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Whether you are running a portable or a whole house generator, there are a number of fuel options available. Knowing these options and understanding the benefits of each will help you to determine which one is best for your generator needs. It is very common for some generators to support different types of fuel. For instance, your whole house generator may use both natural gas and propane but the generator has to be configured to use either propane or natural gas because the fittings will be different for each type of fuel. Following is a list of the fuel options for generators and their benefits:


1. Gasoline

Gasoline or petrol is the most commonly used source of fuel for generators as well as other engines and it can be obtained very easily. It helps to increase the portability of smaller sized generators but it is important to note that it is also very flammable and has a shorter shelf life than other fuel sources.

2. Diesel

Diesel is almost as easily attainable as gasoline but not all petrol stations offer diesel fuel. It is less flammable than gasoline and in fact is the least flammable of all fuel options. If you have a rather large generator and need a lot of diesel, you may find that you can have it delivered to you as opposed to going out to get it. It is a bit less expensive overall than other fuels as well and can operate in very cold conditions where other fuels may not work as well. Diesel offers a shelf life of about two years and even longer if you use additives.

3. Propane

Propane has a very long shelf life and can be stored very easily. You can use propane even during electricity outages whereas you may not be able to get gasoline or diesel because pumps will not work without electricity. It is much safer for the environment than burning gasoline or diesel and helps the generator to run a bit more quietly. One major disadvantage of propane is that you cannot use it in very cold temperatures. It can also be a bit expensive to use.

4. Natural Gas

Natural gas is very popular for use in generators and is a cleaner burning fuel than other options. It is more readily available during electricity outages and is more convenient because it is unlimited. The initial cost of a generator that burns natural gas may be a bit higher but the cost is often regained by the cost efficiency of using natural gas as opposed to other fuels.

If you are attempting to determine which fuel is best for your generator needs, it may simply come down to what you prefer and your choice of generators.

This article was provided by Mather & Stuart, providing generator fuel management solutions throughout the UK.