What’s a whole-house generator cost?

 

Post apocalypse living, Greenwich

Figure $10,000, according to this article from last year (published in the Courant right after the latest power outage, or outrage). The article uses normal houses and non-Greenwich prices in its estimates so you’ll probably have to quadruple the cost down here but it’s still a good summary of the various costs you’ll incur and who you’ll have to hire.

23 Comments

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23 responses to “What’s a whole-house generator cost?

  1. Kp

    OG 3600 sq ft house, no AC hookup, 2 quotes each 20k

  2. anon

    pretty accurate price estimate; ours was closer to $12k, but it was in the frenzy after an outage when contractors were putting homeowners on hold and charging up the wazoo. The larger caveat is now towns require permits for generators; x#/ft from lot line so sound isn’t blaring into neighbor who has NO power; and the generator must be fenced or visually blocked by plantings.

  3. anonymous

    We did one last fall and it ended up being closer to $15k (4,600 sq ft) between generator co, electrician and underground propane tank installation. Took just under 3 months from start to finish with approvals. If you already have a large propane tank for a pool it would probably be closer to $11k and be a much quicker install. Like Anon, ours was done in the frenzy of outages and could account for the price and length of time.

  4. GWChase

    Option is a portable gen set that you use when needed and then put away. Mine cost about $3,000 for 8k an another $1,400 for an electrician to install the panel. Got us through the last couple of storms – goes a long time on a couple of gallons of gas.
    GW

  5. Cobra

    Also ordered just after the Oct. 30 snow storm of last fall, ours (14 KW Gererac from Cannondale Generators, 3000 sq. ft. house with no A/C) cost about $10,000 installed, including digging of trenches from the unit to the garage and from the generator to the existing 300 gallon propane tank, electrician hook-up to panel plus landscaping. Took three months to get the Town permits arranged as, allegedly, one of the two inspectors took a long vacation. Ran perfectly on August 6 when Greenwich experienced a six hour, town-wide power loss. Small benefit: a slight discount on our annual homeowners’ insurance from now on.

  6. xyzzy

    Yes I put one in in OG. It’s big enough to run my whole house(3500 sqf) plus part of two of my neighbors houses. (sump pumps, refrigerate plus a few other small things)

    Cost around 15k all in.

  7. Anonny

    Our house came with a 45kw Generac (thanks, Chris!), records show it was between $45-$50k. Natural gas hook up, runs the whole house, including ac.

  8. Anonny

    Ps. Can you, or anyone, recommend an HVAC guy?

  9. GWChase

    Anonny –
    Try Tom Sotille (203-322-6639) – honest, smart and won’t sell you more than you need.
    GW

  10. Townie

    Is anyone interested in recommending their contractor for this? We have approx 4600 sf and estimates started at $20k and up from there. We already have an underground propane for pool. Thanks in advance.

    • You might give Lou Van Leeuwan a call – he’s a custom builder but also installs generators. Lou builds a fine house (I have to say that, I fish off his Tiara) and I’m sure he does an equally good job on these. Lives in Riverside. (203) 223-0634, Lvanlee@optonline.net.

  11. I priced one out a few years ago. For a 15kw Caterpillar, which is supposed to be a better unit than the Generac, it was about $14k all in, but I already have a propane tank. Getting the permit is a real PITA here too. I finally opted for a 6.5kw Honda, which is more expensive than the Chinese made junk they sell at Home Depot, but much quieter and more reliable. I have a Honda mower and snow blower and they’re both unstoppable. It even starts with a key. It plus the transfer panel were about $3.5k and it got us through the 3 day blackout last October (the freak snow storm) just fine.

    What really worried me was losing heat in the winter. The Honda has plenty of power for the furnace, water heater, freezer and fridge and about half the lights and outlets in the house. I wheel it out and start it every other month and it runs like a champ. And if I ever move I’ll just take it with me.

  12. hmmm

    Townie,

    A 36kw fully installed with natural gas hookup should run you 15k. Anything more and its the Fairfield premium.

  13. Townie

    hmmm -more like the Fairfield Cty plus Greenwich premium – like everything else including the plumbers charging $200/hr.

  14. Anonymous

    I can buy many nights at a hotel for that. Not convinced.

  15. Matt

    I have a woodstove and some candles. I don’t need to spend that kind of money on a noisy, air polluting generator. It drives me nuts all the noise they make in he aftermath of a storm, my neighborhood sounds like a traffic jam. Remember the days when it used to be so peaceful and quiet after a freshly fallen snow? Half the world’s population lives without power all the time, I can survive fora few hours. This town should learn to as well. Teach your kids that a little bit of hardship every now and then isn’t such a bad thing.

  16. anon

    Matt: One minor problem. Sure, most of us can live a “few hours” without power after a storm. How many of us choose to live “a few DAYS” after a storm? The power companies are ill-equipped to handle the major outages so I think the rush for generators is less about air polluting (and my propane doesn’t pollute), and being sissies than it is common sense and standing up to the utilities by being self-sufficient.

    On the other hand, I DO think that in towns like Greenwich, with so many people using generators, the power company is in less of a hurry to get people back online. So that much I will grant you Matt.

    • I have no problem with doing without power, although if I were on a well and thus without water, I’d be inconvenienced, but Anon brings up a good point: our two latest outages lasted days, not hours. With an elderly mother to care for, seven days became a concern. Not the end of the world, but a concern.
      But we still don’t have a generator, nor am I in the market for one.

  17. 2112

    Couple of other observations…..many new homes, including ours, contain ejector pumps/tanks. What this means is that if you lose power for days, you can’t run toilets or other water as you run the risk of overflowing the tank and flooding your basement….the reason why we have a 22 kw generator as of two years ago.

    Other cost is the twice a year servicing that generators need…..Cannondale runs about $250 a visit.

    Biggest frustration from extended outages….even if you have generator power, you may lose cable and internet for days. I have observed that the Verizon FIOS folks have been must faster than Cablevision at restoring service.

  18. Brown Eyed Girl

    For Anonymous at 5:43: Booking hotel rooms won’t keep your pipes from freezing/bursting when the furnace stops working, and it won’t keep the food in your freezer from turning to mush by the third day. Add the cost of restaurant meals for the whole family. Multiply all that by 2-3 long outages per year, and you pay back the $15k pretty fast.

  19. hmmm

    beg,

    you forgot that there have to be rooms available to actually get a hotel room

  20. Anonymous

    Here’s how to set up the house for a power outage… a lot cheaper than putting in automatic standby generator… and it will probably keep your basics (gas furnace, sump, fridge, lights) running…

    1+2+3+4 = $1,760

    (1) GenTran 30-amp Transfer Switch = $319 at Home Depot (have electrician install)

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202019403/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

    (2) Electrician to install transfer switch @ $60/hr for 3 hrs (could take longer) + parts = $250

    (3) Generac 7,000 Watt Portable Generator = $1,169

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202048572/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

    (4) Gasoline Cans=$22