances by balancing the electric load.|
|Fascia Kit||$65 – $130||Protects the generator’s base from rodents and insects.|
Generator Maintenance Kits
We have the generator and transfer switch priced at less than $4,900.00 and you can check it out here. If you live in the south, no cold weather kit is required, so the generator and switch can be purchased for less than $4,600.00. View it online here.
How Much Do Generators Cost To Run?
Installation costs can vary widely. The lowest cost installation can be obtained if the electric meter and gas meter are located next to each other on the same side of the house. Installation costs may range a bit higher when the generator is located away from either the electric or gas meters, especially in situations where the electric meter is on one side of the house while the gas meter is on the opposite side of the house.
|Fuel Source||Generator Size|
|7 kW||15 kW||20 kW|
|Natural Gas||$10 – $20||$22 – $32||$30 – $40|
|Liquid Propane||$60 – $70||$145 – $165||$150 – $170|
|Diesel||$32 – $40||$90 – $110||$100 – $120|
|Gasoline||$55 – $70||--||--|
*Costs depend on current and local fuel prices.
How Long Can A Generator Run Continuously?
When budgeting for a professionally installed standby generator for your home, it is best to assume installation costs will closely approximate the cost of the generator equipment. This isn’t always true but, more often than not, the rule of thumb is fairly accurate.
|Portable||8 – 14|
|Standby||Up to 500|
Generator Fuel Consumption
So—if you spend, say, $5,000.00 for the generator equipment, expect the total project to be around $10,000.00. Project costs for liquid-cooled generators begin in the mid-teens and can often range well in excess of $20,000.00.
|Fuel Type||Generator Size|
|5 – 7 kW||15 kW||20 kW|
|Liquid Propane||1.42 GPH||3.16 GPH||3.45 GPH|
|Natural Gas||118 CfH||133 CfH||330 CfH|
|Diesel||0.60 GPH||1.22 GPH||1.60 GPH|
- Gallons Per Hour (GPH)
- Cubic Feet Per Hour (CfH)
How Long Do Generators Last?
The 20kW air-cooled generator is the generator of choice in 70% of all installations. Use it as a whole house generator for homes under 2,500 square feet (with gas heat and hot water), or as a partial house, essential circuits only generator for larger homes.
|Type||Lifespan In Years||Hours of Runtime|
|Portable||Up to 10||2,000 – 5,000|
|Standby||15 – 30||10,000 – 30,000|
DIY Home Generator Installation
If your home exceeds 2,500 square or is an all-electric home and you’re looking for a whole house generator, you will need to focus on liquid-cooled generators. The best advice we can offer anyone considering a standby generator is to consult an industry professional.
We’ve seen folks make the mistake of putting the cart before the horse by purchasing a generator without any thought of what they want to power with the generator. I’ll never forget the gentleman who found a “great sale” on a standby generator for $1,900 at a big box store.
Hiring A Generator Installer
He bought the 7kW (that’s only 7,000 watts) generator, then called us for a quote to install it. I asked him, “which circuits do you want to power with your new generator?” He responded, “the entire house.” The man lives in a 4,000 square foot home with three air conditioners.
- Needless to say, I had to explain why the installation scenario he described would not work.
- You might be shopping at a Big Box Store and find a standby generator with lettering on the box claiming to be a “Whole House Generator”.
- More than likely, the kit includes a 200-Amp ATS that connects to your home's 200-Amp service, thus, covering the entire house.
- The generator itself can be as small as 12kW or up to 22kW. This is important: The term “Whole House” refers to the ATS, not the generator.
- If you connect a 200-Amp ATS to your home's 200-Amp service, you now have "Whole House Coverage".
- If you are looking for a Whole House Generator, it is critically important that you calculate the anticipated electrical loads, better still, consult an industry professional.
- An “industry professional” is not necessarily any electrical contractor.
- While there are many gifted electricians out there who can quickly resolve just about any electrical problem, the truth of the matter is many electricians have little or no experience installing a standby generator.
- The lesson to be learned here is to work with an experienced generator installer and, preferably, also an authorized dealer for the manufacturer.
Questions To Ask A Generator Installer
- If you are shopping for a talented generator installer, ask each this question: “How many standby generators have you installed in the past 12 months?” If any of them respond, “Oh, I think I can probably figure it out,” you would be well advised to take a pass on any quote they offer, even if it is your low quote.
- Buckeye Power Systems is an authorized dealer for Generac and Cummins Power Generation and we offer customers the full line of generators from each manufacturer.
- If you're in the market for a standby generator, we encourage you to call us for even better pricing than found on our website.
- Manufacturers require dealers to advertise at a set Minimum Advertised Price, but we can sell the equipment to you for less when you call us at 901-379-8097.
- Homeowners can select between two basic kinds of backup generators to provide electricity to their home in the event of a power loss–portable and permanent standby.
- Each is designed to deliver different amounts of power to the home.
- The cost of portable systems can range from $500-$1,500, while cost for permanent standby systems can range from $4,000-15,000 or more.
- Portable generators are smaller systems that can be wheeled to any location outside of the home and are powered by gasoline.
Extension cords running from the portable generator are brought inside to deliver power to specific appliances such as a furnace, refrigerator, hot water tank, sump pump and lighting fixtures.
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