How Much Does It Cost To Install A Portable Generator?


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Portable Generator Costs

Professionals & Services Cost Guides      Electricians      Portable Generator Costs

Investing in a portable generator is a great way to provide safety and peace of mind for your family. This can be a source of power during emergencies or provide power for camping, tailgating, outdoor events, and more. Generators come in a variety of sizes, which is the biggest factor impacting cost.

Portable generator installation: 800-watt generator for a standard-size home, and other related expenses.

Item Unit Cost Quantity Line Cost
800-watt (8kW) generator: standard-size home emergency use. $1,400-$1,700 each 1 $1,400-$1,700
Transfer switch: connects your home circuit breaker to the generator. $600-$800 each 1 $600-$800
Propane tanks and propane: used to power the generator. $75-$165 each 1 $75-$165
Material Cost $2,075-$2,665 1 $2,075-$2,665
Labor Cost (electrician) $65-$90 per hour 1-2 $65-$180
Total Cost $2,140-$2,845 1 $2,140-$2,845


Portable generator installation: by wattage.

Item Cost
3,000-watt (3kW) generator: apartments, outdoor events. $900-$1,100
800-watt (8kW) generator: standard-size home emergency use. $1,400-$1,700
10,000-watt (10kW) generator: larger home emergency use, small commercial use. $2,200-$2,700


Other considerations and costs

  • Make sure that you budget for replenishing your propane supply. Every time you use the generator, it will use propane. Also, propane costs can vary by location and season, so be sure to check local rates and shop around for the best prices.
  • Hiring an electrician to hook up your portable generator and give you a quick lesson in using it can be well worth the investment. You will know that your generator is properly installed and ready to use and that you can operate the unit safely.
  • If you desire, you can find some models that have wheels for easy portability. This can add a little to the unit cost but may be better than carrying it back and forth when you need it.
  • Be sure to follow proper operation instructions and safety use guidelines when operating your generator. Failure to do so can cause issues with carbon monoxide and other dangerous risks.

DIY considerations

  • Portable generators are designed to be installed and used by the average homeowner. If you are confident in hooking it up yourself, you can save the expense of hiring an electrician to connect the unit for you.
  • If you do hook up your own generator, make sure that your electricity is turned off whenever you are working with any wiring or the breaker box in your home. Otherwise, you could be shocked while working on your generator installation.


  • 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 portable generator in your city?
Enter your zip code to get estimates

Cost by city

  • New York, NY$4,000
  • Bronx, NY$3,287
  • Brooklyn, NY$2,739
  • Philadelphia, PA$3,417
  • Washington, DC$2,966
  • Atlanta, GA$2,683
  • Miami, FL$2,440
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL$2,556
  • Minneapolis, MN$2,999
  • Chicago, IL$3,494
  • Houston, TX$3,604
  • San Antonio, TX$2,419
  • Austin, TX$2,739
  • Denver, CO$2,314
  • Phoenix, AZ$2,442
  • Las Vegas, NV$2,680
  • Los Angeles, CA$3,020
  • San Diego, CA$2,740
  • San Jose, CA$3,310
  • Seattle, WA$2,423

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