Is your company at risk of future power cuts? / by Logan Lenz

You no doubt have enough on your plate running your company without experiencing the added problem of power cuts. Unfortunately though, it is impossible to rule out the risk of mains electricity failures, and warnings from one organisation suggest that the danger of these outages may be set to rise this winter.

Calls for an increase in capacity

The Industrial Communities Alliance (ICA), which represents 60 local authorities, has suggested that the recent closures of a number of large power stations in the UK has increased the risk of electricity shortages this winter. In a briefing document, the group called on the National Grid to act now to fill the energy supply gap by issuing new contracts to help generate an additional 2,500 megawatts of capacity. It also asked ministers to reconsider the current level of carbon taxes.

The ICA noted that a number of major plants, including Rugeley, Longannet and Ferrybridge - which were online in winter 2015-16 - will not be fully operational by the time the next cold season arrives. About this, the organisation remarked: “The problem - and it is a problem for every electricity consumer in the country - is that if all these closures go ahead, there won’t be enough generating capacity to keep the lights on next winter.” This could mean that demand for backup diesel generators and other standby power solutions rises over the coming months.

In its briefing document, the ICA also suggested that other coal-fired power stations, such as Ratcliffe, West Burton, Aberthaw and Drax, may soon be proposed for closure.

The potential impact on your company

In response to the comments made by the ICA, the government issued reassurances that extra capacity has already been secured for next year. However, it is important to consider what would happen if electricity supplies to your company were suddenly cut. After all, the capacity of the National Grid isn’t the only variable that can impact on power supplies. Flooding to substations and damage to power lines caused by high winds can also result in unexpected electricity failures.

If your company suffered a power outage, your operations may grind to a halt. In turn, this could have disastrous consequences in terms of your bottom line and your reputation. So, to give yourself added peace of mind that you would be able to cope in such circumstances, it’s vital to have a backup plan in place. For example, by investing in a diesel generator that meets your firm’s power requirements, you can ensure that even if the mains network fails, you will still be able to carry on functioning.

You might not have control over the National Grid, or over the weather, but by including backup power provisions in your business’ disaster recovery plan, you can prevent outages from disrupting your operations.