Are blackouts and power outages increasing in Ontario?
Yes, according to the latest studies and research on hand.
From a total of 399 combined outages across Canada’s provinces in 2017, the bulk – nearly 50% – took place in Ontario.
So, what can businesses and homeowners do to protect themselves against such power disruptions?
Perhaps it’s time to consider investing in an emergency backup generator.
What is an Emergency Generator?
According to Britannica.com, a generator is:
“…any machine that converts mechanical energy to electricity for transmission and distribution over power lines to domestic, commercial, and industrial customers.”
There are two types of generators to be aware of:
(i) Standby Generators
To comply with local fire codes these generators require professional installation as they are hooked to your premise’s main utility panel and wired into your electrical system.
They consist of a trigger that switches on automatically when the power goes out.
In addition, they are fueled by natural gas, propane or gasoline.
(ii) Portable Generators
These are manually-operated emergency generators that do not need professional installation. Whatsmore, they simply use gasoline as the main fuel.
Generators also come in different sizes and power outputs depending on the needs of your home or business.
Lastly, all generators should be operated from outdoors because of health and safety reasons – high potential for release of noxious gases such as carbon monoxide.
Ontario’s Increasing Power Outage Problem
Power outages used to be uncommon within the Ontario region and almost non-existent. We have evidence of this from the Electricity Outage and Reliability Study published by the Ontario Energy Board in 2010.
In the report we read that, “On average, Ontarians experienced just over one power outage every quarter, or 4.78 outages per year.”
Fast forward seven years however and the number of outages has gone up considerably. In fact, Ontario now leads Canadian provinces in terms of having the highest number of power outages.
In the 2017 Canada Blackout Tracker report, there were 177 reported cases of power loss. And comparing this figure against that of previous years its safe to say the number of power outages is on the rise:
Source: Eaton, Canada Blackout Tracker report
So, now that we’ve established that outages are on the rise, who are the people most in need of an emergency backup generator?
Ontario’s Most Vulnerable Residents and Businesses
There is definitely an urban/rural divide when it comes to power outage patterns. If you live in Ontario’s rural extremities or have a business in said parts, you’re more likely to suffer from power problems than similar businesses located in urban areas.
These differences are most reflected when examining regional discrepancies.
The Energy Board’s findings are that residents of Eastern Ontario are more likely to experience far more outages than their contemporaries in other parts of the province.
Eastern Ontarians also report much longer power outages than the others. Consequently, satisfaction levels are generally much lower in this region of Canada.
One of the major reasons leading to frustration by Eastern Ontarians is the lack of ability by distributors to answer questions regarding why there are so many outages as well as the expected duration of outages.
Those in Ontario’s north also experience long power outages. However, in spite of this fact, they were typically not as frustrated as Eastern Ontarians because they are more often able to speak with an actual person and have their concerns heard and questions answered.
We can therefore deduce that residents of rural areas and businesses operating in the rural parts of Ontario stand to benefit from purchasing an emergency backup generator.
This leads us to additional reasons to invest in an emergency backup generator.
3 Reasons to Buy an Emergency Backup Generator
Here are three top reasons you should purchase a backup electricity solution.
Reason #1 Growing Adverse Climate Conditions Across the Province
Ontario has been experiencing very high summer temperatures. In fact, summer 2020 was one of the hottest on record since 2013.
This led the IESO to declare a North American Reliability Corporation (NERC) Energy Emergency Alert 1 on July 9, 2020, because they anticipated a spike in energy demand and their own generator outages.
And it’s not just the heat that’s causing problems but the cold too. Headlines such as the ones below have become commonplace in the last decade:
Because of climate change, these adverse weather patterns are likely to continue in the coming years. So, if you’re a business owner, especially one in manufacturing where downtime can lead to costly loss, you don’t have the luxury to wait until the power comes back on. You need an emergency backup generator now.
Reason #2 You or a Family Member Use an Electrically-Dependent Medical Apparatus
In 2020, there were 6,835,866 people aged 65 years and above including 11, 517 centenarians in Canada. Those aged 65 and older made up 17.5% of the country’s population.
Thousands within this age group rely on medical equipment such as respirators, ventilators, oxygen generators, and home dialysis equipment that require a power source to function.
Loss of power can prove fatal for residents depending on these devices to sustain them. This is why having an emergency generator cannot be overlooked if you or a loved one use an electrically powered device.
Reason #3 Power Outages are Extremely Expensive
Did you know that the average cost of downtime for organizations is around $100,000 for businesses with more than 1,000 employees?
Further breaking this down, the cost per minute of an unplanned outage has gone up from $5, 617 in 2010 to a staggering $8, 851 in 2017.
It’s not hard to see that these power outages are both extremely inconvenient and costly affairs.
The Bottom Line
Uptime is a non-negotiable for businesses in today’s climate. Don’t wait to find solutions when unplanned outages take place.
Ensure your home and business are properly protected against both fire hazards with fire prevention for home solutions and power outages with emergency backup generators.
If you’re on the hunt for efficient solutions in Waterloo, Ontario consider Profire Safety Services.
We offer a comprehensive line of emergency backup generators, fire alarm systems, fire warning systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, exit lighting, fire safety plans and sprinkler systems. Request a free quote today.