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Why Every Business Needs Backup Power

January 11, 2018

Power interruptions can last anywhere from a few seconds to several hours or more. They often strike without warning, plunging homes and businesses into darkness and triggering mechanical failures, lost materials and lost production time. For many businesses, round-the-clock electricity is critical. For hospitals, it’s life or death. For food companies, entire stocks can be wiped out and for manufacturing plants, a loss of power can damage expensive equipment.

The solution is backup power generation systems, that can guarantee core operations are kept ticking if the grid goes down. There are a range of technologies available, so before exploring the options, it’s worth estimating the costs and potential disruptions to your business in the event of a power failure. Examine appliances and equipment to determine which can be easily restarted after an outage and which can cause loss of material or equipment damage. Consider the value of reduced output during and after an outage.

Armed with this data, you can start comparing solutions and weighing up the benefits a backup system could bring to your business. To get you started, here are some of the well-known and less well-known advantages of backup power.

Guaranteed Electricity

Electricity is essential for medical facilities, manufacturing plants and food businesses. Having on-site backup units gives peace of mind that critical equipment such as emergency scans, life support machinery, heating, lighting and refrigeration units will always be switched on.

Keeps Stock Safe

Large Cold Storage Facility

For any business with perishable stock, backup generators can mean the difference between preserving or losing an entire inventory. 

Protection from Theft

An extended power failure can expose your premises to break-ins and even looting. Backup power enables you to protect your premises from potential intrusions, by restoring lighting and security systems instantaneously.

Protection from Weather

It’s not just extreme weather events that cause disruptions. Humidity, high temperatures and freezing conditions can also damage equipment, trigger floods and cause pipes to freeze and burst.

Maintains, Builds Business Reputation

Being always ‘open for business’ and servicing customers through blackouts builds your company’s reputation for reliability and keeps revenue flowing while competitors are forced to shutdown.

Protection from Hacking

Cybersecurity threats from hacking and terrorism are increasing. There’s also the risk of rodents chomping through power lines. A backup solution will ensure you can combat these threats if power fails.


Saves Money

Many commercial and mainstream businesses are purchasing backup power units to prevent losing customer contact with electrical disruptions. The sooner employees can return to work and continue operations, the more minimal the hit to the bottom-line in the event of a power outage.

Ability to Hedge

Having the ability to switch to a backup power system opens your business to the possibility of alternative energy plans that can save you money. For example, you could explore a demand response program, which can help lower bills at the same as generating revenue, by paying you to reduce or shift electricity usage during peak times. 

Backup power systems come in different shapes and sizes, with the most common being diesel or natural gas-fired generators that are installed on-site. Cleaner energy facilities such as solar panels, biogas or wind turbines can also form part of a backup energy solution. What they all have in common is the ability to boost business resilience by ensuring electricity can always be accessed.

Room with many cables and many batteries.

The first step in finding the right solution is a site survey and business analysis, to identify critical equipment and appliances, consumption patterns and the cost impact of an outage. Ascertain how much fuel and power you need, how long you can reasonably expect an outage to last and where to position backup systems. Once you have this information, speak to an energy provider such as NRG who can work with you to devise a multi-pronged approach that’s tailored to your unique requirements.

Louise Downing | NRG Energy