$3,000 – $5,000 Installation Only$6,000 – $11,000 Whole-House Generator + Install. Home generator installation costs $6,000 to $11,000 on average, including the whole-house generator. Standby backup generators cost $2,000 to $6,000 alone, and portable generators cost $500 to $2,500.
Options to Install a Generator:
The cost to install a generator transfer switch is $400 to $2,000. Get free estimates from generator installers near you or view our cost guide below. Reviewed on September 9, 2020, by Tom Grupa and 5 Expert Generator Installers on HomeGuide.
Whole house generators cost $6,000 to $11,000 on average, including installation. Home generators cost $3,000 to $6,000 alone, and the cost to install a whole-house generator is $3,000 to $5,000. Generac generators cost $2,000 to $5,000 for a whole-house unit, without installation. Standby generators can power select circuits or a whole home, depending on the generator's size in kilowatts (kW) and circuits in the transfer switch. Home standby generators, also called backup or whole-house generators, are permanently wired into the electric panel and automatically turn on during a power outage.
Whole-home generators cost $50 to $150 per day to run and provide a power source for up to 500 hours continuously or three weeks. Standby generators last 15 to 30 years or 10,000 to 30,000 hours. Portable generators cost $500 to $2,500 for a 5 to 10 kW unit, must be turned on manually, and can only power critical appliances and ten lights.
Whole House Generator Cost. Generator Costs By Type. Generac Generator Costs. Generator Installation Costs. Portable Generator Costs. Home Generator Cost Factors. How Much Do Generators Cost To Run? Generator prices range from $2,000 to $6,000 for a 7 to 22 kW natural gas or liquid propane system, without installation. Whole house diesel generators cost $5,000 to $18,000.
Portable gasoline generators cost $500 to $2,500 for a 3 to 10 kW backup unit. Portable gasoline generators cost $500 to $2,500 for a 3 to 10 kW unit. Gasoline generators have lower upfront costs and can power essential appliances during brief outages.
However, they are noisy and require storage space for the generator and gas, which has a shorter shelf-life than other fuels. Always run a gasoline generator outdoors at least 20 feet from the home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Natural gas generators cost $2,000 to $6,000 for a whole house, depending on size.
They can be installed to a home’s existing gas line and require no fuel storage. Natural gas is cheaper than diesel or propane, but relies on pipelines that may be shut off or damaged during severe storms. Liquid propane generators cost $250 to $4,000 for portable models or $2,000 to $6,000 for permanent backup units, depending on size.
- Liquid propane lasts longer and burns cleaner than other fuels but is more expensive and requires a large storage tank, which increases installation costs.
- Portable diesel generators cost $3,300 to $6,700 and whole-house diesel generators cost $5,000 to $18,000.
- Diesel generators are more efficient, reliable, and require less upkeep than natural gas or propane generators.
- However, they cost more, require manual refueling, and emit pollutants.
- Portable solar generators cost $500 to $3,300 and are ideal for apartment and condo residents or homeowners seeking an environmentally friendly solution.
- Solar generators run quietly, produce no fumes, and can be used indoors, but can’t store enough energy to power a whole home. Generac generators cost $2,000 to $5,000 for a 7 to 24 kW whole-house unit, plus $3,000 to $5,000 for installation.
Generac’s standby generators turn on automatically during power outages and run on natural gas or liquid propane. Generac is the leading brand in whole-home generators. Other standby generator brands to compare are Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, Honda, and Cummins. A Kohler generator costs $2,700 to $16,000 depending on size, ranging from 6 to 48 kW. Kohler home generators run on natural gas or liquid propane, feature remote smartphone monitoring, and include an automatic transfer switch to turn on automatically during power outages.
Briggs & Stratton home generators cost $2,400 to $15,300 depending on size, with models ranging from 10 to 48 kW.
Briggs & Stratton generators feature wireless monitoring, automatic low oil shutdown, and power management to control power distribution to select appliances and prevent overloads.
Cummins standby generators cost $3,100 to $13,900 for models ranging from 13 to 40 kW. Cummins generators feature sound-insulated enclosures, remote diagnostics, and intelligent load management to balance power use across multiple appliances so a smaller generator can power an entire home. Home generator installation costs $3,000 to $5,000 on average, not including the backup generator itself. The cost to install a whole house generator depends on the size, fuel source, distance from the electrical panel and gas meter, and amount of wiring and gas plumbing to hook up.
Generator Costs By Type
Get free estimates from electricians near you.View Pros. Complex generator installation jobs may require long trenches for electrical conduit and gas pipes, propane tank installation, or higher labor costs to install liquid-cooled generators. Electricians charge$40 to $100 per hour to install wiring and hook up a backup generator to the electrical panel. Natural gas and liquid propane generator installations require gas plumbing by a licensed professional.
Gas line installation costs$12 to $25 per linear foot. Installing a liquid propane generator typically costs more than a natural gas or diesel generator because it requires a new fuel tank. Propane tanks cost$400 to $1,800 on average. Separate electrical, plumbing, and mechanical permits may be required depending on local regulations. Permits cost $80 to $450 total on average.
Home Generator Cost Factors
A pre-cast concrete pad costs$150 to $400 for a generator, which is typically three to four inches thick. The average cost to install a generator transfer switch is $400 to $2,000 for materials and labor. For labor alone, and electrician costs $200 to $500 and takes three to four hours to install a transfer switch.
A manual or automatic transfer switch connects a generator to a home's electrical panel. Manual transfer switches are ideal for portable generators, but the switch must be flipped manually when the power goes out. Automatic transfer switches are optimal for standby generators and automatically turn on a generator during a power outage.
A manual transfer switch costs $200 to $800 on average, and an automatic switch costs $400 to $2,000. Prices depend on the amperage and don't include installation. The transfer switch amps must match the main breaker in the electrical panel. Otherwise, transfer switches that only power select circuits should be sized by an electrician according to the power requirements.
A generator interlock installation costs $400 to $850 on average for the interlock kit, power box, breaker, cords, and electricians labor. An interlock kit allows a portable generator to connect to the electrical panel without a transfer switch and eliminates a dangerous direct connection. An interlock covers the panel's main cutoff switch so it can't switch on while the backup generator is running.
Not all interlocks meet local building codes or work with every electrical system. For safety, a generator should be located outside at least five feet away from doors, windows, vents, and flammable material. Most generators produce 60 to 70 decibels (dB) from 25 feet away, similar to a central air conditioner. Some city properties are tighter, increasing the noise level, which may be regulated by local noise ordinances.
Generators need regular maintenance to ensure reliability. Portable generators cost $250 to $2,500, depending on the brand, power capacity, and fuel type. Portable generators under 2 kW cost $250 to $700 and can power one appliance and a few lights, while 5 to 10 kW generators cost $600 to $2,500 and can power multiple appliances and 10+ lights.
Portable generators are a budget-friendly temporary solution for backup power. Never plug a generator directly into an outlet in the home. This is illegal and can cause electrocution or set fire to the house. The average cost to install a portable generator is $400 to $1,300. A manual transfer switch costs $200 to $800, plus $200 to $500 for the electrical work. Heavy-duty extensions cords rated for 30 to 50 amps cost $30 to $200 for plugging appliances directly into the generator instead. Consider these accessories when installing a portable generator:. Standby generators are permanently installed outside the home, start automatically when the power goes out, and run for several weeks.
How much does it cost to run the Generator after the power goes out?
Portable generators are smaller and cheaper, but are less powerful, must be started and refueled manually, and shouldn’t run for more than two consecutive days. Smaller and less expensive. Lower installation costs. Can power lights and essential appliances. Prevents food from spoiling during an outage.
Easy to move around. Require minimal maintenance. Useful for camping, outdoor events, or construction site. Can power a whole house. Quieter than a portable generator.
Can run for days or weeks continuously. Starts automatically. Can power sensitive electronics. Can power heating, air conditioning, and hot water heater.
Significantly less powerful. Require manual start and refueling. Produces hazardous fumes. Requires space for storage. Can’t power sensitive electronics. Can’t power heating or air conditioning. Can’t run for more than two consecutive days. Requires professional installation. Permanently fixed in place. Requires regular maintenance. Requires propane or diesel fuel delivery or access to a natural gas pipeline.
Renting a small portable generator costs $40 to $110 per day without fuel, depending on the power capacity and local rental rates. Renting an industrial towable generator costs $300 to $1,000 per week, depending on the size. Portable generators connect to a home's electrical panel with a transfer switch or interlock kit.
This allows the generator to power lights and essential appliances for outages lasting less than two days. However, portable generators can’t power heating and cooling systems or sensitive electronics.
Total installation costs depend on the generator's size (kW), whether it's standby vs. portable, fuel source, accessories, and the wiring and hook up complexity. Professional installers offer free home energy assessments to determine the proper size backup generator depending on your power needs.