Cleveland Businesses Blame Utility for Lack of Preparedness and Outages

September 06, 2018

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

Cleveland Public Power customers are sick and tired of repeated outages that have plagued them during the course of past several months, during some of the hottest weeks of the year.  The most recent outage in the city’s West Side occurred Sunday, with power being restored before midnight.  That, however, was followed by another outage hours later early Monday morning, which was restored after noon.

CPP says the outages have been caused by system overload due to the high heat, and that the utility has two upgrade projects in the works at a total cost of $24 million that will provide backup power to the network during peak usage periods.  The first of the upgrades is expected to be operational by the end of the month, with the second one ready by Q1 2019. 

The improvements come at a time when many customers have become exceedingly frustrated with the repeated outages. 

“If we were having a big snowstorm, a tornado, maybe,” customer Roger Brown said to Cleveland’s News 5.  “But come on, saying that the heat’s causing this, if they aren't prepared for the heat, they’re no kind of company.”

Pizza restaurant owner Claudia Young says lost business is into five figures, including thousands of dollars of food that had to be thrown out because it had spoiled.   She wonders why the restaurant is paying CPP $1,000 each month for unreliable power.

In addition to lost revenue, the inherent unpredictability of power outages presents business with another risk – damage to technology.  Seemingly insignificant, surges are brief and often unnoticeable, but can cause significant damage to sensitive circuits in equipment that allows business to function – from servers and switches to cash registers and credit card machines. 

The potential to disrupt business for extended periods while repairs are made is exactly why businesses should be aware of the risks and preemptively install power protection technology before an outage or surge damages expensive equipment.  Power protection and UPS systems provide insurance against outage- and surge-related losses and can be fitted to accommodate any size business, from local pizza shops to large multinational enterprises

Edited by Erik Linask