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How Much Does a Whole House Generator Cost?

July 2, 2024

A Home Standby Generator installed at the backyard of a house.

When it comes to ensuring your home remains powered during outages, a whole house generator is an excellent investment. But how much does a whole house generator cost? This is a common question among homeowners considering this upgrade. Several factors influence the overall cost, including the type of generator, installation fees, and ongoing maintenance. In this blog post, we’ll break down these factors to give you a clearer picture of the potential expenses.

Types of Whole House Generators

The cost of a whole house generator varies significantly based on the type and capacity. The two main types are standby generators and portable generators.

  1. Standby Generators: These are permanently installed units that automatically turn on during a power outage. They run on natural gas or propane and can power your entire home. Standby generators are more expensive but offer seamless operation and higher power capacity.
  2. Portable Generators: These are less expensive and can be moved as needed. However, they typically don’t provide as much power and require manual setup and fueling. Portable generators are a more affordable option but are less convenient than standby models.

Cost Breakdown

Generator Unit

The generator itself is the most significant expense. Standby generators range from $2,000 to $15,000, depending on the size and brand. Portable generators cost between $500 and $2,500.


Professional installation is crucial for standby generators to ensure safe and efficient operation. Installation costs can range from $3,000 to $6,000, depending on the complexity of the job and your home’s setup. This includes labor, electrical work, and connecting the generator to your fuel supply.

Permits and Inspections

Local regulations may require permits and inspections for generator installation. These fees can add $100 to $500 to your overall cost.


Regular maintenance is essential to keep your generator in good working order. Annual maintenance costs between $200 and $500, covering oil changes, filter replacements, and general inspections.

Fuel Costs

Operating costs vary depending on the fuel type and current prices. Natural gas and propane are the most common fuels for standby generators. Fuel costs depend on usage frequency and generator size.

Factors Affecting Cost

Home Size and Power Needs

Larger homes require more powerful generators, which are more expensive. Consider your power needs and prioritize essential circuits to determine the appropriate generator size.


Installation costs can vary based on your geographical location and local labor rates. Additionally, some areas may have higher permit fees.

Brand and Features

High-end brands with advanced features like remote monitoring, quieter operation, and better fuel efficiency will cost more. However, these features can provide added convenience and peace of mind.

Additional Equipment

Accessories such as transfer switches, which allow the generator to switch on automatically during a power outage, add to the cost. A transfer switch typically costs between $500 and $1,000.

Dependable Generator Services in Annapolis

For all your generator needs in Annapolis, trust Chesapeake Electric. Our experienced team can help you choose the right generator, provide professional installation, and offer ongoing maintenance to keep your system running smoothly. Contact Chesapeake Electric today to ensure your home is always prepared for power outages.