The University of Connecticut earlier this week suffered a power outage when a squirrel interfered with a transformer that served several campus buildings. So Thanksgiving came early for students, whose classes were canceled, at least for the affected buildings on Monday.
Because this outage involved a school, no doubt there were some happy students. But when a power outage hits a business, that’s a whole different story. It can mean damaged equipment, erosion of customer satisfaction, lost data, lost revenues for the organization, and even lost wages for workers.
Indeed, according to E Source Companies LLC, power losses by U.S. businesses in the batch manufacturing, continuous manufacturing, education and government, financial services/digital economy, grocery store, healthcare and hospital, and retail space exceed $27 billion annually. Batch manufacturing tops the list, with annual losses of nearly $150,000 per facility. The government and education faired the best of the group, but still suffered losses of about $5,000 per facility, the report indicates.
“Outages shorter than 5 minutes don’t seem to negatively affect the vast majority of businesses, but as the outage duration extends—as we see with storms like Jonas along the East Coast—losses quickly accumulate,” says Bill LeBlanc, E Source (News - Alert) senior advisor.
To avoid that fate, businesses can implement uninterrupted power supply systems, which can reduce or eliminate the impact of power outages.
“The power can go out at any time, for any reason, including reasons that aren't immediately clear or that may not even be anywhere near you. From animals interacting with transformers to car accidents, anything can happen to those vital poles and wires that keep so much of our lives going,” Power Protection Resource writer Steve Anderson recently reported. “Thankfully, there [is] no shortage of options when it comes to power protection.”
Something as simple as UPS, adds Anderson, can provide the extra few minutes of power required to backup work and shut down properly – making the difference between a day lost and a day mildly inconvenienced.