Does A Generator Use More Gas With More Things Plugged In (How Much Gas Does A Generator Use)

Generators can be a total lifesaver for homeowners, businesses, and RV owners alike.

They provide power during natural disasters when homes experience power outages and can also be the power source for all appliances onboard an RV when you’re on the road. 

Does A Generator Use More Gas With More Things Plugged In

However, have you ever wondered how much gas your generator uses, how much it needs to power all the appliances you want, and does a generator use more gas when there are more things plugged in?

There isn’t just one answer to these questions as it’ll depend on several factors, so keep on reading to find out everything you need to know. 

How Much Gas Does A Generator Use?

How much your generator consumes will depend on several factors, for example, the type of generator you have and also the gas you’ll be using for your generator, and what appliances you’re running from it. 

What Kinds Of Generators Are There?

  • Inverter Generator: An inverter generator is the smallest option and is commonly used for powering small devices like smartphones and tablets whilst on the road and can be charged up via electricity instead of fuel or gas sometimes.
  • Standby Generator: This type of generator is commonly used in emergencies like a hospital as they’ll automatically switch on when there’s a power outage. They are very powerful but also very expensive. As generators are large and used for large loads then they will consume a lot of gas. 
  • Portable Generator: Portable generators as the name says are easy to transport around due to their size and weight and have the ability to power electronics to larger appliances depending on the wattage output. They don’t have the longest running time and are often used as a cheaper alternative to standby generators in the event of a natural disaster. A larger tank capacity on a portable generator will allow you to power things for longer without having to refuel constantly. 

What Kind Of Gas Can A Generator Use?

Many common generators will run off four fuels:


Gas generators are popular with most homeowners due to their affordability compared to other types of generators, however, they must be refueled more frequently and during a natural disaster, you might not have good access to a gas resource and gas can be quite expensive. 

A 5-gallon gasoline generator will use around 0.75 gallons per hour and running a gasoline generator for 24 hours will require 18 gallons of gasoline. 


Propane is a more eco-friendly alternative to gasoline, it burns safely and has a long shelf life, and is readily available meaning people in remote areas can still get hold of it.

However, propane burns quickly so will need to be refueled more frequently. 

Most propane model generators will burn up to 3 gallons per hour with a 500-gallon generator being able to last a week depending on the load. 

Natural Gas

Natural gas generators are the most convenient to use as they’re easy to store but they can delay the starting times on generators.

They are more fuel-efficient than other generators.

A 1000kW natural gas generator running at full load will use over 9800 cubic feet of gas per hour whereas a 5000kW generator will use over 22000 cubic feet of gas per hour. 


Diesel generators are more difficult to come across but they are slightly more fuel-efficient than gasoline generators as they burn more slowly and diesel is also less expensive to buy. 

A 1000kW generator powering at maximum capacity will use 71.1 gallons per hour and a 5000kW generator powering at maximum capacity will use 159.6 gallons per hour. 

What Appliances Are You Looking To Power?

The number of appliances you’ll have running off your generator will vary in how much fuel you’re going to use.

Does A Generator Use More Gas With More Things Plugged In (How Much Gas Does A Generator Use)

Some generators may not be powerful enough to run your appliances, so you’ll need to choose a sized generator that will be big and powerful enough for its use. 

Look at some of the examples below of how much watts some appliances in your home use.

  • Microwave: 1800 watts
  • Refrigerator: 780 watts
  • Freezer: 65 watts
  • Television: 80 watts
  • AC Central: 3500 watts
  • Living Room Lights: 60 watts
  • Washer: 850 watts
  • Dryer: 3400 watts
  • Electric Cooker: 1800 watts

Most homeowners will go for a 5kW generator to power up their appliances in their homes when the power goes out. 

Does A Generator Use More Gas With More Things Plugged In?

Of course, the higher the demand of your generator the more the output will be required and the more gas your generator will burn through, probably in a quicker time as well. 

If you think about running your appliances from your home’s electricity, the more appliances you run at max power in your home, the higher the quantity of electricity you use and the higher your energy bills.

The same applies to your generator but instead, the more fuel you’ll use. 

If your appliance load is greater than the ½ peak wattage of your generator, then you’ll consume gas more quickly, therefore, you may use up the gas in half the time that it would last at the peak rated load. 

To try and keep the load down so you burn through your gas less quickly, try switching your appliances to more energy-efficient ones.

Make sure you turn appliances off at the switch when they’re not in use so they don’t use up any power on standby. 

Conclusion: How Much Gas Does A Generator Use?

We hope this helps you figure out how much gas a generator will use based on the several factors we discussed.

To find out how much gas your generator will use you’ll want to look up the specs on your generator and the expected loan to see if the gas will burn below or above the average rate. 

I'm an environment and energy blogger who teaches outdoor and energy enthusiasts how to be better informed when it comes to purchasing or maintaining a generator, solar panel system, or anything else related to your energy needs.