Picking the Right Commercial Generator for Your Business
Hurricane Sandy and even way back to Hurricane Katrina and others have repeatedly demonstrated the need for emergency generators, particularly for those businesses that have products requiring refrigeration. You may end up losing tens of thousands of dollars of product within a very short period of time, without a back-up generator on site. Grocery stores, for example, must dispose of refrigerated perishables if their coolers have been taken off line for much less time than you might think.
Certainly not every business has to be worried about spoiled products, but most do need electrical power to run their operations. If you own a business that deals directly with the public, then a power outage could shut you down for days or longer, resulting in significant profit loss. The Small Business Administration (SBA) says that 50% of businesses that experience a major disaster – NEVER RECOVER! It’s easy to see why having a back-up generator is an absolute necessity for virtually any type of business, but it’s not always easy to see which type of generator might be right for your business.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT GENERATOR
- Standby generators are best. Stationary generators will begin the moment power is interrupted, and will run until power is restored. Standby generators are more expensive, and generally require more floor space than portable generators, but the value of having an automatic fail safe cannot be exaggerated.
- Important to have the right fuel source. One of the most universally applicable fuel sources is natural gas. Natural gas generators tend to have far fewer regulations than sources like diesel, and the cost of the fuel will be lower. Prices will vary by state and location, but natural gas tends to be the winner where price is concerned and is very reliable as an emergency energy source.
- Choosing the right voltage. Commercial generators are available in many different voltage categories, meaning they support many different businesses that have differing power demands. If your business runs a large amount of computers and server banks, then you may need a generator that can provide high amounts of sustained power. A qualified electrician can help you to determine which voltage will be best for your building, but you can also read your own electrical panel on your commercial building to see the rating of the incoming voltage.
- Keep the generator up to date. Newer generator technology can lead to more efficient fuel usage for prolonged periods of time. What was considered efficient in the 1990’s may actually consume twice as much fuel as what’s currently available. While you may think that you are saving on costs by continuing to ignore your back up, you could end up losing more if you have to rely on an outdated model, especially since it is vulnerable to a higher failure rate.
These are just a few of the factors that you should take into account when looking for a commercial generator for your business and facility. You may have alternate energy options depending on your location, such as the ability to rely on solar energy used alongside your generator. It’s also worthwhile to look into incentives for purchasing “green fuel” back-up generators, which may be available in your state.
Whichever you decide, be sure to choose a generator which can offer you the longest sustained energy for the lowest cost. It could make a big difference if and when power interruption occurs in your area.