The Industrial Power Shortage: Preparing Your Business With Backup Power

A Key Business Risk You Can’t Afford to Ignore

A power outage is guaranteed to bring most businesses to a grinding halt. But there are mitigating controls that are easy to put in place.

How would your business be affected if the power went down? For the vast majority, the answer is “dramatically,” unless you have backup measures in place. From large scale manufacturers to small administrative offices, if there is no electricity, it is practically impossible to do anything. If plant grinds come to a close, the internet connection vanishes and even getting into the building can be a challenge.

In the pre-digital era, it might have been possible to get by, but today, we are completely reliant on electricity. Unfortunately, the nation’s infrastructure is such that power outages are becoming more, not less, common and emergency back up power needs to be near the top of every company’s business continuity priority list.

All sorts of storms

Last year, winter had a sting in its tail with the beast from the east, which led to widespread power cuts in the first week of March. There is every possibility of similar natural phenomena affecting services this year, but even if the weather improves and spring-like conditions arrive, it is possible that another storm could be headed this way from the European mainland.

Brexit is less than two months away, and when it arrives, the UK will be at a heightened risk of energy supply shortages. This at least, is the conclusion reached by a House of Lords committee. Lord Teverson, who chairs the EU, Energy and Environment subcommittee, warned that following Brexit, the UK is likely to be “more vulnerable” to any supply shortages that result from either extreme weather conditions or generation outages.

The UK is umbilically joined to mainland Europe when it comes to power. There are currently five connections across the water, and these will be joined by eight more between now and 2022. Being part of the European energy network, but outside the European Union will place the UK in a difficult position, similar to that of Switzerland and Norway, in that it will have no voice in contributing to future energy rules.

Be prepared with a backup

Weather and politics are both popular topics for discussion, but they are things over which we have little material influence. From a business perspective, it makes sense in situations like these to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. To mitigate against both the English weather and the Brexit uncertainty, a backup source of power is an essential resource.

An emergency electrical generator will allow you to maintain at least some proportion of your electric power requirements for as long as you need to in the event of an outage. At some facilities, for example in hospitals, backup power is an absolute essential and can save lives. But whatever sector your business occupies, the cost of downtime, both in terms of finance and reputation, can be absolutely crippling.

An emergency generator is typically powered by an internal combustion engine running on diesel, and can be set to automatically “kick in” if the mains supply goes down. It is vital to not only ensure a generator is in place at the ready, but also that it is properly maintained and will provide service when you need it most.

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