How much does it cost to run a generator on natural gas? (The calculator)


During power outages, a natural gas generator is your best friend. Without access to electricity from the grid, we would have to burn natural gas to generate electricity, We saw how much it costs to run a generator on natural gas.

The operating cost of a generator depends on 3 primary factors:

  1. generator size. A 20,000W generator will obviously burn more natural gas than a 5,000W generator. You can use the natural gas running cost calculator to determine how much it costs to run a generator per hour. We have further calculated the generator gas consumption tables as well.
  2. natural gas price in your area. The cost per kilowatt hour of natural gas generator fuel consumption is correlated with the price of natural gas. Example: Let’s say we have a generator that burns natural gas at a cost of $20 per thousand cubic feet, while the same generator that burns natural gas costs $10 per thousand cubic feet. The $20 natural gas cost generator will have twice the running cost per kWh compared to a $10 natural gas cost generator.
  3. Generator is under load. Generators are run at anywhere between 0% and 100% of their maximum output wattage. If you run your generator at 60% load, the running cost will be higher than if you run it at 40% load.

If we know all of these parameters, we can adequately calculate how much it costs to run your natural gas generator per hour, per day, per week or per month.

What will it cost you to run a generator on natural gas? $0.02 to $2.41 per hour (1,000W 25% load generator to 30,000W 100% load respectively). it will consume anywhere 1.86 ft. From3 from 222.90 feet3 natural gas per hour,

we have designed a gas generator fuel consumption calculator Which estimates the operating cost of any natural gas generator. You simply enter the size of the generator, the price of natural gas and the average load, and the calculator returns how many US dollars per hour of natural gas such generator is consuming.

Here’s an example of what this calculator looks like:

How much does it cost to run a generator per hour on natural gas
Calculator Example: It would cost $0.48 an hour to run a 10,000W whole house generator running at 60% load.

In addition, we have calculated the running costs of 1,000W, 2,000W, 3,000W, 4,000W, 5,000W, 6,000W, 7,000W, 8,000W, 10,000W, 12,000W, 15,000W, 20,000W, 25,000W, and 30,000W natural gas generator at average price and on 1/4, 2/4, 3/4 and full Burden.

Note: If you will need any assistance in calculating the running costs of your generator, you can leave a comment with the specifications and we will do our best to help.

However, first, we need to see how to calculate running costs with the gas generator fuel consumption formula. (This derivation is a bit mathematical, you can go to the easy-to-use calculator and calculated tables if you want),

Gas Generator Fuel Consumption Formula

From this formula, we can determine how much natural gas a generator uses per hour. On top of that, if we know the price of natural gas, we can also calculate the dollar amount of natural gas used to operate our generators per hour.

pay attention: In detail, we can calculate ongoing fuel usage and cost per day, week and month.

Let’s a. Get fuel consumption by using natural gas generator 10,000W Generator Example, Let’s take the 2020 average residential price of natural gas ($10.83 per 1,000 cubic feet, as in) statista,

How much natural gas do we need to run a 10,000W generator at full load for 1 hour?

We would need the equivalent of 10 kWh (kilowatt-hour) of natural gas. According to EIA, we need 7.43 cubic feet of natural gas to produce 1 kWh (74.3 cubic feet for 10 kWh).

pay attention: If you think about natural gas generator fuel consumption per kWh, Its 7.43 ft3 about natural gas or $0.08 per kWh, This is less than the national average cost of electricity ($0.1319/kWh) by a huge margin.

If 1,000 cubic feet costs $10.83 then 74.3 cubic feet costs:

10,000W Generator Running Cost = $10.83 × (74.3 cu ft 1,000 cu ft)

= $0.80 per hour

Common Fuel Consumption Formula

Here is a formula for calculating gas generator fuel consumption:

Fuel consumption per hour = max. Wattage × Weight × 7.43 Cubic Feet of Natural Gas 1,000

We know max. The wattage of the generator, as well as the load. We know that to produce 1 kWh of electricity we need 7.43 cubic feet of natural gas. The factor to convert Wh to kWh (Watt-hour to Kilowatt-hour) is ‘1,000’.

With this equation, we can calculate how much fuel a gas generator consumes per hour.

Example: Let’s say we have a 5,000W generator and we run it at 0.6 load (which is 60% of the maximum load). How much natural gas does such a gas generator consume per hour? Let’s calculate:

Fuel consumption per hour = 5,000W × 0.6 × 7.43 Cubic Feet of Natural Gas 1,000 = 22.29 cubic feet of natural gas

This means that a 5,000W generator operating at 60% load will consume 22.29 cubic feet of natural gas per hour. He is:

  • 534.96 ft3 To Day,
  • 3,744.72 feet3 To Week,
  • 16,048.80 feet3 To Month,

Now that we know how much natural gas a generator consumes, we can also calculate how much such a generator costs in US dollars:

Generator Running Cost Formula

If we know how many cubic feet of natural gas a generator will burn, we can easily calculate how much natural gas costs.

We can use the 2020 average natural gas price for residential users to:

The cost for 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas is $10.83.

If we use the amount of natural gas consumed from the previous example, we can determine that the 5,000W generator is running at 60% load cost:

  • $0.24 per hour.
  • $5.79 per day.
  • $40.56 per week.
  • $173.81 per month.

The general formula for calculating the operating cost of a generator looks like this:

Running cost = Amount of gas consumed (in ft.)3) × Natural Gas Price (in 1,000 ft.)3) 1,000

We divide by 1,000 because natural gas is priced in US dollars per 1,000 cubic feet. To illustrate how this equation works, let’s solve an example.

Example: How much does it cost to run a whole house generator on natural gas? Let’s say such a whole house generator is 1,200 ft. burns up to3 of natural gas per day. Let’s calculate the running cost per day:

Walking cost = 1,200 feet3 of natural gas × $10.83 per 1,000 feet3 1,000 of natural gas = $13,00/day

It would cost $13,000 per day to run such a whole house generator.

Now that we have the theory with the examples covered, let’s see how you can easily calculate how much it costs to run a generator on natural gas with the help of a calculator:

gas generator fuel consumption calculator

This calculator will calculate how much it costs to run a generator on natural gas per hour. you have to input max running wattage of generator (in watts), natural gas price (the average is $10.83 per 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas, and load average (If you have a 5,000W generator and only use 3,000W of power, that’s 0.6 or 60% of the load, for example).

You can play with the numbers, this consumption calculator will calculate the running cost per hour dynamically:

Using this calculator, we were able to calculate running costs for different sized generators on natural gas:

Calculated table of operating costs for generators on natural gas

For the running cost calculation, we used the 2020 national average residential natural gas price of $10.83 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Information: This is a big table. You can scroll down and use the slider to slide it from left to right:

Generator Size: 1/4 load consumption 1/4 Load Running Cost 2/4 load consumption 2/4 load running cost 3/4 load consumption 3/4 Load Running Cost full load consumption full load running cost
1,000W 1.86 ft3/hr $0.02/h 3.72 ft3/hr $0.04/h 5.57 ft3/hr $0.06/h 7.43 ft3/hr $0.08/h
2,000W 3.72 ft3/hr $0.04/h 7.43 ft3/hr $0.08/h 11.15 ft3/hr $0.12/h 14.86 ft3/hr $0.16/hour
3,000W 5.57 ft3/hr $0.06/h 11.15 ft3/hr $0.12/h 16.72 ft3/hr $0.18/h 22.29 ft3/hr $0.24/h
4,000W 7.43 ft3/hr $0.08/h 14.86 ft3/hr $0.16/hour 22.29 ft3/hr $0.24/h 29.72 ft3/hr $0.32/h
5,000W 9.29 ft3/hr $0.10/hour 18.58 ft3/hr $0.20/h 27.86 ft3/hr $0.30/hour 37.15 ft3/hr $0.40/hour
6,000W 11.15 ft3/hr $0.12/h 22.29 ft3/hr $0.24/h 33.44 ft3/hr $0.36/hour 44.58 ft 3/hr $0.48/hour
7,000W 13.00 ft 3/hr $0.14/h 26.00 ft3/hr $0.28/h 39.01 ft3/hr $0.42/hour 52.01 ft3/hr $0.56/h
8,000W 14.86 ft3/hr $0.16/hour 29.72 ft3/hr $0.32/h 44.58 ft 3/hr $0.48/hour 59.44 ft3/hr $0.64/h
10,000W 18.58 ft3/hr $0.20/h 37.15 ft3/hr $0.40/hour 55.73 ft3/hr $0.60/hour 74.30 ft 3/hr $0.80/hour
12,000W 22.29 ft3/hr $0.24/h 44.58 ft 3/hr $0.48/hour 66.87 ft3/hr $0.72/hour 89.16 ft3/hr $0.97/hour
15,000W 27.86 ft3/hr $0.30/hour 55.73 ft3/hr $0.60/hour 83.59 ft3/hr $0.91/h 111.45 ft3/hr $1.21/hour
20,000 W 37.15 ft3/hr $0.40/hour 74.30 ft 3/hr $0.80/hour 111.45 ft3/hr $1.21/hour 148.60 ft3/hr $1.61/h
25,000W 46.44 ft3/hr $0.50/h 92.88 ft3/hr $1.01/hour 139.31 ft3/hr $1.51/h 185.75 ft3/hr $2.01/h
30,000W 55.73 ft3/hr $0.60/hour 111.45 ft3/hr $1.21/hour 167.18 ft 3/hr $1.81/hour 222.90 ft3/hr $2.41/h

If you have any questions about the ongoing consumption and cost for your specific generator, you can ask a question in the comments below, specific details, and we’ll do our best to help.

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