Written by Tom Wheat
The Necessity of Backup Power
Our nation’s electrical grid is notoriously unreliable. In many regions, outdated and shaky infrastructure is readily compromised by inclement weather, traffic accidents, and equipment failures. These small incidents can have devastating impacts, sometimes rendering entire communities powerless for days at a time. More serious natural disasters can result in even longer outages.
Many people don’t think of backup power as a necessity until they’ve experienced an extended power outage first-hand. How will your organization continue to run smoothly without lights, computers, telephones, refrigeration, heating, or air conditioning?
For residential and small commercial applications, backup generator systems are generally affordable and relatively easy to install. For larger facilities, the equipment needed can be expensive, and the complexity of the building’s electrical systems can drive the installation costs up. Thankfully, there are some purchasing strategies that can help soften the blow.
Seeking Grant Funding
If your organization doesn’t have the available capital to purchase a backup generator system outright, grant funding may be available to cover some or all of the expenses.
There are private grants (often funded by charities and philanthropists), state grants, and federal grants. Generally, these programs offer a certain amount of financial aid to eligible organizations that does not need to be repaid.
Eligibility requirements vary from one grant to another. You’ll want to search for grants that are applicable to your organization and its needs.
Unfortunately, online scammers and businesses of questionable integrity have been known to take advantage of grant-seekers by creating websites and applications that lure them into spending money or giving up sensitive information. Please be careful when shopping for available grants online. We’ve created this index of legitimate grant websites and services for you to safely search:
Buying on State Contract
Municipalities, government agencies, and non-profits can save time and money by purchasing equipment on state contract. By purchasing from a state-vetted organization, buyers can be sure they’re getting the best value without spending precious time requesting and reviewing bids for every single project.
The New York State OGS H.I.R.E. contract (Hazardous Incident Response Equipment) features thousands of purchasable items from dozens of companies that have to prove to the state each year that their products are of the highest quality and the best value.
Government and non-profit customers in New York, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia are currently eligible to purchase emergency backup generators using this contract. If your state isn’t listed, don’t worry. It’s easy for any state to become a participant.
Many grant-makers and other funding sources look favorable on state contract purchases, because they know that the money given will be spent efficiently.
While shopping for grants, check to see if there are any additional incentives for spending with a state contract holder.
Woman or Minority Owned Businesses
In New York State, the Governor has set a goal for all state agencies to spend at least 30% of their annual budgets with Minority or Woman-Owned Businesses (M/WBEs). This goal was nearly reached during the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
Other states, and even federal programs have established similar goals in order to help drive business to these historically disadvantaged enterprises.
While shopping for grants, check to see if there are any additional incentives for spending with a Woman or Minority Owned Business.
Help with Grant Writing
Writing grants can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Luckily, there are professional grant-writers who know exactly how to maximize the likelihood of success.
Better Service. Better Power.
Before you start looking for grants, you may want to determine exactly how much your backup generator project will cost. Contact our government sales manager, Sarah VanStaalduinen, to get started. She can help you through every step of the process to make sure your facility gets the backup power system it needs to be ready for anything.
1-800-475-1321 | email@example.com
Better Power, Inc. is NYS State Contract holder, and a Certified Woman-Owned Business located in Rochester, New York.