Is Diesel Generator Cheaper Than Electricity?

cost of electricity from diesel generator

Can A Diesel Generator Be Cheaper Than Electricity?

With increasing rates of electricity suppliers, many people are in search of alternative ways of generating electric supply in their homes, offices and shops.

Moreover, most people are tired of random power shutdowns and constant voltage fluctuations.

In such situations, many people are turning to diesel generators as the best alternative to the regular electric supply.

In this article, we will explore whether using a Diesel Generator is cheaper than relying on the main electric supply. It should, however, be kept in mind that these analyses may vary from state to state depending on the cost of electricity as well as the cost of diesel. 

What is Diesel? 

Diesel is a widely used source of fuel derived from petroleum. It is obtained after distilling petroleum at extremely high temperatures up to 350°C and is a cheap yet powerful source of generating electric power. It is due to these benefits that many large vehicles are run on it. Most diesel-run machines are easiest to maintain. 

Are Diesel Generators Cheaper Than Electricity? 

Can diesel generators prove to be more cost-efficient than relying on the main electric supply?

A simplistic answer to this question is yes, a diesel-generated energy system that uses a generator as the main source of power can be more efficient and cost-effective. However, this depends on your use of it.

The tips below will teach you how you can make the best out of a diesel generator. 

How to Use A Diesel Generator Wisely? 

cost of running diesel generator
Diesel generator

Those who wish to use a generator as their main source of power must learn how to use a generator in the best way to utilize its maximum potential.

Using only a small portion of the generator’s capabilities will not help and may even prove to be more expensive.

For the best results, manage and store electricity is necessary. 

When we say managing generator loads, it basically means that people should know when it is better to use a generator and when it is not.

The simple rule is that a generator should only be used for times when a lot of electric power is needed.

For instance, people can rely on a generator for appliances such as an air conditioner, washing machine, vacuum cleaner and a lot more.

Another way to optimize the use of generators is to use an industrial-strength battery charger that is capable of running lighter loads even when the generator is switched off. The best way to do these things is to maintain a schedule and fix timings of heavy activities like those mentioned above. 

Generator’s Ability to Store

What distinguishes a good generator from ordinary ones is its storing ability and capacity. The better a generator is at storing electricity, the lesser fuel it will need and more cost-effective it will be.

There are many affordable deep-cycle batteries available in the market to help generate and store huge amounts of electric power.

Other options include old lead-acid batteries that are usually used in electric forklifts. The latter is even cheaper. 

Another important thing to remember while choosing the best battery for a generator is the overall storage capacity.

A good battery is one that is capable of handling the total load and storing the maximum amount of power while the generator is working. 

When the generator is turned off, the battery supplies low-voltage direct current (DC). It is then changed with the help of an inverter to the required 110 alternating currents (AC).

The high storage capacity of the battery ensures smooth working of this process and prepares the generator for the heavy loads that it may have to supply power to later on. 

Why Are Diesel Generators the Best?

Diesel generators are the best option because of several reasons.

Firstly, it is a well-established fact that diesel provides a much better average than petrol because it burns much less as fuel per horsepower/hour. This is why it is used for even the heaviest vehicles.

What makes it even better is that diesel generators have maintenance-free engines and hence save a lot of maintenance costs. One reason for this is that they come without ignition systems, carburettors, or spark plugs. 

Other than being cost-effective, diesel generators are also better for the surrounding environment because they produce less toxic emissions when running.

Moreover, there is no doubt about their reliability. People can use them for years without investing much in repairing or maintaining them. 

So far this article has explained the ways in which a diesel generator can prove to be cost-effective.

Since people’s needs and the price of diesel varies everywhere, providing calculations to support these claims is not an easy task. However, there are some estimates that can help give people an overall picture of diesel generators.

Gasoline Generator vs Diesel Generator

Comparing a diesel generator with a gasoline generator might help give people an idea of how cost-effective the former is.

A typical 5-kilowatt gasoline generator that is used to generate power for essential appliances consumes at least 0.75-gal/hour, which is equal to 18-gallons per day.

In contrast, a much heavier 20-kilowatt diesel generator used for higher appliances such as heaters and pumps require only 1.6-gal/hour.

These results show how much money people can save by switching to a diesel generator.

In some states, this would be a lot cheaper than the main electric supply as well. 

Cost To Run Diesel Generator Chart

GeneratorPowerFuel CostGal/HourTotal Cost
Per Day
Diesel Generator20 KW $2.4381.6$93
Gasoline Generator5 KW$2.198 0.75 $39
Propane Generator20 KW$1.8693.45$154

In comparison to these with electricity,

According to, it is estimated that the average monthly bill of electricity in the USA is $117.65.


Average Cost of electricity Per day = $117.65/30

It costs around $3.92 per day.

From this comparison, we can conclude that

A diesel generator is an ideal alternative to the regular electric supply. Other than being cost-efficient, diesel generators are best for places where there is a shortage of electric supply and constant power shut down.

Many offices also prefer them because they enable systems to operate without any interruption.

Currently, many stores, construction sites, schools and hospitals are solely relying on them for power generation.

That being said, whether a diesel generator can be cheaper than the regular electric supply depends on many factors that have been highlighted in this article. 


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