Standby Generator Costs

A standby generator is in place to pick up the power demand when a grid outage occurs, thereby providing backup power automatically when needed.

You will find that the cost to install an average standby generator depends upon the power and class ratings, power transfer controls, job preparation and special requirements, and the labor rate.

In the following table the Labor Cost figure is what the able and prepared DIY persons should expect to save by performing the corresponding tasks.

Install backup generator: to automatically provide backup power with engine start and circuit transfer on grid outage; hard wired interface at home load center.

ItemUnit CostQuantityLine Cost
Engine generator set: outdoor pad-mounted, air-cooled with 7000 watts output; LP or natural gas fuel; rain-tight enclosure; 10 second backup response time; unit delivered and placed.$2,530each1$2,530
Upgrade: additional cost to upgrade to a 100 amp, 16000 watt, engine generator set.$1,610each1$1,610
Material Cost$4,140each1$4,140
+ Labor Cost (electrical)$42per hour3$126
Total Cost$4,266each1$4,266

Other considerations and costs

  • Labor cost will rise with a “hidden” installation in a finished environment.
  • These prices are for service in the immediate service area of the provider.
  • Costs to install gas supply accessories are not included.
  • Taxes and permit fees are not included.

DIY considerations

  • This project is somewhat suitable for DIY with good electrical skills and tools.
  • Electrical circuits and installations must comply with codes to reduce fire risk.


  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2015.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.   

Cost to install a standby generator in my city

Cost to install a standby generator varies greatly by region. To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.