Natural Gas vs. Diesel: Which Generator Set Is Right for You?

In the world of backup power generation, two prominent options stand out: natural gas and diesel generators. When the power goes out, and the need for it becomes critical, choosing the right generator set can make all the difference. But how do you decide between natural gas and diesel generators? Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the choice ultimately depends on your specific needs and circumstances.

In this article, we will delve into the distinctive features, advantages, and disadvantages of natural gas and diesel generator sets, enabling you to make a well-informed decision on which option aligns best with your needs.


Natural Gas Generators


Cleaner Emissions: One of the primary advantages of natural gas generators is their lower environmental impact. When natural gas burns, it produces fewer harmful emissions, such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulphur dioxide, when compared to a diesel genset. This makes natural gas generators a greener choice for those concerned about air quality and environmental sustainability.

Cost-Effective Fuel: Natural gas is often more affordable than diesel fuel. The cost savings can be significant over the long term, particularly if you plan to use your generator frequently. Furthermore, the supply of natural gas tends to be more stable, reducing price fluctuations.

Less Maintenance: Natural gas generators typically require less maintenance than their diesel counterparts. This results from the cleaner-burning nature of natural gas, which leads to fewer deposits and soot buildup in the engine, extending the generator’s lifespan.

Quieter Operation: Natural gas generators are known for their quieter operation. This is a vital consideration in residential areas and settings where noise pollution must be minimized.


Limited Fuel Storage: A drawback of natural gas generators is their reliance on a continuous supply of natural gas. This can be problematic during extended power outages or in remote areas where a consistent natural gas supply may not be available.

Lower Energy Density: Natural gas has a lower energy density compared to diesel, meaning you may require a larger storage capacity or more frequent refuelling for the same power output.

Lower Fuel Efficiency: Natural gas generators tend to be less fuel-efficient than diesel generators, which can increase operational costs in the long run.

Lower Portability: Due to the need for a dedicated natural gas supply, these generators are less portable and versatile than diesel generators.

Diesel Generators


High Energy Density: Diesel fuel is renowned for its high energy density. This means diesel generators can provide more power in a smaller package, making them suitable for applications where space is limited.

Fuel Storage: Diesel generators have the advantage of being able to store fuel for extended periods without degradation. This makes them a reliable choice for backup power in remote locations and during long-term power outages.

Fuel Efficiency: Diesel generators are known for their fuel efficiency, consuming less fuel for the same power output as natural gas generators. This results in lower operational costs.

Greater Reliability: Diesel engines are typically more robust and durable, which can lead to greater reliability in demanding conditions. They are often the go-to choice for mission-critical applications.


Emissions and Environmental Impact: Diesel generators emit higher levels of pollutants, including nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which can have adverse effects on air quality and public health. Stricter emissions regulations have been implemented to mitigate these issues.

Noise Levels: Diesel generators are generally noisier than natural gas generators, which can be a concern in residential areas or where noise pollution is a consideration.

Fuel Availability and Cost: Diesel fuel can be more expensive and subject to price fluctuations. Additionally, storing large quantities of diesel fuel can pose safety and environmental risks.

Maintenance Requirements: Diesel generators typically require more frequent maintenance due to soot and carbon buildup in the engine, which can increase the overall cost of ownership.

When to Choose Natural Gas Generators?

  • Environmental Concerns: If you prioritize environmental sustainability and cleaner emissions, a natural gas generator is the way to go.
  • Cost Savings: If you’re looking to reduce fuel costs over the long term and have access to a reliable natural gas supply, natural gas generators can be more cost-effective.
  • Quiet Operation: In residential areas or places where noise levels must be kept to a minimum, natural gas generators are the quieter choice.
  • Less Frequent Use: If your generator serves as a backup for occasional power outages, the lower maintenance requirements of natural gas generators make them a convenient option.

When to Choose Diesel Generators?

High Power Requirements: If you need a high-power output in a compact package, diesel generators, with their high energy density, are the better choice.

  • Reliability: For mission-critical applications where reliability is paramount, such as data centres or healthcare facilities, diesel generators are often preferred due to their robust and durable engines.
  • Remote Locations: In areas with limited access to a natural gas supply or during long-term power outages, diesel generators with their reliable fuel storage are the more practical choice.
  • Frequent Use: If your generator will see frequent use and you prioritize fuel efficiency, diesel generators can be more economical in the long run.


The choice between natural gas and diesel generators depends on your unique requirements, budget, and environmental concerns. Both types of generators have their pros and cons, and the key is to carefully evaluate your needs and priorities before making a choice. Additionally, be sure to understand local regulations and emissions standards that may affect your choice.

If you have any questions regarding our diesel and gas generators, don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team using the details below.


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