Home Standby Generators
How much does it cost to run a home generator?
The cost of running a whole-house generator depends on the size of your generator, the load the generator is running and the local cost of propane or natural gas. For this example, we'll look at two popular whole-house generator sizes: 13 kW and 30 kW.
Cost to run a 13kW home standby generator
Cummins QuietConnect RS13A
- Fueled by Natural Gas: $3.50/hour to $4.60/hour*
- Fueled by Propane: $3.90/hour to $5.60/hour^
Cost to run a 30kW home standby generator
Cummins QuietConnect RS30
- Fueled by Natural Gas: $4/hour to $7/hour*
- Fueled by Propane: $6.50/hour to $11/hour^
Natural gas prices used are as of February 2019 and are averages of each state per U.S. Energy Information Administration. Costs are calculated assuming the generator is running at full load. Please note that the cost will fluctuate depending upon your unique needs and application.
*Based on current data for the state of Florida. ^Based on current data for the Gulf Coast.
The 4 components of whole-house generator costs
- The Generator: Whole house generators from Cummins start at USD $3,040 for 13kW, and $4,200 for 20kW models.
- Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS): When utility power fails, the ATS automatically connects your generator to your home’s electrical system, enabling it to power your home. ATS costs are usually $500 to $1,000.
- Professional Installation: Typically $2,000 to $4,000.
- Propane Tank: If your generator is powered by propane, you need a propane storage tank. 250-gallon tanks are $500 to $1,500. 500-gallon tanks are $1,000 to $2,500. Prices vary across regions, and underground tanks cost more. Natural gas generators are connected to your home’s gas feed, so there’s no need for a tank.
Factors that influence installation costs
Of the expenses associated with installing a home standby generator, the installation costs vary the most. Costs can differ depending on your location, since the process includes obtaining permits, preparing the site, mounting the generator, getting a licensed plumber to connect the fuel line, and getting a licensed electrician to connect the generator to your home. A Cummins-authorized dealer takes care of these installation tasks on your behalf.
How much could a power outage cost?
An extended outage without a generator could cost $14,280*
If you’ve experienced an extended outage before, you’re familiar with the hassle of staying at a hotel, throwing away spoiled food from the fridge and freezer, repairing frozen and burst pipes, and having an unpowered sump pump lead to a flooded, moldy basement.
Those costs can be avoided if you have a whole-house generator. In fact, savings from a single outage can more than recoup your investment in a home standby generator.