What Goes Into the Average Cost of a Generac Home Generator
Compared to portable generators that cost $500 – $2,000 and partial generators that run only critical devices ($2,500 – $5,000), the average cost of a Generac home generator and installation is broad: $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the size of your home and the layout of your property.
Installing a whole-house backup generator can be costly, but a quality unit and professional’s help is worth the expense for many homeowners. Approximately 25 to 35 percent of your total project cost will most likely go toward labor. A generator’s total long-term cost of ownership should also include the propane or natural gas, forecasted maintenance, and occasional repairs.
In most cases, your generator unit is the most expensive component. However, different generator brands can affect your cost, and the installation expense can force you to increase your budget higher than anticipated. In general, installing large generators takes longer and costs more than smaller generators, and a hard-to-reach area on the perimeter of your house can also raise the total cost.
Since generators are manufactured by a number of brand-name companies, your budget will fluctuate depending on the brand you choose. Some manufacturers tend to offer some of the most affordable generators, while Generac generators are on the more expensive side. There are some middle-of-the-road options as well.
Just know that before you lay down money on a quality unit, you should check your local rules. Some municipalities and homeowner associations require a permit, so be sure to check with your local authority for permit pricing and requirements (this can cost between $50 and $250).
The Basics Behind Your Average Cost of a Generac Home Generator
Determining the average cost of a Generac home generator and what you can afford will also largely be influenced by the type of generator you choose. The cost of solar-powered generators varies, but they can potentially save you money in the long run. It’s also worth noting there aren’t many gasoline-powered options for home backup generators — and for good reason.
The most popular types are liquid propane or natural utility-gas powered generators. Over the long term, these are some of the most economically efficient units on the market due to how they are built, as well as the cheaper fuel they run on.
For stability and economic efficiency, installers typically mount generators on concrete pads. If you don’t have one, a professional must install a pad for you. But don’t worry, installation costs usually range from $50 to $75 per square foot. Of course, this largely depends on the size of your generator and the space needed. Moreover, the installation costs for the generator typically ranges from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the size and other technicalities related to the unit and model. Your average cost of a Generac home generator also goes up if your installer has trouble accessing the area where the generator needs to be placed and hooked up.
Location of Your Generator
It’s important to take into account the location of your generator when it comes to your fuel source and circuit panel. You’ll pay more for installation if your unit is far from the liquid propane or natural gas connection since your installer would need to create a longer connection. To connect your generator to your neighborhood’s electrical grid, a transfer switch is used. There are manual and automatic transfer-switch options available, and installing one typically costs between $500 and $2,500 depending on the type you choose.
One last note: Most contractors are willing to assess your site for free of charge (or for a small fee) as part of the installation process. Adding a fuel tank or connecting existing utility lines costs approximately $50 – 100 per hour, and the cost of improving your wiring or transfer switch can range from $65 per hour to $85 per hour. Lastly, depending on the size of the generator, equipment and materials for installation can cost $300 – $2,000.
Demand for Home Generators Amid Extreme Weather
A surge of extreme weather over the last several years across many regions ensured Americans experienced some of the worst times, which increased demand for backup generators and impacted the average cost of a Generac home generator. Standby home generators in the United States are largely made by Generac, which produces the vast majority of quality backup residential models in the marketplace. As a result of its dominance — combined with increasingly erratic weather — Generac has become a household name.
Generac may not employ climate scientists, but it doesn’t take a scientist to read the signs. Generac knows that freezes, floods, droughts, and heat spells are more common today than a decade ago. There have been significant seasonal increases and decreases in the temperature across many states, with the four seasons increasingly characterized by a volatile combination of more extreme weather events. The average U.S. electricity customer lost power for more than eight hours in 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration — which began collecting data in 2013. That’s a 100-percent jump over seven years.
Unique, On-Demand Value
Generac has been proving its unique, on-demand value to homeowners. As of 2022, more than 6 percent of U.S. households owned generators as untapped neighborhoods offered new opportunities to keep individuals, families, and households safe and secure during power outages. As the nation’s electrical grid degrades in reliability, experts project a rise in standby generator sales. Blackouts adversely affect people’s daily lives – and local economies – as they slam certain states and regions in growing rates. They cause hundreds of billions in losses due to what experts say are policy mishaps and lack of regulatory oversight.
What are the reasons behind diminishing reliability in the nation’s power grid? Experts and politicians differ in their opinions. Climate change, local policies, and power-grid mismanagement are all debated and discussed. Reports show that something else might be to blame as well. Weather-dependent renewable energy systems (wind and solar) possibly weakened the nation’s power grid. This has primarily taken effect over the past two decades. Coal and nuclear plants close and local transmission companies over-leverage the country’s bulk power network capabilities.
Reason Why the Average Cost of a Generac Home Generator is Pricey
Industry-leading experts designed Generac home backup generators to withstand varied and harsh weather conditions. This is why the exact model you choose factors into the average cost of a Generac home generator. As such, the manufacturer conducts numerous durability tests under a range of environments. The durability of home backup generators will depend on the brand, model, and maintenance, which is why Generac models stand out.
Aside from being durable during extreme weather, they are also built to last for several years. To provide power for extended periods, home backup generators must be made from high-quality materials — which also lends to their length of life. The lifespan of a high-quality generator can be between 20 to 40 years depending on usage, geography, and other factors.
Once a year, have a qualified technician inspect your Generac home generator if you want to extend its lifespan. They will identify any potential problems early. You should also maintain your generator according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes changing the oil, replacing the spark plugs, and cleaning the air filter. A local Generac installation provider can usually arrange ongoing maintenance.
Make sure you also run the generator regularly in test mode even if there are no power outages. It’ll be easier to keep the engine running smoothly if you maintain the engine and other parts through these test-mode runs.
Although they may be generally greater in cost, backup generators from Generac offer a greater value in return. They are reliable and safe and produce on-demand power for every life convenience. This means all the devices, appliances, and light fixtures in your home.
Internal Dynamics: Parts, Functionality, and On-Demand Power
Lastly, remember that engines, alternators, and transfer switches are all built-in to your home backup unit, which can affect the average cost of a Generac home generator. The engine converts fuel into energy, which then turns the alternator. By converting mechanical energy into electrical energy, the alternator produces electrical current in kilowatt-units of power.
The transfer switch is a large part of your overall unit and installation cost. It’s not safe to connect a generator to your home’s electrical system without one. When the power goes out, your transfer switch kicks in. It automatically disconnects your home from the utility grid and connects it to your backup generator. This method prevents back-feeding. In doing so, it also prevents that back-feed of electricity from damaging the generator. This ingenuity affects the price of Generac home generators, and the way all these parts function together illustrates why.
Generac generator prices are determined by all these factors. However, don’t just price-out a Generac home generator for your situation. You should compare and contrast many brands to figure out what’s right for your situation. In the end, know that Generac has been a leading brand on the market for some of the highest-quality reasons. They include durability, convenience, and functionality for many years.
Average Cost of a Generac Home Generator with W. Danley Electrical
At W. Danley Electrical, we assist you throughout the entire process. We help you prepare for installation, repair, and maintenance to anything else surrounding the research behind the average cost of a Generac home generator. We even help with obtaining permits, inspections, and much more. At W. Danley Electrical, we help you optimize and fine-tune your situation so you get the most out of your investment.