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Generator Information for Businesses in New York City According to the NYC DEP

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Guidance for Businesses

Businesses themselves will rarely have to file all of the permits and applications described below. The filings are generally handled by generator companies or licensed electricians. After this section, you will find details about New York City’s requirements by agency that may need to be followed depending on your generator situation. Businesses should:

1. Hire a licensed electrician to evaluate your power needs. a. Determine what equipment you will need to maintain operations (e.g. computers, lighting, refrigerators, etc.). b. The electrician will determine how much wattage you need. Based on this information he will determine the type of generator you will need. If you need to power sensitive equipment such as computers, your generator should contain an Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR). Discuss whether any special connection for a portable generator is necessary or desirable, or if a stationary generator is preferable.

2. Make arrangements with generator rental companies or purchase a small portable generator (if an electrician determines it is suitable for your needs) before an incident. Consider vendors outside NYC and/or negotiate priority access to a generator to increase your chances of obtaining an emergency portable generator during a widespread power outage.

a. The following generator rental companies have already filed generator permits with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP):

i. Aggreko, Linden, NJ

ii. United Rentals, Elmwood Park, NJ

iii. Sunbelt Rentals, Brooklyn, NY

iv. Carrier Rentals, Totowa, NJ

v. H.O. Penn Machinery, Poughkeepsie, NY

vi. On Site Energy, Hicksville, NY

General Information on Generators

Portable generators can be carried or moved from one location to another.

1. Small portable generators generally have built-in fuel tanks and power outlets. Small portable gasoline generators generally produce up to 18 kW, and small portable diesel generators produce up to 13 kW. Equipment is generally plugged directly into the generator, or powered through an extension cord plugged into the generator.

2. Towable generators are usually used to power larger facilities; they can be towed at highway speeds, are capable of multiple voltages/phases and have on-board fuel capacity. They generally produce up to 1000 kW.

Stationary generators are permanently connected to the electrical system of a building

NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Rules Regarding Generators

The DEP defines emergency generators as stationary generators that are up to 36 kW (48 hp) that operate only when the usual supply of power is unavailable for no more than 500 hours per year. For more information, see NYC DEP Rules for Using Emergency Generators on the DEP website (

Any emergency or portable generator that is equal or greater than 36 kW (48 hp) must be registered with the DEP by completing “Form AR 504 Application for Registration: Internal Combustion Fuel Burning Equipment” ( Any stationary generator (non-emergency) that is equal to or greater than 36 kW and less than 280 kW must be registered with the DEP.

Any stationary generator that is equal or greater than 280 kW (375 hp) is required to file for a work permit/certificate to operate using the Industrial Processes permit application form (

Air Permits – Businesses are not allowed to use any fuel burning equipment with a maximum input rating equal to or greater than 350 Thousand BTU/Hour unless permitted /or registered with NYC DEP.

NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) Rules Regarding Generators

Any alteration to a building’s electrical distribution system must comply with the NYC Electrical Code. See Administrative code sections of the New York City Electrical Code, Title 27 Construction and Maintenance; Chapter 3 Electrical Code. See section: §27-3018 Inspection regarding application for permit and application fees.

The installation of any special connections (either terminations or quick connection) to prepare for the easy connection of portable generators to a building’s electrical distribution shall require the application for permit and associated application fees.

The installation of a stationary generator will require the application for permit and associated application fees.

NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Rules Regarding Generators

If there is need to utilize a street generator for the following type of work:

• Work to be performed for sewer and water system construction

• Work to be performed in Manhattan

• Work required on primary and secondary arteries

• Permits to close streets

• Any other activity deemed necessary by the Commissioner

The permit applicant must carry Commercial General Liability (CGL) and Workers Compensation insurances.

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