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Standby Power – Natural Gas Versus Diesel Generators

For decades, standby generators have been the standard for providing reliable backup power to homes and businesses in the event of an outage. Diesel generators have been the traditional power house, yet newer technology has made natural gas a viable contender for the generator crown. Here are some important features to consider when deciding on which standby power system you need. 

 

Assurance Power Systems are the experts in providing standby generators to residential and commercial customers in South Florida. We can help you find right generator that will meet your power needs, just contact Assurance Power Systems at 561.886.0470 to learn more about our services.

 

Market Breakdown

The standby power market is divided by kilowatts of power: units that make over 150kw or under 150kw. While there are many small diesel generators, natural gas generators have the slight edge in cost when looking at units that produce 150kw or less.

 

Yet, diesel generators outpace natural gas above 150kw in the marketplace. For the moment, a 500kw diesel generator will offer a better cost to power efficiency ratio, while technology for natural gas generators continues to develop.

 

Fuel Costs

Natural gas as a fuel offers a price advantage, thanks to the booming production in the United States. A natural gas generator uses a pipeline, providing extra savings as fuel will be priced by usage.

 

In comparison, diesel fuel must be purchased upfront by the tank-load. The price of diesel per gallon is three times more than natural gas. And because it’s stored on site, diesel fuel must be regularly checked and maintained, adding an extra cost.

 

Unit Costs

Natural gas generators tend to have a higher price point when compared to a similar diesel generator. A diesel unit will cost 60 to 100 percent less than a natural gas generator.

 

The installation costs between the two generators types tend to be roughly the same. This does mean that choosing to go the natural gas route will increase the overall project costs.

 

In the short term, a diesel generator will offer more savings during installation and power usage. However, maintenance and fuel costs for a diesel generator add up over time. A natural gas generator will cost more, but if standby power is a long-term goal, those costs will be offset through fuel savings and lower maintenance.

 

Maintenance Costs

There are multiple ways a diesel generator can fail, which is why regular fuel maintenance is required. The generator’s fuel is vulnerable to moisture, instability and contaminants. Due to this, they must be tested annually.

 

Mechanically, both types of generators will require replacement parts, annual inspections, and load bearing tests.

 

Environmental Costs

Also keep in mind, generators become more expensive if they need to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards. To reduce emission and particulates, a diesel generator must be equipped with special catalytic engines to reduce exhaust. There will always be drawbacks with diesel fuel in terms of health and clean air.

 

As a fuel source, natural gas generators do not create particulate matter, and natural gas creates limited carbon emissions compared to a diesel generator.

 

Conclusion: Natural Gas or Diesel Generator?

The debate on costs between natural gas and diesel generators will depend on a buyer’s priorities. If you value higher power and want to save money in the short term, then a diesel generator will satisfy your standby power needs. If you can afford the upfront price tag, a natural gas unit will eventually pay for itself in lower fuel, maintenance and environmental costs.

 

 

Contact Us to Learn More About Which Generator Is the Right Choice for You

 

If you are still uncertain about which type of generator may be right for you, talk with our experts at Assurance Power Systems today by phone at 877.499.9500. Generators are our business, and we look forward to helping you decide which one makes the most sense for your home!

 

 

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