Power Distribution and Management

Don’t Forget the UPS! Why Electrical Contractors Should Include Backup Power in Projects

The power grid isn’t as reliable as it used to be. Extreme weather events such as the 2021 Texas deep freeze and a string of hurricanes and nor’easters along the eastern seaboard have caused major power outages, sometimes lasting multiple days. In California, utilities have to shut off power when winds could knock out transmission lines to avoid wildfires.

Adding to the challenge, the increasing share of electricity generated from intermittent sources such as solar and wind affects voltages and frequencies on the grid. This makes it harder to maintain a continuous flow of electricity.

A less reliable grid translates to more frequent blackouts, which is a real problem for businesses and residential communities. It’s hard to accomplish anything in the modern world without electricity. And now that more and more people are working from home, having backup power is especially critical.

Industries such as healthcare, specialty manufacturing, and IT infrastructure typically have backup power that allows them to operate for a period of time during an outage. It also allows for a graceful shutdown to help save data and protect equipment. However, most other industries need to catch up. As they do, they create new opportunities for electrical contractors to add revenue streams and add value to customers.

UPS

Why electrical contractors should include a UPS in every proposal

When putting out requests for proposals (RFPs) to upgrade their electrical systems, customers may or may not include an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). If they do, not all electrical contractors are comfortable selecting and providing a UPS, which means the business goes to some other provider.

If you’re an electrical contractor, you are leaving money on the table if you don’t include a backup power solution. Adding a UPS to your quote is relatively straightforward and you can do the installation yourself. If you need assistance to plan and size the most suitable UPS for the job, you can still get the business by working with an electrical distributor to help you select and deliver the UPS.

In cases where companies don’t include a UPS in their RFPs, you should point out the need to add it. If the customer doesn’t see the need, make the case by asking questions such as:

  • What is the short-term and long-term financial impact on the business if the power goes out?
  • How would an outage impact the customer’s operations?
  • Do life-safety risks increase when there is a power outage?
  • In the case of a high-end residential customer, how would they benefit from uninterruptible power for such things as communications, surveillance, gaming, remote work, and remote learning?
  • What’s the downtime cost of a production machine?

As the customer thinks about the answers to these questions, the need for backup power should become apparent.

What’s in it for electrical contractors?

Electrical contractors work in a competitive field. Simply put, if you can’t meet all the requirements of an invitation for bid or a request for quote, someone else will. By providing UPS technology, you can expand the scope of your services through long-term contracts that also include UPS service and remote monitoring. Some industrial UPS have data-capture and monitoring capabilities in order to optimize their health and performance. You can deliver the monitoring services or sub-contract to a vendor, such as Schneider Electric, to do the monitoring while you maintain contact with the customer.

Installation and post-implementation monitoring, and maintenance services keep you linked to the customer for the long term. You can use these services as a differentiator from contractors that don’t provide this service. As a result, you’ll be in a position to add value for the customer, which translates to satisfaction and loyalty. Ultimately, you increase your wallet share while providing a differentiated service to the customer.

Ready to explore UPS solutions?

Even if you have little or no experience with commercial or industrial UPSs, adding the offering is a relatively simple proposition when you work with a vendor like Schneider Electric. You will get guidance and support on the technical aspects or ask them to handle the service on your behalf. The end result is a boost to your business and a solution that adds resilience to your customers’ businesses. Just because the grid is less reliable doesn’t mean your customer’s business should suffer.

Click to learn more about Industrial UPS Solutions.


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