Standby Generator: When the Power’s Down, Your Business Doesn’t Have to Be
Many modern businesses are reliant on electricity to function. This makes them highly vulnerable to a power outage. If the electricity goes out, the business has no choice but to suspend operations until power is restored. A standby generator can solve this problem, providing needed power to keep business going at an acceptable level until the local electric company fixes the outage. By choosing a standby generator that supports your facility’s needs, you’ll be able to prevent income loss while also better serving your customers and community.
How Standby Generators Work
In most cases, standby generators are connected directly to your building’s power system and are designed to switch on automatically when the main power goes out. This ensures minimal interruption to your business activities and removes the requirement to manually start the generator when power fails. When power is restored, the generator automatically switches off. In residential settings, homeowners often can get by with a standby generator that provides limited amounts of power. However, to keep a commercial or retail facility in operation, the owner will need a generator powerful enough to produce sufficient electricity to maintain lights, heating or cooling equipment, cash registers, computer systems, and other vital equipment.
Types of Standby Generators
Standby generators operate using different types of fossil fuels. The most common types of generators use:
- Natural gas
- Diesel fuel
Fuel is provided through local utility hookups or is stored in a tank located in or near the building. In most cases, it’s better to choose a standby generator that can be fueled by natural gas provided by your local utility company. This is the safest option and usually ensures an uninterrupted supply of fuel even during a widespread power outage. Using a generator that requires on-site supplies of propane or diesel fuel increases the risk of fire or explosion during an emergency situation. Storing fuel at your business premises also may be against state or local safety regulations.
When selecting a standby generator for your business, carefully assess your power needs before choosing and installing the generator. The generator must be able to accommodate the three-phase power systems common to many commercial facilities. It must also be able to produce enough power to run all necessary equipment and systems. Consult with your electrical contractor for help calculating the amount of power your business will need in an emergency. Select a standby generator that will provide somewhat more power than this amount. This will ensure you have enough electricity for basic operations plus more in case power demands are higher than expected.
Standby generators can be costly. They require expert installation to function properly and safely, and the generator equipment itself tends to be expensive. However, a standby generator can mean the difference between keeping your business open during a power outage or being forced to close it down, losing the revenue that could have been generated during that time. During a local emergency, customers and authorities both will be thankful to have functioning retail outlets where supplies and material can be purchased. In many cases, a standby generator can pay for itself during a single extended power outage. The multiple benefits of standby generators make them not just useful, but critical for commercial businesses.
Maintenance and Upkeep
Like other important equipment, standby generators should be inspected and maintained regularly to make sure they’re in good operating condition. Schedule annual generator maintenance from your local trusted electrical contractor. Regular preventive maintenance will ensure the system works properly and safely and that it can be relied on during a power-related emergency.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information on choosing the best standby generator for your emergency power needs, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!