Noise Pollution and Diesel Generators in Residential Areas.

Even today, there are places where someone produces electricity, in residential areas, using noisy generators. There is a solution, called Silengen and it is the Ultra Silent power generator.


If you are a victim of noise from a construction site or any other source, you should know that the solution exists and that you are not required to endure this discomfort just because someone has chosen to use an obsolete generator set or simply a not suitable to operate in a town one!


Noise pollution is defined as the introduction of noise into the living environment or the external environment such as to cause discomfort or trouble to rest or to  human activities, danger to human health; deterioration of ecosystems, material goods, monuments, the living environment or the external environment or such as interfering with the legitimate use of the environments themselves.

Noise pollution is a recognized problem in Europe. It is estimated that 25% of the European population is exposed to noise pollution values above the threshold limit.

As far as generating sets are concerned, the European Parliament, with Directive 2000/14, has regulated and approximated the laws of the Member States concerning the environmental noise emission of outdoors equipment.

According to this Directive, Member States should ensure that equipment intended for outdoor use, covered by the Directive, complies with the requirements of the Directive when placed on the market or put into service in the Member States.


This also applies to products of non-European origin, for which the importer will be responsible for the conformity marking.


Considering the importance that the European Community, and in general, the international community, has attributed to noise pollution, nations, regions, and cities have adopted systems of noise regulation and monitoring.

What we are about to analyze refers to Italy, specifically the City of Cagliari, but similar regulations have been adopted in many other countries and cities in the world where I had the opportunity to consult an excerpt of the regulations, finding many familiar aspects.

Outside Italy and Europe, in California in the City of Los Angeles, an ordinance dated 1973 is in force, with the police authorities delegated to check its compliance, which sometimes places precise limits on the use of machinery, such as generators, which cannot be started from 10.00 p.m. to 7.00 a.m. of the next day, according to the day and night noise classification table.

The exciting thing is to notice that some areas allow a minimum night-time noise level of between 40 and 55 db, subject to a precise measurement criterion. This means that an Ultra Silenced Generator Silegen would always be allowed because it would respect the parameter of the ordinance also during the night.

In the commonplace, it is usual to understand as “inhabited center” an area where there are habitations occupied by people who live there.

More generically, inspired by several definitions, the “inhabited center” is defined as the set of built lots which, with the adjacent free areas, constitutes the urban aggregate enclosed within a perimeter line.



From the definition of an inhabited center, it is clear that it is not only an area where the population occupies dwellings, but more generally “built lots.”


In Italy, the thresholds above which noise is punishable by law are established by the so-called “zonizzazione acustica” (acoustic zoning) or classification that divides the urban territory into zones, each characterized by a maximum threshold allowed. In general, only low noise levels are allowed near hospitals, retirement homes, schools, and parks; average noise levels are allowed in residential areas and offices; higher noise levels should be allowed in factories, construction sites, etc.

The Regulation identifies 6 classes of use of the reference territory. We outline them out in the following table, to be able to analyze them one by one.


Absolute noise emission limit values expressed in dB(A)
Land use destination classes Reference times
Daytime (6.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m.) Night (10.00 p.m. – 6.00 a.m.)
I Specially protected areas 50 40
II Mainly residential areas 55 45
III Mixed areas 60 50
IV Intense human activity areas 65 55
V Predominantly industrial areas 70 60
VI Exclusively industrial areas 70 70

Class I

Specially protected areas: This class includes areas in which peace is a fundamental element for their functions; hospital areas, school areas, areas for rest and recreation, rural residential areas, high urban interest areas, public parks, etc.

Class II

Areas intended for mainly residential use: This class includes urban areas mainly affected by local vehicular traffic, with a low population density, with a limited presence of commercial activities and the absence of industrial and craft activities.

Class III

Mixed areas: This class includes urban areas affected by local vehicular traffic or traffic crossing, with average population density with the presence of commercial activities and the absence of industrial activities; rural areas affected by activities using operating machinery.

Class IV

Intense human activity areas: This class includes urban areas affected by heavy vehicular traffic, with high population density, with a high presence of handicrafts; areas near major roads and railway lines; port areas; areas with limited presence of small industries.

Class V 

Mainly industrial areas: This class includes areas affected by industrial settlements and with a housing shortage.

Class VI

Exclusively industrial areas: This class includes areas exclusively affected by industrial activities and without residential areas.

However, pay attention, the fact that a class includes a specific type of structure or area, for example, hospital areas, does not automatically mean that there is a hospital where Class I is in force. The Acoustic

Classification of the territory consists in the assignment, to each area of territory, of one of the six classes identified by the regulations, based on the prevailing characteristics of the territory itself.


Okay, interesting, what does the generator set have to do with any of this?

A “standard” generator set with sound levels suitable for outdoor operation may not conform to day and night operation in a residential area.

Buying a generator that cannot be used is an unnecessary cost that can create problems and lead to significant fines.

Acoustic zoning is often created to link the opening and closing of nightclubs and related events and not all the constraints that zoning involves in other areas of everyday life are carefully considered. In other words, many citizens who are unaware of the rules that should protect them, find themselves tolerating noises that should not regularly exist, from noisy air conditioners on summer nights to power generators operating underneath their homes.

A product is often referred to as noisy, almost as if it were faulty or not working correctly, but it is also right to point out that even more often it is the owner who decides not to invest in the right product, just for the specific goal to save some money.

The fact that in many areas electricity is rarely lacking makes the problem less obvious, but some users often find themselves choosing between a complaint or several hundred euros of damage due to lack of electricity, for a freezer that goes off for hours or for other devices that cannot stay powered off.








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