Power Cuts In Britain: The Battle Businesses Face

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The weather in the UK can be very unpredictable. You may be basking in the sunshine one moment, then running for cover from the rain the next. This unpredictability can cause stress to systems nationwide and potentially cause power outages. In July, Thorpe Park experienced a series a power cuts which left worried visitors stuck on rides. Although you would think this was the result of harsh weather conditions, it was in fact due to high levels of heat across the region. Around the same time, there were more than 15 reports of power cuts in 24 hours across Cambridgeshire, which were caused by lightning strikes in the area. 

While certain businesses are prepared for such situations, many are not. Power cuts aren’t only difficult to deal with when you’re at home, but in a work environment, this can cause lost productivity – can your business afford it? 

A Problem Faced By The Nation 

The have been several power cuts that will long live in the memory in the UK. You may be old enough to remember the miners’ strike in 1972, which caused major power issues – leading to a state of emergency being declared. A more recent power event that caused power outage to 40,000 properties was the result of Storm Frank in 2015. 

Here are some of the most common power cuts to happen in Britain: 

● Transient fault: lasting only a few seconds. This is a temporary fault, but power is automatically restored. 

● Brownout: reduction in mains power supply that can last for a few days (e.g. lowered light levels) and cause machinery malfunction. 

● Blackout: absolute power loss. As the most severe case of power outage, blackouts are often the most costly and difficult to recover from. 

It’s understandable that there are several types of power cuts, but 80% of all those between 2003 and 2012 were due to weather issues. 

Damages To Your Organisation 

Nowadays, businesses across the nations run off the power of energy, which means it’s vital to ensure operations are able to remain consistent and our productivity isn’t halted. Below, we take a look at how power cuts can actually harm a business. 

Of course, you can experience a significant power cut or a slight delay. Both, however, can be damaging to your business and cause a loss of data. If this is the case, this could have a profound impact on any ongoing campaigns and prove difficult for you to meet deadlines on a range of projects and ultimately meet the requirements of a client. Imagine if all of your work is lost due to such circumstances – you might have to start your work from scratch. 

The variance in the downtime cost for a business is also noticeable, with some small companies noting that an hour of no power could cost £800. Believe it or not, Google lost their power in 2013 and this cost them £100,000 each minute. But, downtime could come down to several reasons. If your business does not have access to electricity for example, employees will not be able to communicate with customers. If you’re a business that operates as an ecommerce store, you won’t be able to monitor online sales and respond to website queries. 

The average cost per hour of downtime can be worked out by: 

Employee cost per hour x fraction of employees affected by the power cut x average revenue for each hour x fraction of the revenue that was affected by the outage 

Is It Worth The Risk? 

Each business runs differently, so it’s important to understand that your priorities will be different to other companies in the same situation. If your company relies on computers and data, you should look at installing an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) that will allow your devices to run off battery power in the event of a power cut. Most companies now rely on an internet connection too, which means it could be difficult to cope without one. If you set up a MiFi – which can operate as a WiFi hotspot – your staff will be able to connect to an ad-hoc network which can help you operate when a power cut does strike. 

You must create a plan for your team to follow. Do this by creating a team or committee that will determine the specific risks to your business — a small IT company will have different points to consider compared to a large factory — and then draw up a detailed process for mitigating these risks. 

This article was provided by Flogas LPG, gas bottle suppliers.


I hope you enjoyed this article about the power cuts in Britain and the battle that businesses face because of it.

Interested in reading more articles about small businesses? 

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