I know, this is an issue quite a while in GregTech, but have anybody done anything with machine tier penalty? The fact what i have to sacrifice majority of my fuel i put time and effort to harvest and refine to use high tech machines is driving me crazy. And every time when i am thinking about using HV machine i am remember what 4 LV will handle it as fast and they won't suck my batteries dry.
There isn't any obligation to upgrade a machine to a higher tier other than if a specific recipe requires one.
You see a "higher end" machine follows the GT philosophy of "2x Speed; 4x Power Usage". So most of the time, you're better off making more lower end machines. you can get an extra 50-100k eu/t from the best plasma in the MK3 fusion reactor by using all LV machines to do your processing.
Upgrade what you need. IMO, GT is more of a mod about balancing efficiency with your infrastructure. Don't feel like you need to upgrade them.
It is realy sad what almost every problem in gregtech balance is resolved by nerfing everything. And why is there have to be heavy tiering in the power sources? Why is it have to be encouraged to change your powersource if you for example would like to imagine running large coal power plant?
"No! Coal is for the LV stage! Use oil. Its better!"
"Still using your diesel generator of yours? I affraid it is no longer viable. Go build reactor now!"
Everytime i ask people on servers and they are talking about "the thing" as only viable solution.
I've been playing with this mod and mods in general for a long time and I don't think any power source can out live it's use unless something else is objectively better in every possible way.
MFR Tree Farm > Pyrolyse Oven > Boiler > Turbines is a fantastic power source throughout the entire game. If you aren't making enough EU... then build more tree farms!
IMO, the best way to play GT and even modded MC in general is to find your own ways to do things that make the game fun for you. Don't let people tell you how to play the game.