Living in a developed nation, we depend upon electricity for everything–from breakfast to bedtime and recharging our devices while we sleep.
Yet, power outages in the United States have been on the rise for more than a decade. At this point, the United States “experiences more electric outages than any other developed nation,” according to a report from the non-profit Pew Charitable Trusts.
Here’s a look at why, and what to do about it.
Brownouts and Blackouts
Outages cost an average of about $18 billion to $33 billion per year in the United States.
Power outage estimates also may not include brownout numbers.
- Brownout – A reduction or restriction in available power to an area, also known as a voltage slump.
- Blackout – A complete loss of power to an area, from minutes to hours or even days, depending on the cause and utility.
In some areas, intentional brownouts help utilities avoid rolling blackouts — mandated reductions in energy consumption to help meet the needs of the entire energy grid for that area.
Outages to a business do more than just halt production temporarily. Power outages can also result in lost:
- Wages to employees
- Spoiled inventory
- Delayed, inconvenienced or missed business opportunity.
In an increasingly global market, reduced power impacts production across the globe, not just in a local utility area.
The Causes of Power Outages
A report by the US Department of Energy site weather-related power outages as the leading cause of power outages in the United States.
The report and the Pew research both also acknowledge an aging infrastructure as part of the problem.
Some of the US power grid dates back to the earliest onset of electricity. Replacement could be better prepared to withstand severe weather, but also better protected against potential cyber attack.
Yet upgrading the US power grid is estimated to cost in the trillions of dollars.
For smart businesses, then, onsite solutions to power outages make more sense than waiting for the federal government to overhaul the infrastructure in the power grid.
Solutions to Power Outages
There’s never been a better time to invest in onsite power solutions–for the first time in US history, onsite power generation is cheaper than the utility.
Onsite battery storage can reduce the need for dependency on the grid, providing power in the event of a brownout or blackout, but also allowing a business to operate at capacity at any time–without increased utility demand charges and without the approval of the utility.
In many parts of the country, the utility must consider the needs of the entire local energy grid, which leads to regulation of industry consumption to businesses in their jurisdiction.
Now it is possible to operate independently of the utility, at less cost.
- Solar energy – Green, renewable energy, onsite, at whatever scale a business requires, is now possible with reliable, quality solar panels.
- Battery storage – Onsite battery storage can help regulate a business’ demand on the utility or store the energy generated through onsite solutions such as natural gas generators or solar panels.
- Solar + Battery – With a combination of solar panels and onsite battery storage, a business can obtain energy independent of the grid, and then store it for use even during darkness or overcast conditions.
Thanks to such easy solutions, it is now possible for businesses of nearly every size to operate independently from the power grid.
At Energy Professionals, we work with scores of battery solution providers and over 100 solar installers. We help our clients secure the best prices for the best quality energy solutions. We help you meet your energy and sustainability goals.
Contact us to find out how.