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    Expert Column: Standby Power Systems Protect Grocers’ Profits

    Guard against revenue, product loss while continuing to operate during outages

    By Terry Schlemmer, Generac Power Systems

    Since 1990, the demand for electricity has risen by 400 percent in the United States, according to a study completed by Generac Power Systems. The result is an increase in frequency and severity for power outages.

    The same study reveals that nearly 219 million utility customers spent more than 220 million hours without power in 2014. Two million of these utility customers experienced a power outage lasting eight hours or longer, according to global insurer Allianz.

    Grocery stores are particularly sensitive to power outages. Estimates based on Generac research indicate that grocery stores can lose up to $4,388 per hour, or $196,056 per year, in sales during power outages. Not only are revenue and refrigerated and frozen products lost during a power outage but security, data and personal safety are also at risk.

    Prepare for Power Outages

    A business continuity plan is essential for all companies, including grocery stores. By identifying the risks associated with power outages and creating a plan of action, grocery store owners can ensure that your locations continue to operate during an outage. This business continuity plan should include a reliable source for backup power. For grocery store owners, an investment in a standby power system not only protects their profits but also secures their reputation in the eyes of existing, as well as potential, customers.

    Receive a return on investment: According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, one in four businesses never reopens its doors after a disaster often because of not having the proper processes and systems in place. Additionally, research conducted by the Multihazard Mitigation Council indicates that every dollar spent on mitigation saves $4 in disaster recovery. Often, a standby power system pays for itself in one power outage.

    Add protection to business insurance policies: Although business interruption insurance policies can help offset costs associated with a power outage, such policies might not cover all damage associated with a power outage. These policies may not go into effect until 24 to 36 hours after the power outage, so you absorb revenue losses during that period. Plus coverage can be limited and additional riders may be required.

    Serve as a community resource: Even if you can recuperate lost revenue, it's difficult to recover lost customer trust or damage to the reputation of your business. As community resources, it's essential that grocery stores continue to provide fresh food and supplies in the event of a power outage.

    By Terry Schlemmer, Generac Power Systems
    • About Terry Schlemmer Terry Schlemmer is a commercial national accounts manager for Waukesha, Wis.-based Generac Power Systems, a global supplier of backup power and prime power products, systems, and engine-powered tools. In this role, he consults new and existing customers on innovative power solutions across the company’s full product line. He can be reached at [email protected]

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