The following blog post talks about the cost of installing a Generac generator. Generac generator installation costs will vary greatly depending on the type of generator you buy, the amount of square footage needing to be powered, and the details of what your location will need before installing a generator. Massachusetts residents can talk to a Generator Installer for Free at (978) 753-8350.
We will explore the different types of generators that you can buy and teach you about the steps involved with installing a generator to help you make an informed decision as a buyer. Right about now, you’re probably sick and tired of dealing with power outages. It’s not fun going days without power, lights, TV, and air conditioning or heat. And it’s expensive watching all of your food go bad. But before you jump in and buy the first generator you can find available, take your time and shop around. Find a reputable electrician to help you assess the job and install the generator, rather than relying on Home Depot or Lowes generator installers.
The figures mentioned in this post are just estimates. The cost of installing a generator will vary depending on:
- The type of generator you buy: How many kilowatt (kW) or watts of power will you need? A 15-20kW rating is quite common for a whole-house generator (designed to power your entire home). Will you need a natural gas generator or prefer diesel?
- What generator installers you hire (e.g., Lowes or your local electrician)
- The details of the job (e.g., Do you need an electrical panel upgrade?)
Whether you are using Integrity Electrical, Home Depot, or Lowes – installing a generator requires the same basic steps. Before we start talking about the total cost to install a standby generator, first, let’s take a closer look at how a person would go about installing a Generac generator.
6 Steps to install a whole-house generator
- Contact your town to see if a permit is required to install the generator. Many towns have a checklist of generator building permit requirements. These requirements may include a plot plan (i.e., drawing illustrating the proposed location for the generator). Some towns require the electrical contractor’s information, including their certificates of insurance. You will have to pay a permit fee that can cost around $100. Different towns have different requirements.
- Set the generator on top of a flat concrete slab. A handyman can build this for you within a few hours by using concrete, a level, and a few pieces of wood to create the border that the concrete will be dumped into and used to help level the platform.
- Lock in the generator to the concrete platform using stainless-steel bolts so that nobody steals it.
- Call a plumber to connect a natural gas line to the generator. The plumber should submit a gas load inquiry pre-installation to your utility company to confirm your existing gas service and meter can handle the additional generator gas load.
- Have an electrician check your electrical capacity to ensure your home’s electrical panel is sufficient to run a whole house standby generator. In many cases, consumers will need an electrical panel upgrade to at least a 200 amp panel. A licensed electrician will need to run a line-voltage cable to the generator.
- Install a transfer switch beside the electrical meter. A transfer switch sends electricity into the house when the power goes out, and the generator kicks on automatically. If your generator is not being installed on the same day it is dropped off, be sure not to leave this transfer switch outside the house because it’s a hot item for criminals to steal.
Massachusetts residents can get a free estimate from a licensed electrician by calling 978-761-5978. Our licensed electricians can handle the entire job, from A to Z, giving you one flat fee.
Compare the Cost to Install a Generator at Home Depot, Lowes & Integrity
Before you hire Home Depot or Lowes to install your new Generac generator, let us give you an idea of what the total cost could be. According to HomeAdvisor, “Most homeowners pay between $1,413 and $7,643 to install a standby generator. The project can cost as little as $400 and as much as $9,500; the average installation price including all variables is $4,498.”
Keep in mind; this cost does not include the cost to buy the generator. Installing the generator can be the most expensive part of the job, which is why we dedicated an entire blog post about it.
If you buy a Generac generator from Lowes or Home Depot, you could easily spend over $12,000 in total. This cost includes the generator (10-20kw) and the cost for the installation. Generator installers from Integrity Electrical Services may be able to get you a better deal. Still, there’s no guarantee on the price until a licensed Generac installer or an electrician comes out to assess the job.
Let’s take a closer look at some real-life examples.
Examples of Consumers that Used Lowes Generator Installers:
One consumer we spoke with explained that they ordered a Generac generator from Lowes, which appeared to be a great deal, roughly 3,500 dollars for a 13000-Watt Generac generator. Lowes offered to deliver the generator within three weeks (ordered on May 1st, 2020) and to be delivered by (May 20th, 2020).
Within a few days after making the order and paying for it, the consumer received an email from Lowes saying that the generator would not be delivered until December 16th, 2020. That’s right; they delayed the delivery date by over six months due to a shortage of Generac generators.
How long could it take to get a Generac Generator Installed by Lowes?
We spoke with another consumer with a similar story; they ordered their Generac Generator on September 11th, 2020. They were told it would get delivered by October 1st, 2020 (in less than a month). But a few days later, the consumer received an email from Lowes generator installers saying the generator would not be delivered until March 26th, 2021 (more than five months away).
Is this a trend? Home Depot and Lowes offering to sell you a Generac generator and deliver it within weeks, only to get the sale, and then email you that the delivery date won’t be for another 5-6 months? Be careful when shopping. We don’t know for sure if this is a trend or not. We’re only sharing these real-life stories to warn consumers of the potential downsides of hiring any generator installer and reminding people “buyer beware”.
Example of Low-Ball Quote Provided by Lowes Generator Installers
We spoke with a third consumer that used Lowes generator installers to install their new Generac generator. Lowes offered the lowest price (up-front) to install this person’s Generac generator, but only to later mark the price up by thousands of dollars. The quote provided by Lowes to install the generator did not include an electrical panel upgrade and the fees that would be owed to the plumber to install the gas line.
The cost ended up being $3,750 more than what was initially quoted by Lowes to install the generator.
Generator installers will often sell a job at a low price, only to later mark up the price when they realize more work needs to be done.
How to get a Free Generac Generator Installation Estimate
Generator installers from Integrity Electrical Services will provide you a quote upfront that includes the total cost, so in the end, there are no surprises. This is a Free Estimate.
Talk to a licensed electrician at Integrity Electrical Services today at 978-761-5978.
We can’t promise that we will be less expensive than Lowes or Home Depot, but we’ll give it to you straight. You can get an honest assessment. And if we can help, you’ll get a total cost estimate today that includes the electrical panel upgrade, plumbing, and everything else needed to install your generator.
Benefits of using Home Depot, Lowes, or Generac’s installers
- These big companies offer “generator installers near me” on their website, so no matter where you live, Lowes, Home Depot, and Generac’s generator installers will be able to help. Versus, using a licensed electrician like at Integrity, where Massachusetts generator installers are all that we have available at this time.
- Get low-interest financing options if you can’t afford to pay the generator installation fees all at once.
- Get a 1-year warranty with Lowes generator installation services.
What’s the best option for having a generator installed?
Generac generators can be installed directly by a Generac technician. Lowes and Home Depot generator installers are another excellent option. And as a third option, you can outsource the job to a local electrician and plumber, handling it all on your own. The benefit of outsourcing the job on your own is that you can shop around, look for the best price, and compare multiple quotes.
At Integrity Electrical Services, a Wilmington, Massachusetts (MA) based electrical company, a licensed electrician can provide you with a Free Estimate for the job. A local electrician will first come to your location to assess the situation. You will then be provided with an estimate that includes all of the work.
Integrity Electrical Services takes pride in the fact that they give it to clients straight. You will get a detailed quote that includes everything, including the electrical and plumbing aspects of the job. You can count on the fact that this price won’t get marked up and end up being higher than what they originally quote you. If you need an electrical upgrade or any type of electrical rewiring, you will get the details up-front.
Unfortunately, Integrity Electrical Services can only help consumers in MA. Lowes generator installers are nationwide. You can also get a free assessment for the job right on Generac’s website.
Only Hire Generator Installers That Have Positive Ratings and Reviews
If you end up using a local electrician, make sure they are highly rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and have high reviews on Google, Yelp, and HomeAdvisor. Generator installers are known to take advantage of consumers by offering high prices because the average person has no idea about what’s involved with installing a generator. So it’s imperative to check an electrician’s online reviews, ratings, and credentials before hiring them to install your generator.
Make sure the electrician is licensed. Integrity Electrical Services was rated Best Electrical Company in MA for 2021 by Trusted Company Reviews, maintains an A+BBB rating, and top ratings on Yelp, HomeAdvisor, and Google.
Compare the Prices of Generators by Type (KW)
How many watts will your house need?
You can run the most critical household equipment with a generator rated at 5,000 to 7,500 watts. These include things like a well pump, refrigerator and freezer, and lighting circuits. A generator with around 7500 running watts can run all these appliances at once.
Some people may only need to power up their significant appliances, like refrigerators, heating, and lights. But many of us want to have peace of mind knowing our entire house gets powered up if the electricity goes out. Hence, virtually everything continues to work the same as if the electricity never went out.
So there’s a full range of generators that you can consider buying, depending on the size of your house and how much electricity you’ll need.
List of Appliance and Technology Wattage Needs
Let’s start by considering the least expensive and most expensive options.
Low price Generator
Generac home backup generator cost: Starts at $2,049 for the PowerPact 7.5kW Home Backup Generator with 8-circuit Transfer Switch. This is the cheapest Generac generator.
Generac’s website states that:
“Installation costs vary by system size, installation considerations, and local building codes. Get a free assessment from a Generac dealer near you.”
The most expensive Generac generator on their website is the Protector 80kW, for $24,399. This price does not include the transfer switch and installation. Sometimes the Generac generators from Lowes, Home Depot, and Generac will include the transfer switch cost in the price, but then many times, the cost of the transfer switch won’t be included. So carefully read what you’re buying!
Whole House Generator Cost Vs. Partial Home Standby Generator
A whole-home standby generator restores total electricity to your home. In contrast, a partial home standby generator supports select circuits, such as a home’s water supply or life support equipment, and maybe only ensuring your lights and refrigerator continue to work.
For $700, you can buy a small portable generator that gets your kitchen running, but you may find yourself out in the storm struggling to start the device. If you invest in the more expensive Generac whole house generator, it will go on automatically.
Total Cost to Buy and Install a Generac Generator (1500 – 2500 sq feet home)
One of our clients bought a Guardian Series WIFI Enabled 13000-Watt Standby generator from Lowes for $3,618.30 to power a 2,000 sq foot home. The client needed an electrical panel upgrade and some additional rewiring to meet the electrical code.
The consumer paid a handyman $500 to build a platform six feet away from their house for the generator. The fees paid to the plumber to connect the gas line came out to $1500. The electrical panel upgrade cost $2800, including supplies.
The total cost to install this Generac generator came out to $7,818.
Cost to have a Generator power up to two appliances or sixteen circuits
On average, it will cost around $3,000 to power up to two appliances or up to sixteen circuits.
Cost to power a 1,000 – 3,000 square foot home
Based on square footage, consumers will pay around $3700 to power a 1,000 to 3,000 square foot home with a Generac generator. These costs do not include the fees associated with installing the generator.
Cost to power a 3,000 to 5,000 square feet home
To power 3,000 to 5,000 square feet, Generac generators can cost between $4,800 to $6,000.
How much is a generator that powers 5,000+ square feet?
20kW+ generators can sufficiently power 5,000 or more square feet.
The Guardian 22kW Home Backup Generator by Generac, including the Whole House Transfer Switch and WiFi-Enabled, costs $5,249.
A gas generator is the least expensive and one of the most popular types of generators, costing on average $550 to $3,000.
Natural Gas Generators
A generator that runs on natural gas will cost you slightly more, averaging around $2,000 to $5,000. You can connect these generators to the utility grid, so they won’t usually require fuel storage.
Benefits of using a natural gas generator
- Cleaner and better for the environment
- Less expensive than other non-renewable fuels
- Grid power is cheaper than the daily cost of running a generator with other fuel types
Diesel generators are often a larger unit and more expensive. These types of generators can easily cost $10,000 or more to purchase. On Generac’s website, the cheapest Diesel generator is the 15kW diesel-powered Protector Series for $11,299. This cost does not include the transfer switch, installation, taxes, and shipping. This generator will turn on automatically and is code-ready.
There are also newer types of generators to consider, including solar. Solar generators can cost anywhere from $500 to $5000. Please do your own research and shop at your own risk; we only provide education and information in this blog post to help you make smart choices when considering buying and installing a generator.
What is the generator transfer switch?
A transfer switch is the main component of a generator that provides a dedicated set of switches for each of the circuits you want to power.
“It’s not only less safe to run a generator without a transfer switch, but you’ll limit the devices that your generator can power,” says Dave Trezza, who oversees generator testing for Consumer Reports.
Source: Consumer Reports
Cost to install a generator transfer switch
Make sure you include the cost for the transfer switch when shopping around for generators. Generac generators may come with the transfer switch, but make sure to verify this information before purchasing. These transfer switches can cost hundreds of dollars.
According to Consumer Reports, the average cost to install just the transfer switch averages $500 – $900. At Integrity Electrical Services, we can provide you a quote that includes everything, the generator, transfer switch, electrical panel upgrade and installation, plumbing, and whatever else you’ll be needing.
Will you need an electrical upgrade before installing a Generac Generator?
Many homes will need an electrical panel upgrade to at least a 200 amp panel before installing a Generac generator. And in many cases as of 2021 in Massachusetts (MA), 300-400 amp panel upgrades may be required. The owner of Integrity Electrical Services, Joe O’Connell, pointed out that “In areas in MA, due to the push towards electric (including Lexington and Arlington MA) heat pumps are now required, which puts an end to fossil fuels. This is going to require a lot of homes to upgrade to 300 and 400 amp services.”
It all depends on what else you have running in your home. The last problem you want to experience is if the power goes out and your generator can’t handle all of your home’s electrical needs.
Submit a Gas Load Inquiry Before Installing a Generac Generator
A licensed plumber will need to add a gas line to your home, usually the least expensive part of the job. Before the plumber does this part of the job, they will submit a gas load inquiry pre-installation to your utility company to confirm your existing gas service and meter can handle the additional generator gas load.
Building a platform for your Generator
You can hire a handyman to help you build a flat platform for your generator to sit on. Or, do it on your own following these instructions.
Options to Install a Generator:
- Home Depot or Lowes generator installers.
- Hire a licensed electrician that offers to handle all aspects of the job, like what Integrity Electrical provides, including the electrical portion and providing a plumber.
- Source the job on your own: You can find an electrician to provide the electrical services required for generator installation services. You can then find a plumber to deal with the plumbing-related tasks. Find a handyman to help you build the platform or do it on your own.
Tip: Be Available when your Generator is delivered
Make sure to be there when your generator is delivered so that you can direct the drop-off person on where to put it. Otherwise, you’ll need at least 3-4 strong people to help you move it to the location where it will sit.
How much does it cost to run the Generator after the power goes out?
Running a Generac gas generator after the power goes out can cost around $30 per day.
Final Tips from the Pro, Joe O’cconnel, a Licensed Electrician
- Generator installers will often price the generator installation service low to get you in the door as a client, only to later mark up the price with add-ons.
- Integrity offers a one-stop-shop for buying and installing your generators.
- The total cost can be around $12,000 to $15,000 to buy and install a whole-house Generac generator. Home Depot and Lowes offer financing options for their generator installation services, but interest can increase the total cost you pay.
- Integrity offers “The Integrity Guarantee” and provides clients with a level of difficulty upfront. The level of difficulty is a quote illustrating the total cost of the job.
- Make sure to get the appropriate permit required to install the generator because otherwise you could face costly penalties.
- Integrity will offer a Free Consultation to help you determine the total cost of buying and installing your Generac generator. Call today!
Generator Installation Companies Near Me – Call 978-761-5978