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How much does it cost to install a backup generator?


Most modern households are heavily reliant upon electrical energy supplies. The installation of a backup generator can deliver whole-house energy during a loss of power, or it can be designed to supply only necessary systems until electrical service is restored.


There are small, mid-sized and large generators available, and they work in the following ways:

  • Small - will deliver 7-10 kW, and will be able to run a few basic household systems, but cannot sustain the needs of the entire home. These will average from $2500 to $3500 with another $500 to $1000 in installation costs.

  • Mid-Size - will deliver 12-22 kW, and will be able to function more effectively than a small system and will deliver the power needed for the entire home. These will cost from $3500 to $5000 and will also come with $1000 to $2500 or more in installation fees.

  • Large - will deliver 25-48 KW, and will also be able to operate the entire home. They are liquid cooled and is also permanently connected to the home. Many will come with installation fees of a few thousand dollars. These will cost from $9000 to $25000.


Cost breakdown


Unless the homeowner is knowledgeable in home electrical systems, the installation of a backup generator is not to be considered a "DIY" project. Traditionally installation can include:

  • Assessment of home energy needs to select suitable equipment (unless whole-house supplies are the goal). To understand the needs of the home we do a load calculation that totals all appliances and household systems, and use the total kW figure to select the proper equipment.

  • Selection of equipment and list of installation requirements from Midwest Energy.

  • Preparing site nearest to current electrical meter, gas meter and electrical panel.

  • Setting a preformed pad or pouring of suitably sized concrete pad.

  • A new transfer switch panel must be installed near the original electrical panel..

  • A detailed plan of which appliances and electronic devices should be disconnected during use is necessary as well. Some larger loads can’t be supported by smaller generators.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • Higher volume gas meter installed by utility company.

  • Automatic transfer switch.

  • Purchase a permanently installed generator.


The wisest course of action for backup generator installation is to work with Midwest Energy Solutions, Inc. which is a licensed contractor who can help to accurately determine the appropriately-sized system for the home.

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