Business Risk Management with Standby Generators

Risk management for businesses is often perceived as the analysis of business risks such as new competition, rising commodity prices, vendor issues, etc. With current trends in place in terms of weather, the fragility of the power grid, and rising demand for power, risk management should also include planning for the eventuality of an extended power outage. In fact, power outages lasting for days into weeks have become increasingly frequent over the last several years.

This increase was documented in a report released by Eaton, a globally diversified power management company headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. In the report, Eaton said the year 2010 saw 3,419 separate power outages which affected 17.5 million people in every state of the country. The number of power outages was up almost 17% from the previous year. The report also stated that the average blackout had a duration of 4 hours. For examples of extended blackouts, one only needs to look at the outages that plagued the eastern half of the country last summer and the blackouts that occurred during the East Coast snowstorms last fall both of which affected millions of people.

For businesses, these extended outages carry substantial risks in terms of the loss of daily operations, revenue losses, and the potential for the loss of digital data. These losses can be mitigated, however, through the implementation of standby generators purposed for the provision of backup power during either a long or short power failure.

Standby generators offer businesses the following benefits:

•    Automatic power delivery when primary power goes down.
•    Options ranging from powering only essential equipment to the entire office.
•    Extended power generation without the need for refueling if the standby generator(s) can be connected to a natural gas line.

Additionally, for offices with extensive computer networks, an uninterruptible power source battery can start delivering backup power almost instantly once the interruption of electricity is detected. The uninterruptible power source battery then shuts down once the standby generator comes on line, which usually takes less than 20 seconds. This instantaneous transfer prevents critical data from being lost and allows for either a normal shutdown process or continued use of the network.

With power outages becoming more common, planning for their eventuality should be part of your risk management protocol. For more information on protecting your business, visit:


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