Comparing All of Your Costs When Buying a Generator Set for Backup Power: Used Gen VS. New Gen

Used Generators from CI Group

light being ran by a generator

What is it that drives the need for a generator set for any given critical facility? Is it the need to have something shiny in the back of a parking lot? [Not really] It is continuity of business and peace of mind that if there is a loss of utility power it will still be operating.

When I first jumped into this business 10 years ago, I asked myself the same question: Why would anyone buy a used diesel generator set? Now I know; it is either due to Time or Money.

There are those customers who struggle with getting the available budget to back up their facility OR maybe they like the idea that they can save 40% – 50% off the cost of a new generator and they can use that money elsewhere. That’s the Money reason. Then there are those who cannot wait 4–6 months for a new generator to be built. Simply, they have a tight project deadline that is faster paced than the manufacturers can deliver their unit. That’s the Time reason. 

Related: Used & Refurbished UPS

Used Generator Set         

So, can a USED diesel generator set still bring the same peace of mind for business continuity that a NEW generator can? Absolutely! Diesel Engines have been around since the late 1800s. An invention by a man that bears the same name, Rudolph Diesel. There is a reason why we still use Diesel’s engine to this day, 120+ years later. Simply put, diesel engines are reliable. Sure, they have gone through design changes and have increased in fuel efficiency. 

And Yes, diesels have become smaller in size, easier to service, and better looking but all in all, they still have the main components: an engine, a large alternator end, a cooling & exhaust system, and a controller.  I know there is more to it but when looking at the difference between New and Used and what is right for your facility not much has changed over the last 20 years with the exception of emissions (a topic for a later date). 

Get in touch with CI Group today for more help finding the generator that’s right for your family.

New Generator Set

Let’s take a look at the advantages of buying a New Generator Set. Advanced Technology and Controls – Every year controllers get more and more bells and whistles. They are more User friendly, they have more features, more alarming, more data, more accessibility via laptops, apps, etc… Peace of Mind – It is new, it just came from the factory, it has a warranty, and it likely has the manufacturers PM service plan for the first couple of years. Good Lookin’! – Let’s face it, if it is new it is going to look nice and new. 


Now let’s take a look at the advantages of buying USED Generator Set. The main advantages are the cost of ownership and availability. Typically, every unit that CI Group offers is in stock and ready to deploy so if you have a project deadline, give us a call. Depending on the age you can expect to spend anywhere from 30% to 60% less than the cost of a new unit. If budget is important to you then maybe buying Used is something worth looking into. Let’s put it in perspective to something you might be able to relate to; If you had the ability to buy a car that is 5, 10, or maybe even 20 years old but only had 10,000 miles – 20,000 miles on it you would probably say to the seller, “Hey, what’s the catch?!” 

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Well, what if he said to you, “This was our family’s back-up vehicle. We hardly used it all these years and now we no longer need it.” It’s a silly comparison but it is absolutely true. Most of the diesel generators CI Group offers came from a standby facility where they were exercised once a month for 30 min to an hour and they have tons of life left! You might ask yourself, what about peace of mind, does it have a warranty? A full load bank test and a major PM is performed on each unit prior to it selling. CI Group stands behind every unit they offer with a 30-day guarantee to be in good working order. Lastly, a third party 1-Year major parts warranty can be added for an additional fee.

In Closing, if you need something quickly or are looking to save money in your cap-ex budget, then buying used back-up power equipment is certainly a great way to do that.

Get in touch with CI Group today for more help finding the generator that’s right for your family.

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