4 Reasons Your Business Should Invest in a Generator

If you live in an area regularly struck by hurricanes, it is common to have a backup generator permanently installed and ready to switch on when the power goes out. Many of these units are powered by natural gas so that they can run without needing refills of gasoline, keeping businesses running for the days or weeks it takes for reliable power to be restored. However, it isn’t just a necessity for small businesses in Florida. Here are four reasons your business should invest in a generator.

To Keep Your Business Running During Power Outages

A few of us have entered a store during a snowstorm and found the power out. There is lingering heat and items on the shelves are fine. Yet you can’t buy anything unless you have cash because the cash registers are dead and the payment processing system is down. If you have a backup generator, you can keep your critical systems running and sell items to those eager to pay with an app or payment card.

To Prevent Disruptions Caused by Brownouts

One of the problems with the rise of renewable power is that it is variable. Wind turbines and solar panels have been built at a massive rate, but they tend not to produce power when people need it most. Solar produces power during the day, but it doesn’t put out more when it is 100 degrees outside. Wind power is strongest at dusk and dawn and in the spring and fall, not during the summer or winter months when people need it most. This has led to power companies paying even more to install natural gas turbines to match the renewable power capacity.

Power prices go up for everyone to build even more infrastructure. Yet the power companies are reluctant to turn on the turbines when demand spikes, preferring to beg people to turn down the AC in the winter. As load goes up along with summer temperatures, the end result tends to be rolling brownouts before the natural gas turbines are turned on to meet demand.

For businesses, these brownouts disrupt computers, stall refrigerators and other critical systems. If you have a generator on hand to provide a steady stream of power as the lights are browning out, you won’t see your critical systems get disrupted.

Cost Savings

If your business pays a base rate and pays even more for power on the spot, a generator could pay for itself by keeping your demand on the power grid within acceptable parameters. For restaurants and food distributors, the ability to run refrigerators and freezers off generators instead of intermittent failures due to brownouts could save you a fortune in replacement food. Owning your own generator and a reserve of fuel is also an investment in business continuity and costs much less than paying the high cost equipment rental services charge for a generator when there is a regional power outage. Generators in and of themselves don’t have to cost a fortune, given how many used generators for sale are available today.

Minimal Disruption When Power Disruptions Occur

For energy intensive operations, having generators on site to meet demand lets you disconnect from the grid but keep running. For metal foundries paid by utilities to shut down to prevent a brownout turning into blackout for everyone else, generators won’t meet all of the demand but allows you to safely shut down equipment. You’ll also return to operations faster when you have an organized shutdown over five to ten minutes running off a generator.

Conclusion

Generators allow your business to keep running when there is a power outage, and owning them now will save you money over paying high market rates after a disaster. Generators ensure that your computers, servers and HVAC equipment don’t suffer damage and disrupted operations because of brownouts. When your business owns a generator, you could avoid paying sky high utility rates when demand peaks or safely shut down equipment when the utility says “turn it right off now”.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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