Since March of 2020, a new reality changed the landscape of utilities and power consumption. Working from home and online schooling became the new norm. Power availability and reliability suddenly had a new level of importance. Communities ultimately rely on power companies, counties, and municipalities to supply power, prevent outages and interruptions. Were they ready to withstand the enormous need for residential power knowing residents are stuck at home?
When critical infrastructure puts full trust on electricity, when 9-1-1, water, sewer, and municipal utilities need to do more than keep the lights on for quarantined communities, does your back-up plan need a back-up plan? In 2021, there are no more excuses.
According to local Oakland, Calif., news outlet KQED, a 2020 power outage at the East Bay Municipal Utility District pumping station led to the sewage release. How did this happen? Well, the municipality’s back-up generator failed. Continuous operation of the critical water treatment pumps was interrupted.
More recently, an ice storm hit the Houston area in 2021 knocking out power to millions. According to NBC News, the Harris County Health Department was storing COVID-19 vaccines in their freezers and their emergency power generator failed. “A backup generator at the Harris County Health Department failed, thawing freezers that kept a total of 8,430 doses of the Moderna vaccine, according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.”
This type of error is unfortunate and could have been resolved quickly or even prevented. There are affordable and easy ways to halt costly, inefficient, and dangerous failures. Especially as resources continue to be stretched both in labor and public services, remotely monitoring equipment is not only more commonplace, but it also becomes essential to stay in the know of critical equipment activity.
When utilized, an installed universal monitoring system allows agnostic tracking of all generator brands, sizes, and applications. Where implemented before COVID-19 lock-downs, short-staffed mission-critical operators, including municipal supervisors at water treatment facilities and beyond, had access to cloud-based and mobile management to know if a generator needed attention before the power failure occurred. Active monitoring of back-up emergency power provides a closed loop in the cycle for mission-critical operations.
Monitoring could have saved the enormous cost of clean-up encountered when a power failure occurs – and, as seen in East Bay, reoccurs. The cost of active monitoring has been estimated at less than 2% of the average outage cost. Universal Monitoring is a simple, cost-effective solution, especially now in a world where in-person access and staffing may be more limited, power infrastructures are tapped, and communities rely on municipalities to keep more than just the lights on the home.
For businesses that need to be 100% sure that their back-up generator is available 100% of the time in case of a power outage, even when employees are not on-site, remote generator monitoring is the only solution that makes sense. Remote generator monitoring is proactive and linked to service dealers to detect issues timely, requiring minimal extra workforce. No matter the generator brand, age, or size, the PT Series of monitoring products are linked to a user-friendly cloud-based portal, Power Link, and offers a lifetime warranty.
If you are not 100% sure that your back-up generator will work the next time there is a power outage, it’s time to set up a remote generator monitoring plan that works for you. Know that your system is ready to run even if you’re not operating at 100% capacity due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a pandemic or natural disaster. Find out how our team can build a plan that fits your needs and budget. Learn more about the Power Telematics PT Series of monitoring products and how crucial it is for your team to ensure you don’t lose money and business due to a faulty standby generator.