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How Much Does It Cost to Get Temporary Power for a Construction Site?

Low
$800
Average Cost
$1,200
High
$5,985
(for an overhead temporary power installation)

Get free estimates from emergency power specialists near you
Here's what happens next

How Much Does It Cost to Get Temporary Power for a Construction Site?

Low
$800
Average Cost
$1,200
High
$5,985
(for an overhead temporary power installation)

Get free estimates from emergency power specialists near you
Here's what happens next
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Working on a construction site often requires having a temporary power source available before the permanent electricity system is installed and connected. Temporary power can be used to provide electricity for jobsite trailers and equipment, as well as testing electrical systems before they’re hooked up to permanent utilities.

If you’re constructing a house or other type of building, many contractors won’t begin work until temporary power is activated. Numerous factors affect the total cost, including total power required, your site’s distance from a utility source, the type of power source you choose, and the length of time you need power. In this guide, we examine the average cost of installing a temporary power supply at a construction site for 1 month.

Types of Source

You’ll first need to determine what source you’ll use for your temporary power supply. You can choose between creating a wired setup that connects to a permanent utility source, or bringing in an on-site generator that runs on fuel. Utility companies may charge a fee for a point-of-service hookup, which can be as high as several hundred dollars.

If your nearest utility source is far away, using gas-powered generators can be a good solution. However, this means you’ll have high fuel costs. You may be required to return your generator’s fuel tank completely filled up. Instead of renting a generator, it’s possible to have wired long-distance temporary power set up for additional cost.

Choosing the right generator size for your project depends on your energy needs. Generators 10,000 watts and under are best for small projects in which only one or a couple of pieces of light equipment need to be powered at once. Generators suitable for typical construction needs are sized at 20 kilowatts and above.

It’s highly recommended that you hire an electrician ($65-$85 per hour) to calculate your energy needs and the most suitable generator size so that you avoid undersizing or oversizing. Using too much or too little of your generator’s capacity can damage it.

Average generator rental fees are as follows:

PowerCost per dayCost per weekCost per month
3,600 watts$72$180$535
10,000 watts$115$290$860
20 kilowatts$230$480$1,400
40 kilowatts$245$795$2,275
100 kilowatts$500$908$2,900
150 kilowatts$530$1,120$3,360
200 kilowatts$665$1,425$4,235
500 kilowatts$1,635$3,975$11,910
750 kilowatts$2,000$4,840$14,125
1000 kilowatts$2,395$6,245$18,730
2000 kilowatts$3,600$9,900$29,700

Overhead vs. Underground

If you choose a wired setup that connects to a permanent utility source, temporary power supplies can be established overhead or underground. Overhead installations are the most common and they often entail the installation of temporary power poles.

Whether you need an overhead or underground installation depends on what the existing utilities infrastructure is at your construction site. You’ll need to contact your local power company to ask about this.

  • The average cost of an overhead installation is $1,200, including labor, materials, connecting the wire from the transformer to the weatherhead, meter 1 installation, and inspection of site location and pole.
  • The average cost of an underground installation is $800, including materials, meter 1 installation, and connecting service to the splice box.

Power and Voltage Requirements

When you talk to your power company, ask for a comprehensive list of requirements they have for setting up temporary power. Requirements for voltage capacities, amps, outlets, and structures will be given. There is usually a 60 amp minimum requirement.

Power distributors/outlet panels/meters 1 can be rented for $44-$140 per day, $140-$360 per week, and $380-$1,000 per month. Some companies will include this in the price of their services.

Updated:

Temporary Power Cost by Project Range

Low
$800
For an underground temporary power installation
Average Cost
$1,200
For an overhead temporary power installation
High
$5,985
For 1-month rental of a 350 kW generator

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Temporary Lightning

You may require temporary lighting if construction is taking place in the dark or indoors.

Cables, Plugs, Etc.

  • Typical temporary power cables can be rented by the foot at $1 per day, $2 per week, $3 per month.
  • Extension cords/connectors cost $16 per day, $41 per week, $120 per month.
  • Individual plugs cost $2 per day, $6 per week, $17 per month.

Auxiliary Fuel Tanks

Additional fuel tanks can supplement your generator’s fuel supply. Renting one can help you save on regular fuel delivery (“drop”) fees.

Prices depend on tank size, and there is a wide range of sizes available. A 100 gallon auxiliary fuel tank costs $54 per day, $135 per week, $405 per month, while a 2,300 gallon tank costs $500 per day, $815 per week, $2,155 per month.

You may be required to return your rented tank with a full fuel level.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Meter 1 Meter: A device that measures the energy used by a home

Cost to get temporary power for a construction site varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Updated:
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
Overhead temporary power installed used to provide electricity for job site trailers and equipment
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Cost to get temporary power for a construction site varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.