Calculating the Real Cost of Power Outages for Businesses
Calculating the Real Cost of Power Outages for Businesses

Three Steps Your Business Can Take to Mitigate Cost

When the power goes out at home, you may lose money by way of food spoiling or pipes breaking. But, when the power goes out at the business, the costs are much greater.

According to BloomEnergy, the cost of an outage for large companies can escalate into the millions of dollars per hour of downtime while the Department of Energy estimates that outages cost the U.S. economy $150 billion annually.

On a market-based scale, an E Source survey of 800 energy decision makers, reported that power outages cost U.S. businesses $27 billion per year within eight key market segments including Batch Manufacturing, Continuous Manufacturing, Financial Services/Digital Economy, Offices, Healthcare/Hospitals, Government/Education, Grocery/Food Stores, and Retail. Further, a four-hour power disruption costs an average of $10K to $20K while a three-day outage can cost upwards of $50K.

The nation-wide stats are compelling, but let’s get down to the business level and consider the exact loss of revenue when your operations shut down. Consider the potential data loss if the battery backup for the servers goes down. How much money would your business lose in sales if it were closed for one day? Three days? What is the cost of spoiled or obsolete inventory? What is the opportunity cost of not being prepared with an immediate alternate energy solution? If you started calculating these costs and are alarmed by the number you see, it’s time to take the first step in investing in backup generation to protect your business from power outages.


Step 1: Make Your Location “Generator Ready” 

If installing a permanent automatic generator will not currently fit into your immediate budget, making your location Generator Ready can be an affordable solution. Depending on the size and location of your electrical service, your building can become Generator Ready for less than $5,000. A typical deployment and generator rental costs about $3,500 for 1-2 days. Larger buildings can become “Generator Ready” for as little as $20,000. Regardless of the size of the building, one scalable strategy is to purchase equipment that will eventually accommodate a permanent generator. This seemingly temporary investment can become a permanent one quickly and easily.    

Having a Generator Ready facility can also reduce the time needed to deploy and tie-in a generator from a full day to only a few hours. Additionally, having a Generator Ready facility will allow onsite staff to tie-in a temporary generator. The alternative is more expensive and takes longer as an electrician must tie-in a portable unit. This usually takes a full day, and the entire process must be repeated when the power is restored.      

Step 2: Install a Permanent Backup Power System

When you are ready to install a permanent backup power system, the costs of installing and maintaining this equipment may be mitigated with discounts from your insurance provider. More importantly, new or additional business opportunities will become available to you when you provide critical services while your competition is in the dark without power.

Step 3: Evaluate Range of Solutions

Whether you are doing new construction, planning an electrical service upgrade, or simply want to make use of a portable option, the experts at FM Generator are ready to guide you to a range of cost-effective solutions. With more than 50 years of delivering reliability, the experts at FM Generator can assist you with all your emergency and standby power needs. For more information or for a quote, call FM Generator today at 800-253-6617 or email us at

Download: The Cost of Losing Power (PDF)