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Are The Frequency Of Power Outages Increasing?

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Power Outage

Power Outage

The United States is experiencing more power outages than in past decades. In fact, this country loses power somewhere on the power grid 285% more often than it did in 1984. The cost of these outages to the American people is approximately $150 billion per year. Outdated and worn-out infrastructure is partly to blame. This calls for new technology and practices along with replacing aging equipment with new equipment. Meanwhile, Americans must be able to keep their home power going during outages.

Are Home Generators the Answer?

Meanwhile, many Americans are turning to home generators to breach the gap of power when there is an outage. Generators come in different kinds and operating models. Some are portable and some are permanently installed as part of the home's power system. Both standby generators and portable generators can keep some power available for a home during a power outage. They both require generator transfer switches to get the power they make to the home's electrical system safely and effectively. Switches can be a Manual transfer switch or an automatic generator transfer switch.

Stationary, permanently installed backup generators require an automatic transfer switch. These switches cost the homeowner more but are more convenient. They are installed by an electrician and they work with the generator to provide power to the home electrical system when the main source of power fails. When a backup generator is installed as part of the electrical system by an electrician, it will kick in when there is a power failure without the homeowner having to haul anything around.

Portable generators are stored when not in use, then when there is a power outage the homeowner will drag them out and hook them up to a fuel source. They require a manual transfer switch that is installed separately. This process requires a lot of effort on the homeowner's part and is a bit of a hassle. But it is cheaper than stationary backup generators.


Are There Really More Power Outages Now?

Yes, there are more power outages now than in the 1980s. A larger population puts more strain on the aging power grid. Power grid equipment is aging and wearing out faster than the power companies are replacing technology and equipment. Progress is being made to upgrade the power grid but it is slow and underfunded. One solution being used is smart grids and micro-grids that allow the use of alternative energy sources and storage.

But more needs to be done to deliver resilient, sustainable, clean, and efficient power to America's growing demand for energy. Our grid needs to be protected from severe weather, security issues like a cyber attack, and emergency power demands such as severe cold spells or extra hot summer heat. The new systems must be able to run on diverse fuel sources such as solar and wind power and store energy for future use.

One solution is the uninterruptible power supply or UPS system model. This power grid improvement will take time and lots of funding to implement on a countrywide scale.


Meantime, What To Do During A Power Outage

The best way to survive power outages is to be prepared in advance. Stock up on food and water that is non-perishable and does not require electricity to prepare. Create a support network with a contact list. Invest in some home communication devices that do not require electricity to work. Figure out what your critical electrical needs are and consider purchasing a backup generator to provide those power needs.

Plan for heating or cooling your home during a power outage. Good insulation helps. Do not use outdoor stoves, heaters, or generators indoors. Decide ahead of time when to stay at home and when to go to a shelter. Get a booklet or online guide to surviving a power outage and keep it handy.







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