Skip to content

Natural Gas Standby Generator: The Details


Power outages can significantly disrupt life. Food spoils in refrigerators, essential medical equipment loses power, and homes become uncomfortably hot or cold.

Standby generators offer a solution, providing backup electricity during outages. However, if you’re considering a natural gas standby generator, you might wonder, “How much fuel will it use?” Or “How do I choose the right model for my needs?”

In this blog post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about natural gas standby generators, standby generator natural gas consumption, and how to choose natural gas standby generators for home use.

Let’s jump in!

What Is a Natural Gas Standby Generator?

As the name suggests, a natural gas standby generator is a permanent backup power system that runs on natural gas. Unlike portable generators that require manual operation and refueling, standby generators feature the following characteristics:

  • Permanently installed: These generators are typically located outdoors near your house, similar to an air conditioning unit.
  • Automatic: They come equipped with an automatic transfer switch that detects a power outage and triggers the generator to start up automatically.
  • Natural gas-fueled: They draw natural gas from your existing gas line, eliminating the need to store or refill fuel containers.

Average Standby Generator Natural Gas Consumption

There’s no single “average” standby generator natural gas consumption because it depends on several factors. Here’s a breakdown of some of the aspects that influence natural gas use:

  • Generator size (kW): Larger generators with higher kilowatt (kW) ratings consume more natural gas per hour than smaller models.
  • Running load: The amount of power your appliances and devices draw determines the generator’s load. A generator running at full capacity will burn more fuel than one operating at a partial load.
  • Age and efficiency: Newer, more efficient generators tend to use less natural gas per kilowatt-hour produced compared to older models.

To give you a general idea, standby generators typically consume natural gas anywhere between 1.86 cubic feet per hour (for very small generators with minimal load) and 222.90 cubic feet per hour (for large generators running at full capacity).

What Are the Benefits of a Natural Gas Standby Generator?

Natural gas standby generators offer a variety of advantages that make them an excellent choice for backup power. Here are some of the key benefits:

Convenience and Automation

Unlike portable generators that require manual operation and refueling, natural gas standby generators kick on automatically during a power outage, thanks to the automatic transfer switch (ATS). This ensures a seamless transition to backup power without any manual intervention.

Fuel Efficiency and Cost

Natural gas is generally a cheaper fuel source compared to gasoline or propane used in portable generators. Additionally, standby generators tap into your existing natural gas line, protecting you from the safety hazard of storing or refilling fuel containers.

Clean Burning Operation

Natural gas generators produce fewer emissions than gasoline or diesel-powered generators, making them a more environmentally friendly option for backup power.

Reliability and Durability

Permanently installed standby generators are built to withstand outdoor elements and provide reliable power during outages. They typically require less maintenance compared to portable generators, too.

Peace of Mind and Security

Power outages can disrupt essential medical equipment, food storage, and overall comfort. A standby generator offers peace of mind by ensuring your home’s critical systems can continue functioning during power cuts.

Wider Appliance Support

Standby generators can be sized to power a more significant portion of your home’s electrical system compared to portable generators. This allows you to run essential appliances, lights, and even your entire house, depending on your needs.

How to Choose Natural Gas Standby Generators for Home Use?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different options for a natural gas standby generator. If you’re not sure which model to choose, here are some of the critical factors to consider:

Power Needs

Make a list of appliances you want to power during an outage. Prioritize essentials, such as refrigerators, freezers, or medical equipment.

Then, research each appliance’s wattage requirements (usually found on a label). Add them up to determine your home’s minimum wattage needs.

Add a 25 percent buffer to your minimum wattage to account for surge loads when appliances start. This buffer ensures your generator isn’t running at full capacity all the time, promoting greater efficiency and a longer lifespan.

Generator Size

Choose a generator with a kilowatt (kW) rating that meets your calculated wattage needs with the added buffer. If you plan on adding appliances later, select a slightly larger generator to accommodate future growth.


Standby generators come in various sizes and features, impacting the initial purchase price. Factor in professional installation costs, which can vary depending on complexity and electrician rates.

Research natural gas prices in your area to estimate running costs, too. Consider using online calculators that factor in generator size, expected load, and gas price.

Additional Features

The following are some additional features you may want to look at and consider when choosing a generator:

  • Noise Level: Generators can be noisy. Look for models with lower decibel ratings for quieter operation, especially if the generator is placed near living areas.
  • Transfer Switch Location: Ideally, the transfer switch should be located indoors for easy accessibility and operation.
  • Warranty: Compare warranty lengths and coverage offered by different manufacturers.

Research and Reputation

Research reputable generator brands that are known for quality, reliability, and customer service. Look for online reviews from other homeowners to get real-world user experiences.

It also helps to get quotes from licensed electricians experienced in standby generator installation. They can offer more in-depth advice and help you select the best generator for your needs.

Invest in Natural Gas Standby Generators for Home Use Today

Natural gas standby generators for home use offer a powerful solution for keeping your home’s essential systems running during power outages.

Understanding factors that influence standby generator natural gas consumption, such as generator size, running load, and efficiency, can help you estimate fuel usage and running costs. Carefully evaluating your home’s power requirements and weighing the benefits against the investment will also ensure you choose the most suitable standby generator.

If you need more help deciding on a generator, feel free to contact us at Premier Generators. As your go-to Generac generator dealer in Tennessee, we can answer any questions you might have and point you toward the perfect model.