Being a homeowner comes with many challenges. For starters, purchasing or building a house is incredibly expensive. And when you factor in maintenance expenses throughout your home’s lifetime, anything can seem like a money pit.
Every household needs to have all the necessities and emergency supplies. One of the many unexpected situations you will face is a power outage, often caused by man-made or natural disasters. According to a report, nine states suffered major power disruptions due to storm Uri in 2021. Texas suffered the most, with more than four million households reporting blackouts.
Going without power for extended periods is untenable for most households, which is why it pays to be prepared. Investing in a whole-house generator is something to consider; however, the price tag may seem overwhelming at first. Understandably, such systems are expensive to install, and installation is a commitment many homeowners are unsure about.
If you’re among the many debating the practicality of installing a whole-house generator, you’re in the right place. This comprehensive guide examines the latest prices, the factors that will affect your expenses, and why these systems may be worth investing in after all.
How Much Does a Whole-house Generator Cost?
The cost of a whole-house generator could range between $500 and $25,000, with an average price of around $5,000. However, your exact expenses depend on various factors, including fuel type, size, brand, etc.
Calculating how much power your home needs will help you determine the exact investment and maintenance costs involved. Depending on your household size and use case, you can make adjustments to lower costs.
Factors That Affect the Price of a Whole-house Generator
No two households are the same, so whole-house generator costs will vary. Here are some critical considerations:
Generators need a power source—they can run on diesel, natural gas, or solar power. The cost of a whole-house generator varies greatly depending on the fuel type.
Gasoline generators are the most affordable, averaging between $500 and $3,000. Meanwhile, diesel, natural gas, and solar-powered generators can be quite expensive, starting at $2,000 and going up to $25,000. When considering long-term costs, a solar-powered generator is a great choice because it doesn't require any fuel or maintenance expenses.
As you consider your options, choose a generator with a power source that is readily available to you. This will reduce the costs significantly.
The system’s power output also determines your expenses to install a generator. For example, a small portable generator that produces about 1 to 6kW of electricity would cost about $500 to $1,800. However, this can only power one appliance and a few light fixtures.
In contrast, a 30 to 48kW generator that can power a 5,000+ sq ft home or commercial building would cost around $10,000 to $25,000.
Simply put, the larger the output, the higher your installation and long-term maintenance expenses.
Installation expenses will vary depending on your location and the size of your chosen system. Generally, installation costs could be around $1,500 to $5,000. The larger the generator, the higher the installation costs.
Additionally, your labor expenses may be even higher if you wish to install the generator in a hard-to-reach area.
Most whole-house generators are standby systems, but some people opt for portable options, especially if they’re renting. Environmentally conscious users prefer solar-powered systems as they eliminate the use of fossil fuels. The costs for these varying generator types could range between $3,000 and $5,000.
Traditional standby generators are quite common—installations are permanent, and they kick in within moments of a power cut. However, these systems may be more expensive in the long run, as fossil fuel prices will continue to increase. Long-term fuel expenses can run you up to $20,000.
The materials used to manufacture the system and the brand's reputation highly impact its final cost.
If you’re looking for a trustworthy brand that delivers the best of the best, choose Growatt. You don’t want to miss out on their affordable prices and top-of-the-line products when looking to fulfill your whole-house generator needs.
Is It Worth Investing in a Whole House Generator?
Some homeowners don’t even consider installing a whole-house generator simply because it is expensive. While the costs can be quite high, its benefits are undeniable. And if you choose correctly, the return on your investment can be very impressive.
Here’s what makes a whole-house generator worth every penny:
Provides Backup Power for the Entire Home
Should there be a blackout in your area for any reason, your household will not have to stress about power. Your generator will kick in nearly instantly, ensuring an uninterrupted energy flow. This ensures you can still complete critical tasks and remain comfortable at home.
So, whether you’re working from home or simply relaxing with your family on a weekend, your generator will provide the power you need.
Saves Perishables and Prevents Pipe Issues
Most ingredients and food items can stay fresh for around 6 hours in the refrigerator and 48 hours in the freezer during a power outage, provided the doors are opened sparingly. The window to preserve perishables is very limited—an extended power outage will lead to massive amounts of food waste. A generator can prevent this and ensure you have fresh, healthy meals even during a blackout.
Your generator will also save you additional pipeline maintenance costs in the winter. It will keep your home well-insulated and prevent the pipes from freezing.
Increases Potential Resale Value
Installing a whole-house generator will also benefit you if you decide to sell your home one day. A robust generator increases a property's value by 3% to 5%.
If you’re a homeowner who wants a generator but is worried about recuperating the costs, fret not. You can get your investment back soon enough!
Whole-house generators are expensive and require meticulous planning. While costs can be concerning, the benefits it delivers make it worth a while.
The average cost of a whole-house generator depends on many factors, like fuel type, size, installation, generator type, and brand. You can expect to spend anywhere between $500 and $25,000.
When shopping for a system, factor in your usage and the power source most readily available. Thoroughly examining your needs will help you find your ideal whole-house generator.