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How Much Does A Generator Cost?

Quick Summary

In this blog post, we explore the cost of generators and factors that can affect their price. Whole-house generators can range from $4,000 to $25,000, while gasoline-powered generators are more affordable, ranging from $500 to $3,200. Solar-powered generators can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $25,000. Factors such as size, fuel type, and installation costs also play a role in determining the overall cost. We also provide tips on how to save money on generators, such as opting for solar-powered options or installing solar panels to reduce energy load.


Generators are essential for providing backup power during outages or in areas where electricity supply is unreliable. Whether you need a generator to power your entire home, specific appliances, or even for outdoor activities like camping, it’s important to understand the cost factors involved.

In this blog post, we will explore the various factors that affect the cost of generators and provide an overview of different types available on the market. We’ll also discuss installation costs and ways to save money when purchasing a generator.

So if you’re wondering how much does a generator cost and what options are available within your budget range, keep reading!

Factors Affecting Generator Cost

When it comes to purchasing a generator, there are several factors that can affect the cost. Understanding these factors will help you make an informed decision and find a generator that fits your budget and needs.

Type of Generator:

The type of generator you choose plays a significant role in determining its cost. There are various types available on the market, including whole-house generators, gasoline-powered generators, solar-powered generators, and small portable generators for specific appliances or lighting.

  • Whole-House Generators: These powerful units provide backup power to your entire home during outages. They typically have higher price tags due to their larger capacity and ability to handle heavy loads.
  • Gasoline-Powered Generators: Gasoline-powered models tend to be more affordable compared to other options but may not offer as much power output or efficiency depending on their size.
  • Solar-Powered Generators: While initially expensive upfront costs might deter some buyers from investing in solar-powered systems; however they prove beneficial over time by reducing energy bills significantly while being environmentally friendly too.

Size of Generator:

Another factor influencing the cost is the size (capacity) of the generator required for your specific needs:

  • Smaller Portable Units: If you only need backup power for essential appliances like refrigeration or lights during emergencies, smaller portable units with lower wattage capacities would suffice. These generally come at relatively low prices.
  • Larger Capacity Units: For those looking for whole-home coverage, 5kW plus range should be considered which could increase overall expenses considerably.

Fuel Type:

Different fuel sources also impact both initial purchase costs as well ongoing operational expenditure:

  • Gasoline-Fueled Models: Generally cheaper than others; however, running them continuously requires frequent refueling making long term usage costly.
  • Solar Powered Systems: Although installation charges maybe high, once installed they harness free renewable energy source i.e sunlight, thus reducing operational costs significantly.
  • Propane or Natural Gas Generators: These generators are more expensive upfront but offer a cleaner and readily available fuel source, which can be cost-effective in the long run.

It’s important to consider these factors when determining your budget for purchasing a generator. By understanding the type of generator you need, its size requirements, and preferred fuel type; you’ll have a better idea of what price range to expect while making an informed decision that suits both your needs as well financial constraints.

Cost of Whole-House Generators

Whole-house generators are designed to provide power for an entire home during a blackout or power outage. The cost of these generators can vary depending on several factors, including the type, size, and fuel source.

Price Range:

According to Forbes Home Improvement article (URL1), whole-house generators can range in price from $4,000 to $25,000 or more. This wide price range is due to variations in generator specifications such as wattage capacity and brand reputation.

Average Cost:

On average, homeowners should expect to spend around $9,000 for a whole-house generator installation. It’s important to note that this figure includes both the cost of the generator itself as well as professional installation services.

Installation Costs:

The installation costs associated with whole-house generators typically fall within a range of $1,500 to $5,000. Factors such as the need for a concrete pad, permits, and transfer switches can also impact the overall installation cost.

Cost of Gasoline-Powered Generators

Gasoline-powered generators are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their affordability and availability. The cost of gasoline-powered generators can vary depending on several factors.

Price Range:

According to Forbes Home, the price range for gasoline-powered generators is typically between $500 and $3,200. This wide range in prices allows homeowners with different budgets to find a generator that suits their needs.

Factors Affecting Cost:

  1. Power Output: One significant factor that affects the cost of gasoline-powered generators is the power output or wattage capacity. Higher-wattage models tend to be more expensive than lower-wattage ones as they can provide electricity for larger appliances or multiple devices simultaneously.
  2. Brand and Quality: Like any other product, brand reputation and quality play a role in determining the cost of gasoline-powered generators. Well-known brands with established reputations may have higher price tags compared to lesser-known brands offering similar features.
  3. Fuel Efficiency: Fuel efficiency also impacts the overall cost over time when using a gas generator regularly. The fuel consumption rate determines how long you will get continuous power from your generator before needing refueling. Higher-end models often offer better fuel efficiency but come at an additional upfront expense.
  4. Additional Features: Some high-end models might include extra features such as electric start capabilities, automatic voltage regulation (AVR), noise reduction technology, and digital displays. These added functionalities contribute towards increasing costs.

It’s important not only to consider initial purchase costs but also ongoing maintenance expenses like regular oil changes, filter replacements, etc., which should be factored into budget calculations while considering purchasing decisions.

Overall, gasoline-powered generators offer an affordable option for those looking for backup power during outages. However, it’s essential to weigh these factors against individual requirements, budget constraints, and anticipated usage patterns before making a final decision regarding selection.

Cost of Solar-Powered Generators

Solar-powered generators are becoming increasingly popular due to their eco-friendly and sustainable nature. However, the cost of these generators can vary depending on several factors.

Price Range:

The price range for solar-powered generators typically starts at around $2,000 and can go up to $25,000 or more. The wide range in prices is influenced by various aspects such as generator capacity, battery storage size, brand reputation, additional features included (such as built-in inverters), and overall system quality.

Factors Affecting Cost:

  1. Generator Capacity:

    The power output capacity of a solar-powered generator plays a significant role in determining its cost. Higher-capacity models that can provide electricity for an entire house will naturally be more expensive compared to smaller units designed only for specific appliances or lighting needs.

  2. Battery Storage Size:

    Battery storage allows you to store excess energy generated during daylight hours so it can be used when sunlight is not available (e.g., during nighttime). Larger battery capacities increase the amount of stored energy but also contribute significantly towards higher costs.

  3. Brand Reputation:

    Well-established brands with proven track records tend to have higher-priced products due to their reliability and performance guarantees. While opting for lesser-known brands may save money initially; however long-term durability could become questionable without proper research into product reviews from reputable sources beforehand.

  4. Additional Features Included:

    Some high-end solar-powered generators come equipped with advanced features like built-in inverters which convert DC power produced by panels into AC power suitable for household use directly. These added functionalities often result in increased costs but offer convenience since they eliminate the need for separate purchases/installations.

  5. System Quality:

    Higher-quality components such as premium-grade photovoltaic panels, efficient charge controllers, and durable batteries generally lead to better performance and longevity. However, the inclusion of these top-tier components can drive up the overall cost of the solar-powered generator.

It’s important to note that while the initial cost of a solar-powered generator may be higher compared to other types, it offers long-term savings by harnessing free and renewable energy from the sun. Additionally, government incentives such as tax credits or rebates can help offset some of these costs, making them more affordable for homeowners interested in sustainable power solutions.

Cost of Small Generators

Small generators are a popular choice for individuals who need backup power for specific appliances or lighting during emergencies. These generators typically have lower wattage capacities and are more affordable compared to whole-house generators. The cost of small generators can vary depending on several factors.

Price Range:

The price range for small generators generally falls between $300 and $1,500. However, it’s important to note that the exact cost will depend on various factors such as brand, quality, features, and fuel type.

Factors Affecting Cost:

  1. Wattage Capacity:

    One significant factor influencing the cost of a small generator is its wattage capacity. Higher-wattage models tend to be pricier than those with lower output capabilities since they can provide power to multiple appliances simultaneously or handle larger electrical loads.

  2. Fuel Type:

    Another aspect affecting the overall cost is the fuel type used by the generator – gasoline-powered or propane-powered options being common choices in this category.

    • Gasoline-Powered Generators: Typically less expensive upfront due to their widespread availability; however, ongoing costs may include regular refueling expenses.
    • Propane-Powered Generators: Although these units might have higher initial purchase prices when compared directly with gasoline counterparts, propane tends to offer better long-term value due to increased efficiency and longer shelf life without degradation concerns like stale gas issues.
  3. Brand Reputation & Quality:

    Well-known brands often come at premium prices because they usually offer superior build quality along with reliable performance over time.

It’s essential not only consider your budget but also evaluate your specific needs before purchasing a smaller generator model so you don’t end up overspending unnecessarily while ensuring adequate coverage during outages.

Note: It’s always recommended consulting an expert electrician if you’re unsure about which size or specifications would best suit your requirements.

Installation Costs

Installing a generator is not just about purchasing the equipment itself; there are also installation costs to consider. The cost of installing a generator can vary depending on several factors, including the type and size of the generator, as well as any additional requirements specific to your property.

Range of Installation Costs:

The range for installation costs typically falls between $1,500 and $5,000. However, it’s important to note that this estimate may change based on various circumstances such as location or complexity of the project.

Factors Affecting Installation Costs:

1. Generator Type:

Different types of generators require different levels of expertise during installation which can impact overall costs.

  • Whole-house generators usually involve more complex installations due to their larger capacity and connection directly into your home’s electrical system.
  • Smaller portable generators generally have simpler setups but still need proper wiring connections for safe operation.

2. Size & Capacity:

Larger generators with higher power capacities often require more extensive electrical work during installation compared to smaller units designed only for essential appliances or lighting needs in case you experience an outage.

3. Fuel Source Connections:

Generators powered by natural gas or propane will likely incur extra expenses if they necessitate running new fuel lines from existing sources like utility meters or tanks located further away from where you plan on placing your unit.

4. Additional Requirements:

Depending upon local regulations and building codes, you might be required permits before starting any major construction projects. This could add some additional fees associated with obtaining necessary approvals prior to beginning the installation process. In addition, a concrete pad may be needed under certain conditions to provide stable foundation support, especially when dealing with heavier whole house models. These added elements should all factor into final price calculations.

It is crucially recommended hiring professional electricians who specialize in generator installations rather than attempting DIY methods. The complexities involved in connecting these systems safely make expert knowledge invaluable. Professionals ensure everything meets safety standards while minimizing the risk of electrical hazards or damage to your property.

By considering these factors and consulting with a professional, you can get an accurate estimate for installation costs specific to your generator needs.

Additional Factors Affecting Generator Cost

When considering the cost of a generator, there are several additional factors that can impact the overall price. These factors include:

1. Need for a concrete pad:

In some cases, generators may require a stable and level surface to be installed on. This is especially true for larger whole-house generators or those with heavy equipment components. The installation of a concrete pad adds an extra expense to consider when calculating the total cost.

2. Permits:

Depending on your location and local regulations, you may need permits before installing a generator in your home or property. Permit costs vary depending on where you live but should be factored into your budget when determining how much you will spend on acquiring and setting up your generator.

3. Transfer switches:

A transfer switch is an essential component of any backup power system as it allows seamless switching between utility power and generator power during outages without risking damage to electrical systems or appliances. The type of transfer switch required depends largely upon whether one wants their entire house powered by their standby unit (whole-home) or only specific circuits (essential loads). Transfer switches come at different prices based mainly on amperage rating, the number of circuit breakers they support, etc.

It’s important to note that these additional factors can significantly increase the overall cost associated with purchasing and installing a generator system in South Africa. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult professionals who specialize in this field so as not to miss anything while planning and executing such projects.

Ways to Save Money on Generators

Opting for a solar-powered generator:

One way to save money on generators is by opting for a solar-powered generator. Solar power has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits. While the initial investment may be higher compared to traditional generators, solar-powered generators can help you save significantly on fuel costs in the long run.

Solar panels reduce energy load:

Another effective way of saving money when using a generator is by installing solar panels. By harnessing renewable energy from the sun, you can offset your electricity consumption and reduce your reliance on grid power or fossil fuels during times of outages or emergencies.

When combined with battery storage systems, these panels allow excess energy generated during daylight hours to be stored and used later when needed most – such as at night or during cloudy days. This means that instead of solely relying on expensive gasoline or diesel fuel sources, you’ll have access to clean and free electricity provided by nature itself.

Additionally, many governments offer incentives such as tax credits or rebates for homeowners who install residential photovoltaic (PV) systems – making it even more affordable than ever before!

By investing in sustainable solutions like solar-powered generators and PV installations, not only will you enjoy significant savings over time but also contribute towards reducing carbon emissions associated with conventional forms of electrical generation.

In conclusion:

Saving money while ensuring reliable backup power doesn’t have limited options anymore! Opting for a cost-effective solution like switching over entirely onto green technology through either purchasing an efficient standalone unit powered directly via sunlight rays captured into batteries; alternatively integrating rooftop-mounted modules generating enough kilowatts per hour required throughout any given day without compromising comfort levels within homes/businesses alike are both viable alternatives worth considering today.


  1. https://www.forbes.com/home-improvement/electrical/generator-cost-guide/
  2. https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/how-much-does-a-home-generator-cost
  3. https://www.homeserve.com/en-us/blog/cost-guide/home-generator/

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