If you run a business, every minute it’s disrupted by weather emergencies is a minute you’re losing money. Minnesotans are a hearty bunch, to be sure, and it takes a lot to keep them from a day at work, but a loss of electrical power on the job can certainly do the trick!
A power outage can spell disaster for any business. In fact, a recent Department of Energy report claimed that power outages cost American businesses nearly $150 billion in 2014. The report also warned that the increasing demand for energy paired with an aging infrastructure could lead to even more in the coming years. Add to those sobering facts the reality of trying to keep your business functioning continuously through a brutal Minnesota winter and there’s and even greater cause for concern!
Since this is a problem that’s likely to plague businesses more and more as time goes by, it’s vitally important for business owners and managers to be ready if and when a blackout strikes.
Consider What’s at Stake
The most obvious issue that arises during a blackout is an inability to work. Your office staff is forced to sit around and wait until power is restored, and even when power comes back, valuable time must be used turning everything back on, checking to make sure your electronic files are still there, etc. Things can be even worse if your business involves production. Production schedules are compromised, machinery may be damaged, and the general “flow” of work is disrupted. In short, your business’ continuity is compromised. That’s why most business owners develop a business continuity plan (BCP) that includes having a commercial generator on standby to avoid the disruptions caused by power outages.
Protect Your Bottom Line with a Commercial Generator
You may not always be able to mitigate all of the problems caused by a power outage, but you can at least minimize its effects by installing and maintaining an on-site commercial generator. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) considers generators an “integral part of the preparedness planning process for businesses of every size”.
Where to Start
Before deciding on the best commercial generator for your business, it’s important to consider the following factors:
- how often your business loses power (on average) and for how long
- what equipment must remain operable during a power outage
- whether your needs are small enough for a portable generator, or extensive enough that a permanent (stand-by) generator makes more sense
Choosing and Installing a Generator
IBHS recommends consulting with an expert in all types of generators to assist you in choosing, installing and maintaining the generator that’s best for the specific needs of your business. Here are their basic guidelines:
- Make sure your chosen expert helps select the right size generator for your needs. You should also make sure that whatever generator is chosen is rated to provide power at a frequency of 60 hertz.
- Obtain an estimate in writing and make sure it includes specifics about the work they’ll perform and their license information.
- Request proof of insurance from both the service provider and the manufacturer of the generator you’re considering.
- If you choose to install a permanent stand-by generator, make sure that the transfer switch is installed by a licensed electrician in order to comply with the National Electrical Code (NEC) as outlined in the National Fire Protection Association Publication No. 72.
- Be sure the contractor educates you on how to properly operate and maintain the generator, as well as providing you with the manufacturer’s manual for future reference.
A good commercial generator is your first line of defense in the event of a power outage. Don’t trust your purchase and installation to just anybody. In Minnesota, trust this important investment to the professionals at Midwest Electric and Generator, Inc., an Angie’s List Super Service award winner. Contact us for more information and a quote today!