How Much Does it Cost to Install a Standby Generator?

Having the power go out in your home is never an enjoyable time. At best you are without power for a few hours and have to find a way to entertain yourself without all of the wonders of technology. At worst your power is out for days, your house gets too cold/hot, and all of the food in your refrigerator and freezer spoil. Power losses can be expensive if they are not resolved right away. It can also be a hassle if your power goes out rather frequently.

A few years back my family and I lived on a farm on about twenty acres. I loved how peaceful it was. There were no neighbors for miles. But, there was a downside. In the spring and summer our power would go out frequently due to severe storms. We live in Kansas which is right in the heart of Tornado Alley. When these storms did occur and our power went out it could sometimes take at least a day sometimes more to get the power back on.

This was a huge inconvenience to our family. When these did occur we started using a portable generator to get us by, but after repeated instances of no power we began to look at standby generators. You see with a portable system you have to roll it out, fill it up with fuel, and then manually connect all of the cords required to power your home. It is not an easy process. But, with a standby system you do not have to do anything. It is all done for you automatically. When the power goes out you will only see a flash of lights and then bam the power is right back on.

How Much is Install?

Over the past few weeks I have been writing numerous articles on standby generators. One of the most common questions I see is exactly how much these units cost and how much to expect for installation. Throughout my research I have found that most folks say that the installation cost will be about the same as your purchase price. So, if you bought a five-thousand dollar standby generator then you can expect to pay about five-thousand dollars for installation as well.

Now, this rule may not hold as true as you start going up into the more expensive standby units. For example, if you bought a fifteen or twenty-thousand dollar system then you are not going to pay twenty-thousand dollars for install. It will be lower… but the cost will still be significant.

Installing these systems is not an easy feat and requires multiple people to come to your home. The first is a technician from the actual dealer that you bought the generator from. These guys should know generators front and backwards. When they come to your home they will determine the best spot to place your standby system. It should be located close to the circuit board but also close to the fuel supply rather that be a gas line or a propane line. Along with the technician you will also need a plumber to run the fuel lines correctly and safely. You may also need the county or city to come out and inspect the proposed placement to ensure that you are meeting code. Lastly, you may even need an electrician to help connect the automated transfer switch on your circuit board.

As you can see from above, there is a reason these installation costs can be so high. The good news here is that the dealer that you are going through to purchase your standby system should be very familiar with this process and may even have a list of contacts and names that they recommend to help get the job done quicker.  I cannot emphasize to you enough though that you should not try to install these units yourself. There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of considerations, and a lot of risk rather it be through working with electrical lines or fuel lines. It is best to leave this install to the experts and pay for installation cost.


When it comes to standby generators folks it is a matter of convenience. Do you want to pay for the hefty price to purchase and install a standby system to protect you and your family from power losses? Or, do you want to save the money and do the manual work of rolling out a portable unit every time your power goes out? Ultimately, the choice is yours. Do you choose money or convenience?

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson

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