What are the True Costs of Power Outages

the true costs of power outages (infographic)The Costs of Power Outages around the globe

Sudden power outages cost US businesses more than $150 billion a year and are on the increase. Major outages are more than 10x more common [1] than they were in the mid-1980s and affected 350 million [2] across the globe in 2021, but the true costs of power outages are difficult to measure.

Why are power outages becoming more common?

  • Climate change
  • Legacy infrastructure
  • Reliance on imports
  • System management

The true costs of power outages is complicated to measure

The costs of power outages can be disastrous for businesses, causing:

  • Loss of sales
  • Loss of productivity
  • Damage to goods that require energy (e.g. frozen food)
  • Stalled manufacturing or supply
  • Safety risks
  • Impact on customer experience

Experts argue that most figures underestimate the full impact of outages because the impact is so widespread and complex.

Outages are common

In the U.S., roughly 1 in 4 businesses experience an outage at least once a month. Partly because fixing utility problems is considered too expensive. PG&E estimates that converting overhead power lines to underground lines will cost $3 million per mile in urban areas, and 1$ million in less populated areas.

Ultimately, the costs of power outages will only increase with inaction

Utilities companies must act before it is too late. With climate change already impacting communities, infrastructure aging, and geopolitical shocks increasing, there is a limited window to avoid catastrophic levels of energy outages. Asset Monitoring and proactive maintenance can help reduce the risks and costs of power outages.


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