How Much Does It Cost To Install A Backup Generator?


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Backup Generator Installation Costs

Professionals & Services Cost Guides      Electricians      Backup Generator Installation Costs

Backup generator installation involves materials and labor costs to install a power supply that will protect your home in the event of a power outage. The actual cost of installation will vary depending on the type and size of the generator, labor rates in your area, prep work or necessary electrical wiring, and other materials you may need.

The installation of a backup generator offers options for all home sizes. The smaller systems require manual start and range in price from $2,500 to $4,500 for the unit alone. Keep in mind that a small system only delivers 7-10 kW, and cannot sustain an entire home in most cases. Typically, people will opt with a mid-range generator model. These styles deliver 12-20 kW, which offers more power but still isn’t going to be at the top of the budget.

Backup generator installation: by unit size, assessment to determine what size system is required, selection of equipment and materials, preparation of a site near the current electrical panel and meter, pouring a concrete pad for the generator to sit on, installing the fuel tank (done by utility company), subpanel and wiring, and a plan describing what needs to be disconnected and which items may be damaged by the generator’s power usage.

Item Cost
7-10 kW generator $2,500-$4,000
12-20 kW generator $4,000-$10,000
22-45 kW generator $9,000-$15,000
Labor costs $200-$400
Total Cost $2,700-$19,000

Other considerations and costs

  • If a permanent generator is too expensive, you can opt for a portable generator. It requires much less of an investment and does not need professional installation, either.
  • Adding an automatic transfer switch is recommended, and will incur an additional charge.
  • Taxes and permit fees are not provided in this cost estimate.

Check out our guide if you need a loan for your home improvement project.

DIY considerations

  • Unless you are an experienced electrician, permanent backup generator installation should be left to the professionals.
  • You may be able to reduce the costs by purchasing a standalone generator that you can hook up as needed.
  • Consider what really needs power in the event of an outage and buy the smallest generator possible to save money and installation costs.


  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.
How much does it cost to install a backup generator in your city?
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Cost by city

  • New York, NY$17,590
  • Bronx, NY$14,454
  • Brooklyn, NY$12,047
  • Philadelphia, PA$15,029
  • Washington, DC$13,041
  • Atlanta, GA$11,799
  • Miami, FL$10,731
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL$11,241
  • Minneapolis, MN$13,187
  • Chicago, IL$15,364
  • Houston, TX$15,847
  • San Antonio, TX$10,638
  • Austin, TX$12,045
  • Denver, CO$10,177
  • Phoenix, AZ$10,737
  • Las Vegas, NV$11,785
  • Los Angeles, CA$13,279
  • San Diego, CA$12,050
  • San Jose, CA$14,555
  • Seattle, WA$10,656

Local costs have been calculated by accounting for labor and material cost differences across different cities. To get accurate cost estimates, indicate yours: