How Much Does It Cost to Install a Generator?
Many of us enjoy a candlelit dinner or bath, but you'll need a more reliable option than a few candles if you experience a power outage. Power cuts can be extremely inconvenient, especially if you end up with spoiled food in the fridge or without heating in the winter.
Home backup generators can be a real lifesaver in an emergency, but many homeowners worry about generator installation costs. This guide explains how much you should expect to pay for generator installation by size and type.
Backup generators provide your home with energy if there's a power outage. You can purchase smaller power generators to power just the essential fixtures, or larger models to supply your entire house. Most generators are hardwired into your home's electrical system.
The cheapest option is a portable generator, costing around $900 on average, according to Fixr. However, a generator at this price can only power a few small fixtures at once.
A small, hardwired generator with a 7- to 10-kilowatt output costs between $2,500 and $4,500, including installation. These generators can't replace the power supply for an entire house, but they're powerful enough to keep a few essential systems up and running.
A 12- to 20-kilowatt generator usually costs between $4,000 and $10,000 installed and should provide enough power for appliances like fridges and light fixtures. A generator toward the more powerful end of this scale may also provide enough energy to run your HVAC system.
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A whole-house generator entirely replaces your home's energy supply in the event of a power cut. Generally, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $20,000 for a whole-house generator.
How much you pay depends on several factors, including how much power you need based on your usual energy consumption — the more powerful the generator, the more expensive the unit. You can calculate the size generator you need by adding the wattage requirements printed on your electrical appliance and system labels. Divide the total by 1,000 to convert watts to kilowatts.
The generator type also affects the cost. Gasoline or diesel generators are generally the most affordable options, costing between $500 and $2,000 on average. Propane generators generally cost between $500 and $20,000, and solar-powered units cost between $1,500 and $20,000. Natural gas generators are usually the priciest, costing between $2,000 and $20,000.
Generator installation usually costs around $5,000 in labor fees. Roughly one-third to one-half of this amount accounts for installing the generator transfer switch. You'll also need to purchase a transfer switch, which typically costs about $900.
Many generators provide an alert when they develop a fault. You should call a contractor to service your generator if you see an error message. It's also a good idea to hire a technician to perform maintenance on your generator a few times each year so that it's ready to use when you need it. Overall, most generators cost between $200 and $500 per year to maintain.
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