When the Lights Go Out: what can businesses learn from the National Grid failure?

When the Lights Go Out: what can businesses learn from the National Grid failure?

Energy Manager at The Energy Check, Andy Clarke, explains how enterprises can protect the productivity and power of their business

Last Friday, 9th August, businesses and households across the UK were thrown into disarray when the National Grid failed.

Needless to say, this outage caused a fair bit of chaos. This is largely because the vast majority of us are simply used to having a constant, reliable energy supply day in and day out. The fact that it ceased to provide power to large parts of the country for hours was disruptive to say the least.

Although this type of outage has been extremely rare in recent times, it is nevertheless something that has been highlighted as a probability by experts in the past. This is part of the ‘Energy Trilema’ — the risk of Price, Supply Security and Environmental Impact all becoming unacceptable.

The failure caused problems for businesses up and down to the country, thanks to our reliance on technology and connectivity. Transport links in particular were heavily disrupted by the grid outage.

Lord Adonis, former chair of the government’s National Infrastructure Commission, said: “This is a big wake-up call for National Grid. Their resilience is below par. They need to improve their processes for ensuring the resilience of national transport and medical installations in the event of power shortages.”

What can businesses do to protect themselves from future failures?

A National Grid failure can be a scary thing for businesses, but you don’t have to feel powerless. There are measures you can put in place to help you access power in the event of an outage. One of these measures is battery storage.

Battery storage provides businesses with a back-up to their usual energy supply – a valuable asset on those unfortunate occasions when the unexpected happens and you are in need of another power source to keep running business as usual.

Batteries are typically used to store energy gathered from renewable sources such as solar photovoltaics (solar PVs) and wind turbines. And they are growing quickly in popularity amongst organisations looking to lower emissions and increase their environmental responsibility. When combined, these measures can also help you save significant costs on your energy and offer extra security when it comes to your power supply.

When properly set up, battery storage means you don’t have to fall victim to peak time energy costs. It’s a greener, cleaner solution that provides access to emergency energy if and when you need it. (You can read more about battery storage for businesses here!)

Another sustainable solution for businesses is a correctly configured Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system. CHP integrates the production of usable heat and power (electricity) in one single efficient process.

CHP generates electricity while capturing usable heat. This differs from conventional methods of generating electricity, which usually lead to a lot of wasted heat. As a result, this makes CHP highly sustainable.

CHP is also produced locally, giving it the added benefit of avoiding efficiency losses incurred through transmission and distribution of electricity through the National Grid.

How can The Energy Check help?

Here at The Energy Check, we’re known for being experts in getting low unit prices for customers and offer contracts with low or zero carbon emissions. However, none of this is any use when the National Grid fails and you have no power.

Luckily, we can also assist our clients in these circumstances. We can advise you on the installation of Combined Heat and Power and Battery Storage, which if properly configured can, as well as saving money on your energy costs, provide power for a business when the mains aren’t available.

Our expert engineers are available to help you find the right solution for your business, whether compliance (ESOS, SECR, TM44 and many others), cost, emission, security of supply or energy efficiency is your objective.

Get in touch with the experts at The Energy Check today and discover how we can help make your business not just lower costs but ensure a greener, more reliable energy supply. Click here.