How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Generator?

Last Updated on July 1, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Whether for construction site temporary power, a special event, or emergency home backup, renting a generator provides convenient access to electrical capacity without the costs and hassles of purchasing. But how much does renting different generator types and sizes actually cost?

Renting generators enables affordable, flexible AC power generation for short term situations ranging from home renovations to festivals to emergency power outages. Reputable generator rental companies offer diverse sizing options and features to match different electrical demands.

This guide examines typical rental cost ranges, tips for maximizing savings, generator types, optimal sizing, and how to select the right rental generator for any project or situation requiring temporary power.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Generator?

Average generator rental rates can range from $100 per day for a small portable unit up to $2,500+ per week for an industrial standby generator, depending on factors like power output needs, duration, and features. Delivery fees, fuel charges, taxes, and other costs also impact total generator rental pricing.

Average rental rates span:

Small Portable Generators

  • 2,500-5,000 watt – $75 to $200 per day
  • 5,000-8,000 watt – $125 to $250 per day

Medium Portable Generators

  • 10,000-12,500 watt – $200 to $400 per day
  • 12,500-17,500 watt – $300 to $500 per day

Large Portable Generators

  • 20,000-25,000 watt – $400 to $600 per day
  • 25,000-35,000 watt – $500 to $750 per day

Small Standby Home Generators

  • 10-20 kW standby– $250 to $600 per week
  • 20-30 kW standby – $500 to $800 per week

Commercial Standby Generators

  • 50-150 kW standby – $750 to $1,500 per week
  • 150-300 kW standby – $1,200 to $2,500 per week

Large Industrial Standby Generators

  • 300-600 kW – $2,000 to $4,500 per week
  • 600-1000+ kW – $4,500+ per week

Common Additional Fees

  • Fuel costs if not returned full
  • Transportation delivery and pickup
  • Installation and electrical hookup
  • Sales taxes in some states
  • Security deposits
  • Insurance fees

Carefully calculate expected runtime and electrical capacity needs when budgeting costs. Fuel charges can add significantly for long duration rentals. Clarify all pricing details including fees and fuel policies upfront when booking rentals.

Sunbelt Rentals offers a wide range of generator rentals for various applications. According to their pricing guide, the cost to rent a generator can vary significantly depending on the size and power output. For example, a 20kW generator starts at $300 per week, while a larger 45kW generator can cost $600 per week or more. The website also provides hourly rates for generator rentals, which range from $50 to $150 per hour, depending on the model.

United Rentals provides a detailed breakdown of their generator rental prices. They offer generators ranging from 2kW to 2000kW, with prices starting at $75 per day for a small portable unit and going up to $2,000 per day for a large industrial generator. Weekly rates are also available, with prices ranging from $300 to $8,000 per week, depending on the size and power output of the generator.

Home Depot Tool Rental Center offers a limited selection of portable generator rentals for residential and small commercial use. According to their pricing, a 3000-watt portable generator can be rented for $75 per day or $300 per week. The website also provides information on the fuel efficiency and noise levels of their generator models, which can help customers choose the most suitable option for their needs.

The Herc Rentals website offers a wide range of generator rentals for various applications, including construction, events, and disaster relief. Their pricing varies depending on the size and power output of the generator, as well as the rental duration. For example, a 20kW generator can cost $300 to $500 per day or $1,000 to $2,000 per week, while a larger 100kW generator can cost $800 to $1,200 per day or $3,000 to $5,000 per week.

Factors Influencing Generator Rental Pricing

Several important aspects drive total rental costs:

Generator Type and Configuration – Portable, standby/stationary, diesel/gas, single-phase/3-phase

Generator Power Output Size and Rating – Electricity capacity measured in kilowatts (kW) or megawatts (MW)

Intended Rental Duration – Daily, weekly, monthly, or custom longer term rates

Delivery and Transport Fees – Drop-off, pickup, loading/unloading equipment

Specialized Cold Weather or Emission Packages – Additional features and performance packages

Fuel, Taxes, Insurance Charges – Fuel costs if runtime exceeds allotment

Get guaranteed all-in pricing including fees when researching generator rentals. Avoid surprise add-ons.

Typical Rental Costs for Portable Generators

You might also like our articles about the cost of installing a Generlink, whole house generator, or circuit breaker.

Portable generators provide versatile power for worksites, events, home backup:

Small 2,500-8,000 Watt Portable

  • $100 to $300 per day typically
  • Run basics like power tools, lights, camping equipment

Medium 10,000-25,000 Watt Portable

  • $300 to $600 per day on average
  • Power several large appliances, jobsite equipment

Large 25,000-50,000 Watt Portable

  • $500 to $1,000+ per day
  • Equip food trucks, stage electronics, emergency response

Estimate fuel needs carefully. Diesel portables can run continuously longer than gas. Clarify generator capacity and outlets.

Standby Generator Rental Rates

Rent a GeneratorProvide automatic backup power for buildings when utility fails:

Small 10-30 kW Home Standby

  • $300 to $800 per week
  • Back up household essentials

Commercial 30-150 kW Standby

  • $1,000 to $2,500 per week
  • Protect businesses, medical offices

Large 150-600+ kW Standby

  • $2,500 to $5,000 per week
  • Hospitals, municipal buildings, data centers

Require professional install but use fuel more efficiently than portables.

Diesel Generator Rental Costs

Known for reliability, efficiency, high capacity:

Compact Diesel Gensets

  • 25-50 kW – $500 to $800 per week
  • 50-125 kW – $750 to $1,500 per week

Large Corporate and Industrial Diesel

  • 150-300 kW – $1,200 to $3,000 per week
  • 300-600+ kW – $3,000 to $6,000+ per week

Provide very dependable prime or backup power 24/7. Costlier than gas.

Industrial Generator Rental Rates

Serve large facilities and infrastructure:

  • 100-250 kW – $1,000 to $2,000 per week
  • 250-500 kW – $2,000 to $3,500 per week
  • 500-1000+ kW – $3,500+ per week

High redundancy for hospitals, data centers, manufacturing. Require trained operators. Optional maintenance packages.

Strategies To Minimize Rental Costs

Ways to maximize savings include:

  • Avoid peak season rentals when possible
  • Negotiate lower weekly or monthly rental terms
  • Obtain bids from multiple rental providers for comparison
  • Carefully calculate expected runtimes to optimize fuel needs
  • Choose pickup/drop-off delivery to save on transport fees
  • Ask about any current promotions, discounts, or package deals

Advanced planning and negotiations result in the most budget-friendly generator rentals.

Long Term Generator Rentals

For extended projects exceeding one month duration:

  • Rental rates can often be negotiated down 20-30% from monthly base prices
  • Delivery/pickup fees are lower or sometimes waived
  • Fuel costs are reduced with larger bulk allotments
  • Service and maintenance may be included
  • Ownership and depreciation benefits over purchasing

Ask suppliers about special long term rental terms. Owning doesn’t always make financial sense.

Estimating Total Costs

  • Define your required generator wattage capacity
  • Determine approximate runtime hours needed
  • Research rental rates for optimal generator size
  • Account for all fees – fuel, delivery, taxes, etc.
  • Include any electrical hookup costs if applicable
  • Factor in potential maintenance or operating staffing
  • Request quote from supplier for guaranteed all-in pricing

Thoroughly estimating your unique power specifications ensures accurate budgeting and costs control.

Final Words

Whether for temporary worksites, special events, or emergency power contingency planning, generator rentals enable affordable, scalable electrical capacity tailored to unique project needs without purchasing costs and hassles. For occasional power needs, renting generators solves many demands cost-effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

How expensive is renting a generator compared to purchasing one permanently?

Generator rental can provide notable cost savings over purchasing, considering the high capital costs of ownership, maintenance, storage fees, and depreciation. Rentals cost only for the duration required, with no upkeep or real estate. Just optimize selected capacity, runtime, and rental term.

Are modern generator rentals energy efficient temporary power?

New rental generators can convert up to 90% of fuel into electricity quite efficiently, with low emissions. Professional rental companies maintain units to provide reliable temporary power when properly sized and operated. Specify your precise power needs to get the optimal generator. Standby rentals automatically start when an outage occurs.

Can you safely run a rented generator continuously 24/7 over weeks if required?

Small basic portable generators cannot run 24/7 beyond several days, at risk of failure. But for continuous operation, industrial diesel standby generators are engineered to operate 24/7 for months when required. Clarify expected runtimes when selecting larger generator rentals for long term use.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *