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Is Diesel Better than Electric?


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We are regularly asked, what is better, diesel or electric generators?

We often have two options when powering our homes or businesses: diesel generators or electric generators. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, making it difficult to determine which is better. In this article, we will explore the cost of running a generator in the UK, if you can run your house on a generator in the UK, and if it’s safe to run a generator 24/7. By the end of this article, you will better understand which option is best for your specific needs. Running a generator can be expensive, especially if you use it for extended periods. The cost of running a generator in the UK will depend on many factors, such as the type of fuel you use, the size of the generator, and how often you use it.

  • The cost of fuel: Diesel fuel is generally more expensive than petrol, so using a diesel generator will cost more.
  • The size of the generator: The larger the generator, the more fuel it will consume, leading to higher operating costs. You can find out more on sizing generators by kVA here.
  • How often you use it: The more frequently you use your generator, the more you will need to spend on fuel.


New generator installed at Teesside Hospice
Bellwood Rewinds

Generally, running a generator in the UK can cost anywhere from £2 to £10 per hour, depending on the above mentioned factors. Yes, running your house on a generator in the UK is possible, but it’s essential to understand that not all generators are created equal. If you plan on using a generator to power your home, you must choose a generator capable of handling your power needs.

  1. Calculate your power needs: The first step in choosing a generator for your home is to calculate your power needs. This will depend on how many appliances and devices you plan on running and their power requirements.
  2. Choose the right generator: Once you know how much power you need, you can choose a generator that can meet your needs. It is essential to select a generator that is powerful enough to handle your needs but not so powerful that it wastes fuel.
  3. Install the generator: Once you have chosen the right generator, you must have it installed by a professional electrician. They will be able to ensure that the generator is adequately wired into your home’s electrical system and that it meets all safety requirements.

While it is possible to run a generator 24/7, it’s not recommended. Running a generator for extended periods can lead to some issues, such as:

  1. Increased fuel consumption: The longer you run your generator, the more fuel it will consume. This can lead to higher operating costs.
  2. Wear and tear: Running your generator for extended periods can cause increased wear and tear on the engine and other components, leading to more frequent maintenance and repairs.
  3. Safety issues: Generators produce carbon monoxide, a colourless, odourless gas that can be deadly in high concentrations. If you plan on running your generator for extended periods, you must ensure it is adequately ventilated to prevent carbon monoxide buildup. For more information on generator safety, click here.


In general, it’s recommended that you only run your generator when you need it. If you lose power, you can turn on your generator temporarily until the main emphasis is restored. Once the main power is back on, you should turn off your generator to prevent unnecessary wear and tear and to conserve fuel.

However, there are some situations where running a generator for extended periods may be necessary, such as during a prolonged power outage. If you do need to run your generator for an extended period, there are a few things you can do to ensure it runs safely and efficiently:

  • Keep up with maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial for running your generator smoothly. This includes changing the oil, replacing the air filter, and checking the spark plug.
  • Use high-quality fuel: High-quality fuel can help prevent buildup in the engine, leading to decreased performance and increased fuel consumption.
  • Ensure proper ventilation: Generators produce carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if it accumulates in an enclosed space. Make sure your generator is adequately ventilated to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.


Bellwood Rewinds Staff
Portable emergency power generator with electrical cord. Concept of electricity outage, natural disaster preparedness and safety

Choosing the correct generator for your needs:

In conclusion, diesel and electric generators have advantages and disadvantages. When choosing the right generator for your needs, it’s essential to consider factors such as fuel efficiency, power requirements, and operating costs. 

Running a generator in the UK can be expensive, but it’s possible to minimise costs by choosing the right generator, using high-quality fuel, and keeping up with maintenance. Additionally, running a generator 24/7 is not recommended, but if you need to do so, it’s essential to ensure it runs safely and efficiently. After an in-depth look into diesel and electric generators, they have advantages and drawbacks depending on your power requirements. 

Whether your needs are national or local, diesel may be more cost-effective than electric when no other costs are involved. 

However, electric generators are often the better option if you want a longer run time, safety features and emission compliance. Regardless of which one suits your needs better, it’s essential to consult with experienced professionals who can help you determine the best course of action for your particular situation. 

Contact Bellwood Rewinds

If you’re considering a generator in the UK, don’t hesitate to contact Bellwood Rewinds today; our generator experts will give you the guidance you need to make an informed decision and get powered up quickly and efficiently. It depends on your specific needs. Diesel generators are typically more fuel-efficient than electric ones but are also more expensive. Electric generators are generally cheaper to operate but may be less fuel-efficient. Generators can last many years if properly maintained and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Generally, you can expect a generator to last 10-20 years or more. Connecting your generator directly to your home’s electrical panel is only recommended if you install a transfer switch. A transfer switch ensures that your generator is correctly connected to your home’s electrical system and prevents back-feeding, which can be dangerous for utility workers.