Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Safety & Services > Portable Generator

Portable Generator Cost


How Much Does a Portable Generator Cost?

 
low costLow: $200-$650+average costMedium: $1,000-$2,500high costHigh: $2,000-$4,000
post E-mail post Post   Comments (2)

A portable generator is typically an internal combustion engine powered by gas or diesel and used to supply electricity. It can be used during a power outage or other emergency, at a construction site, in remote areas or for camping.

Typical costs:

  • Small recreational generators (500-2,000 watts) that are good for camping or tailgating range in price from $200-$650 or more, depending on size and quality. For example, the Generac GP1800 with 1800 watts sells for $375-$400. These small generators usually power only one appliance at a time, and their gas tanks need refilling every few hours.
  • Portable generators designed for an extended power outage start around $330-$1,000 but usually run $1,000-$2,000 or more for a medium-sized model (3000-6500 watts). For example, the Centurion 5000 Watts by Generac sells for $650-$950. More expensive versions provide more power and are usually quieter and more compact. Diesel-fueled generators are more expensive but also more efficient, run more quietly and last longer than gas-fueled models.
  • It can be $1,000-$2,500 for a larger portable generator (7-8 kW) to power to a good portion of a smaller or older home, but probably not enough energy for a large central air conditioning system or a heat pump. The Powermate PM 0497000.02[1] sells for about $1,300-$1,900.
  • Expect to pay $2,000-$4,000 for an extra-large portable generator (10-18 kW) that can provide power for most average homes (depending on air conditioning wattage requirements). For example, the Generac GP 15000 sells for $2,400-$3,200. More expensive models may be designed to maneuver on rugged terrain, or are able to operate on more than one type of fuel (gas, diesel, propane).
  • Renting a small portable generator costs around $65-$185 a day, depending on capacity and local rates. An industrial-sized towable generator that can power multiple items rents for about $300-$500 a week, depending on size and local rates, but can go as high as $700-$1,100.
Related articles: Standby Generator, Adding an Electrical Outlet, Upgrading an Electrical Panel

What should be included:
  • Generator output is measured by watts or kilowatts (kW), and 1,000 watts equals 1 kW. An average refrigerator uses 700 watts when it's running, but requires 2,800 watts to start up.
  • A portable generator is basically an engine within a frame and usually weighs around 100-250 pounds. Some portable generators are powered by biodiesel, propane or natural gas, but those are less common.
  • Portable generators typically are not high-powered but can be used at a variety of locations and in a range of circumstances. For a more powerful but stationary emergency power source, see How Much Does a Standby Generator Cost. ThisOldHouse.com provides an overview[2] of generators.
Additional costs:
  • The most common way to connect a portable generator to household appliances is with heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cords. The cords are plugged into outlets on the generator and then run through an open door of window to the appliances that are to receive power. Prices range from $10-$55 each, depending on gauge, quality and length (typically 25-50 feet long).
  • Another option is to have an electrician add a power transfer switch to the home's main circuit panel, typically at a cost of $400-$1,000. The generator is hooked up to the transfer switch using a single extension cord and provides power to selected circuits on the panel. This makes it easier to power built-in appliances like a furnace, which can be difficult to connect directly to the generator with an extension cord.
  • Some manufacturers include wheels with their portable generators, but others sell them separately as a "portability kit" for $25-$200.
Shopping for a portable generator:
  • Decide where the generator will be located when it's in use, and calculate the amount of wattage needed by each appliance. (Wattage is usually listed on an appliance's nameplate, but it's also good to consult with a dealer or an electrician when determining how much power is needed.)
  • When buying, ask about fuel consumption, fuel storage requirements and run time at full capacity. Popular Mechanics magazine provides a guide for choosing the right portable generator.
  • Major manufacturers of portable generators include Briggs & Stratton, Cummins Onan, Generac[3] , Honda[4] , Kipor, Powermate[5] and Winco[6] . Many manufacturers' websites include an online calculator to determine the size of generator needed, as well as referrals to local dealers.
post E-mail post Post   Comments (2)
CostHelper News


Top 7 Ways to Trim Pet Expenses
Pets, for many, are part of the family; another member that needs love, feeding and treatment, just like anyone else in the household. || Posted September 18 2013


Forgotten Expenses In a Home Addition Budget
Items like construction costs, permit fees or debris removal aren't the only expenses to consider when calculating the total costs of a home remodeling project. || Posted August 5 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
PLEASE HELP
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Lori Carpenter in port richey, FL.Posted: July 22nd, 2015 09:07AM
Store: Port Richey
My home burned down in June 9th located at 5819 Apollo St Zephyrhills, Fl I have lost everything! I have been homeless living in my truck ever since ! Then my truck broke down ! I have been terrified! I am 45 yr old disabled woman who has recently been givin a home to temporarily live in ! The home has no powe and is virtually impossible to live in with my health so poor? I have spent my last dime on my truck repairs and survival alone! I have no family ot noone that cares enough to help me? I am in desperate need of a generator rental Iplan on having powe on by the third of August please please help me ??? Ithankyou for your time ! God bless
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Portable Generator
Amount: $399.00
Posted by: david 50695949 in Minneapolis, MN.Posted: May 27th, 2015 11:05AM
Brand: P3 battery systemsModel: Arc2
Store: online
This was the best generator i have use, it is super powerful, super quiet, and completely electric (no gas,solar,wind or fuel needed). I used it over Memorial weekend and never ran out of power! 4 days straight! I love it and would highly recommend it to everyone! 651-560-3004 is the direct number for them. [email protected]
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


 

Comment On Your Experience With a Portable Generator
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Brand: Model: 
Store:   
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.powermate.com/generators/product_detail.php?model=PM0497000.02&cat_id=3&w=79
  2.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,192981,00.html
  3.  www.generac.com/Portables/
  4.  powerequipment.honda.com/generators/eurl.axd/b042254e7b49af49ac085705d51668ea/
  5.  www.powermate.com/
  6.  www.wincogen.com/home.php
More Home and Garden Topics
Check Out All Costs for Home and Garden How Much Does Pressure Washing Cost? How Much Does a Central Air Conditioner Cost? How Much Does a Deck Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com

 
Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
General Cleaning except windows and VCT
Paid: 0.00
Going rates can vary. However, your best advice is to stay below prices like Service Master or some big franchise charges. In general their help isn't that bright or speaks no English... [more]
-Gary Honey
Office Cleaning Cost
Dental Implants
Paid: 72000.00
Why do full dental implants cost more than purchasing a condominium?... [more]
-Jack Sprat
Dental Implants Cost
Clogged toilet to main line clean out
Paid: 465.00
Came out and pulled toilet ( took a whole 5 minutes)and ran his drain cleaning machine 75ft. to clear out clog which took about 15 minutes or so. Put on new wax ring and toilet back in place... [more]
-
Unclogging a Toilet Cost
Houston Flood
Paid: 450.00
never flooded, not in flood plain but just had 34 inches of rain in 5 days, huge flood 5 minutes away, hoping costs don't increase and that new maps won't include us in flood plain$250,000 building, $100,000 contents, $1250 deductible... [more]
-Thankfully Dry
Flood Insurance Cost
Ear Wax Removal
Paid: 1100.00
Yes, just got the bill! I paid my copay at my visit... [more]
-Michelle S.
Ear Wax Removal Cost
Scamming in Detroit
Paid: 410.00
My husband and I went to a sporting event on the Wayne State Campus. We parked in what was apparently a non-campus location. There were no signs stating that we couldn't park there, so we took advantage of the spot. Bad on us... [more]
-Kris Starosta
Recovering a Towed Vehicle Cost