Portable Generator Installation Cost and Price

Portable generators are incredibly versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes. They are essential during power outages and can also power up your devices while you’re camping or attending outdoor events. Portable generators come in different types and sizes, with variations in voltage and fuel sources, leading to differences in pricing. In this article, we will dig deeper into the portable generator installation cost and other factors affecting its price.

On average, a portable generator installation cost ranges from $650 to $2,500. For example, a 5,500-watt gas-powered model typically costs around $1,200. However, prices can start as low as $600 for a 1,000-watt gas-powered unit, or go as high as $3,000 for a 10,000-watt diesel-powered model mounted on wheels.

How Much Does a Portable Generator Installation Cost?

Cost of Portable Generators Vary By Fuel Type

Portable Generator Installation Cost - Price - Cost Varies By Generator Type

The cost of portable generators typically falls within the range of $450 to $4,000. A variety of factors influence the price of portable generator installation, with the type of fuel being a significant determinant.

Portable generators are categorized based on the fuel they utilize, which primarily includes gasoline, as well as options for liquid propane, natural gas, and diesel fuel. In addition to selecting the appropriate generator size, it’s essential to consider the most suitable fuel source for your specific requirements.

Different Types of Portable Generators and Their Installation Costs

Gasoline Portable Generator Installation Price

Portable Generator Installation Cost - Price - Gasoline Portable Generator Installation Price

Portable generators powered by gasoline typically range in price from $450 to $2,000. Gasoline-powered units are widely used in the United States and are favored by many due to their affordability and the widespread availability of gasoline in most areas. However, gasoline can be challenging to store for extended periods, especially in cold conditions or during the winter.

Natural Gas Portable Generator Installation Price

Portable Generator Installation Cost - Price - Natural Gas Portable Generator Installation Price

The cost of a natural gas portable generator usually falls between $650 and $1,500. Many users find natural gas models appealing because they can be directly connected to the gas lines on the utility grid. This eliminates the need to store fuel and ensures a constant supply. However, this convenience comes at a higher price, as natural gas units can be significantly more expensive than traditional gasoline models.

Liquid Propane Portable Generator Installation Price

Portable Generator Installation Cost - Price - Liquid Propane Portable Generator Installation Price

Portable generators powered by liquid propane are priced between $800 and $3,000. Propane is easily accessible and affordable in many areas, and it can be stored for long periods without issues. However, the size and weight of the canisters can be challenging, and liquid propane models are generally less durable. If you’re seeking a long-lasting unit, you might want to consider a different fuel source.

Solar Portable Generator Installation Price

Portable Generator Installation Cost - Price - Solar Portable Generator Installation Price

The average cost of a solar-powered portable generator ranges from $800 to $5,000, depending on capacity, features, and other factors. While these models are more expensive than other power options, they offer the advantage of free fuel and do not emit fumes into the environment during operation. They are available in various sizes and can supply power for diverse needs.

Diesel Portable Generator Installation Price

Portable Generator Installation Cost - Price - Diesel Portable Generator Installation Price

The price of diesel portable generators typically ranges from $2,000 to $4,000, depending on size and features. Diesel models are generally the most costly but are often more powerful and efficient than those using other fuel sources. If you require a high-power output unit, diesel might be the right choice. Various styles and sizes are available, and diesel burns cleaner than gasoline.

Power Capacity Also Influences Cost of Portable Generators


The cost of a portable generator typically falls between $450 and $4,000, depending on its power capacity. Portable generator models vary widely in their power output and fuel efficiency ratings.

Some generators are more powerful and efficient, capable of powering multiple large appliances or construction equipment at worksites. Meanwhile, others are smaller and designed for use at campsites to run electric grills, TVs, light switches, and ceiling fans.

Homeowners should assess their power needs and select a unit that meets those requirements.

Understanding the Labor Cost of Installing Portable Generators

Portable Generator Installation Cost - Price - Understanding the Labor Cost of Installing Portable Generators

The average labor cost for connecting a portable generator to house connections by a professional electrician ranges from $800 to $1600. One of the advantages of purchasing a portable generator is that it requires minimal installation. Position the unit in the appropriate location, add fuel, connect it to your devices using an extension cord or transfer switch, and then power it on.

However, if you purchase a large model, you may require assistance in relocating it. If you are unfamiliar with how they operate, an electrician can provide guidance on the basics and set up the unit for initial use. This process should only take about an hour and will leave you better prepared.

How Much Does a Transfer Switch Installation Cost?

Portable Generator Installation Cost - Price - How Much Does a Transfer Switch Installation Cost?

The cost of installing a transfer switch for your unit ranges from $600 to $700. The price of the transfer switch itself falls between $200 and $350.

A transfer switch enables you to power all major appliances and devices in your home by connecting directly through the circuit breaker box, eliminating the need for extension cords. The installation typically takes around three to four hours to complete, depending on the type of transfer switch, generator, and the wiring of your home and circuit breaker box.

Once the installation is finished, you can simply activate the transfer switch on the unit and operate all your appliances and electronics without having to use extension cords for each of them, as the unit is directly connected to your circuits.

Other Portable Generator Installation Cost Factors and Considerations

Portable Generator Installation Cost - Price - Other Portable Generator Installation Cost Factors and Considerations

  1. Remember to account for the cost of refilling your propane supply when using the generator, as it will consume propane with each use. Prices for propane can fluctuate based on location and season, so it’s important to compare rates and find the best deals in your area.
  2. Consider hiring an electrician to properly connect your portable generator and provide you with a brief tutorial on its usage. This investment can ensure that your generator is installed correctly and ready for safe operation. Professional electricians have skills and experience in offering various electrical services for your home, such as CSST gas line bonding among many others.
  3. If you prefer, you can opt for models equipped with wheels for easy mobility. While this may increase the initial cost of the unit, it can be more convenient than having to manually transport it as needed.
  4. It’s crucial to adhere to the proper operation instructions and safety guidelines when using your generator. Failing to do so can lead to potential hazards such as carbon monoxide exposure and other safety risks.

Tips for DIY Installation of Portable Generators


  1. When installing portable generators, they are intended for use by regular homeowners. If you feel capable of connecting it yourself, you can avoid the cost of hiring an electrician to do it for you.
  2. Ensure that the electricity is turned off whenever you work with any wiring or the breaker box in your home if you decide to connect the generator yourself. Otherwise, there is a risk of getting shocked during the installation process.

Comparison Between Standby Generator and Portable Generator Installation Cost


The portable generator installation cost typically ranges between $450 and $4,000, while standby generators range from $7,500 to $20,000 in price. Despite the price gap, many individuals struggle to choose between a portable or a standby model. These options have distinct differences, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Portable units are known for their versatility and ease of use, as they can be easily transported and utilized at various locations such as work sites and campgrounds. They are also more affordable, compact, and require minimal maintenance.

Standby generators demand more maintenance and come with a higher price tag but offer greater power output and can supply electricity to the entire home during outages. They operate automatically without the need for manual intervention or fuel storage and can potentially increase the value of your property. However, they may produce noise, require significant space, and need regular inspections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a permit necessary for a portable generator installation?
Most urban areas and local governments mandate an electrical permit and a building inspection to verify the proper installation of all generators. Gas-powered units may also require approval from a Fire Inspector.
What is the cost of connecting a portable generator?
The cost varies based on the method used. Connecting a generator with a transfer switch ranges from $500 to $1,000, while using extension cords is a more economical option, with cords priced between $10 and $60 each.
Can a portable generator power a house?
A portable generator can supply power to most essential household appliances and services, such as water heaters, refrigerators, and lighting. It is important to select a generator with sufficient power and maintain an adequate fuel supply based on your needs.
Are portable generators a worthwhile investment?
For individuals residing in areas prone to frequent power outages or storms, owning a portable generator can make a significant difference. It ensures that your household functions normally during power disruptions. Additionally, they can also be beneficial for avid campers, outdoor enthusiasts, and individuals involved in construction work.