Power Outages are coming | Protect your Business this Winter!

Winter is fast approaching, and with that comes the arrival of cold weather and the increased risk of blackouts for your business. The National Grid have recently confirmed the risk of blackouts this Winter has increased compared with a year ago. The closure of some power stations has left spare capacity on the system at just 1.2%. The worst for a decade!

Power Cuts Ahead

An article in The Times this month, also raised concerns over blackouts this Winter due to under investment in the energy network.

“It’s clear that the UK is at a high risk from a Power Outage, mainly due to power stations closures and under investment, and with this comes the catastrophic impact a power interruption can have on business systems and operations. Having a plan in place is essential” said Jack Ogden, Commercial Director of DCResponse.

Whilst large or corporate businesses frequently have uninterruptible power supply (UPS) solutions they can fall back on, small and medium enterprises often do not protect themselves adequately against power outages. It is, therefore, worth asking your facilities manager what would happen to your business in the event of a power sag, surge or outage – and if there isn’t a plan in place, now is the time to do one.

Plan and prepare before the Power Outages occur!

It is vital to have a formal strategy in place. We share our top 6 considerations you should include in your planning process:

  • Agree what solutions need to put in place to minimise the impact. Specifically:
    • What processes and equipment will be impacted?
    • What equipment is essential to keep your business operating?
    • What type of UPS system and/or generator do you need?
    • How long do you want your devices to run before the power is restored?
  • If you already have a contingency plan in place, are you sure it will be effective? If your business has grown since you put our plan in place it may be that your solution is not suitable anymore and may not reflect your business needs today.
  • Proper testing of your UPS equipment and associated batteries is critical. Simply because your UPS is up and running, doesn’t mean it’s fully operational and working effectively. Testing is usually a complex operation and includes physical preventive maintenance (PM), protection settings and calibration, functional load testing, fault testing, battery run down test and filter integrity amongst other things.
  • Alongside regular testing, your UPS, generator and associated batteries should be regularly maintained and serviced. The UPS battery is by far the most vulnerable and failure-prone part of your UPS. Normal battery life expectancy is 4 years, dependent on frequency of use, duration of use and environmental conditions such as heat and humidity.
  • Don’t do nothing. Losing power for as little as a quarter of a second can trigger events that may keep IT equipment in your business unavailable from 15 minutes to many hours, and the recovery process can take months. Downtime is costly. London Economics in a report titled ‘Counting the cost: the economic and social costs of electricity shortfalls in the UK’ stated that SME’s can lose up to £44,000 an hour due to power outages and other disturbances.
  • Availability is everything, no company can afford to be unprotected from power issues. Not only will the business suffer from direct damages such as loss of critical data, it will also suffer from the loss of opportunity caused by loss of time or productivity, such as sales. The costs associated with an unanticipated loss of business and production far exceeds the cost of putting a UPS solution in place.

So, being prepared is an essential component of your business planning, especially as the likelihood of your business suffering a power outage is now higher than ever.

Winter can bring other challenges to your UPS solution

Winter Problems

With Winter coming, it is also important to consider that extreme changes in temperature brings challenges. The temperature your cooling system is set to will probably need changing as in very cold days you don’t want to overcool and freeze your UPS batteries. Your generator fuel will need polishing to minimise deterioration and your UPS batteries need to be set at the right temperature.

Don’t leave it too late

We often get calls from businesses who have lost data because of an outage, and now want to look at a UPS solution so that it doesn’t happen again. What we want to do is to educate businesses in understanding that a UPS solution can be cost effective and ultimately save your business thousands of time in lost data and downtime, so why take the risk and wait for a disaster to happen?

Contact DCResponse to learn more

DCResponse is a British company based in Witney, Oxfordshire, and we pride ourselves in being UPS, Generator and Maintenance experts.

We are a leading provider of power protection solutions to a wide range of organisations within the UK. Our work spans across many industries including education, medical, retail, motorsport, financial, government, engineering and construction. We work with small, medium and large organisations, and our clients include household names such as New Look, Aston Martin, Venture Photography and Oxford University.

If you would like to get in touch to discuss your protection from Power Outages please call one of our team on 01993 708855 or contact us