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What are the damages of a power cut to a business?

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What are the damages of a power cut to a business?

63,000 properties were estimated to have lost power, due to a power cut that occured in North Lancashire on 21st June 2017, and Edinburgh Airport delayed flights on the 28th June because they were having power troubles. If you’re maintaining more than 170,000 km of electricity cables in your business, then power outrages are likely to happen. But how much could it cost your business if a power cut occurred?

With Flogas, specialist retailer of commercial gas, we investigate the costs of a power cut and what can be done to protect your company.

The Causes of a Power Cut

There are multiple reasons in which a power cut might occur. One of the common reasons is harsh weather conditions. A storm had broken out and struck some power lines in North-Eastern Scotland, which caused 4.4 million homeowners to lose their power back January 2015.

The growing electricity supply gap in the UK is another cause. Jenifer Baxter, who is the head of energy and environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said, “Under current [government] policy, it is almost impossible for UK electricity demand to be met by 2025,”.  With proposals to rule out coal-fired power and a lack of investment in national grid infrastructures, power failures and blackouts are expected to become more common.

There have been unusual reasons that have caused blackouts. One incident occurred in Somerset where a squirrel had chewed through a power cable and caused 1,000 homes to lose their power.

It can also depend on your location, that determines how often you’ll experience a power cut. The South of England suffered the most power outages compared to the rest of the UK in 2015 with 124 incidents.

Commonly, a power cut will only last a few hours but can last days or even weeks regardless of their causes and they can have detrimental effects on businesses.

The costs to your business

On average, a power cut lasts 50 minutes in the UK. Although, it may not sound that much but however, a single hour of downtime is estimated to cost a small business £800 which can be very damaging.

Larger organisations see higher losses which is understandable but are also expected to recover quicker. Google had experienced a power cut in 2013 and were losing £100,000 per minute.

There are various reasons behind the losses but not having electricity can be destructive to a business. Employees would be unable to communicate with customers so therefore could lead to losing potential sales. An ecommerce is at greater risk as they rely on electricity to be able to access their website to monitor sales and client requests. Unsaved material is also at risk of being lost which can be costly to small businesses.

What measures can you take?

The causes to power cuts are overall beyond our control. There are fortunately, steps that small businesses can take to reduce the damage caused by one.

One step would be to purchase a UPS, which is a Uninterruptible Power Supply and this allows the computer for a short period after power outage occurs. The computer flags an alert to the user of the power incident, which gives time for the user to save their work.

Purchasing a standalone generator is another step you could do. The generator can be used in an emergency, if a power cut happens because it doesn’t rely on power from the main grid. It’s also worth investing in a gas cylinders too!

Some simple measures such be carried as regularly saving your work and having a contingency plan is highly recommended. One way could be using a mobile phone to notify your customers of your issues which would help.

Sources

http://www.agcs.allianz.com/insights/expert-risk-articles/energy-risks/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/26/engineers-warn-of-looming-uk-energy-gap

http://www.electricaltimes.co.uk/news/story/uk-businesses-hit-by-rising-number-of-power-outages

https://www.upssystems.co.uk/standby-power-products/protecting-your-business-with-standby-power/

http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/definition/uninterruptible-power-supply

http://www.generator-power.co.uk/4-ways-youre-losing-money-not-using-standby-generator/

https://www.dcresponse.co.uk/your-business-needs-a-ups-system/

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/09/13/550674848/power-outages-persist-for-millions-in-florida-georgia-and-carolinas-after-irma

https://venturebeat.com/2013/08/16/3-minute-outage-costs-google-545000-in-revenue/

 

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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