Wednesday, 14 March 2018 00:06

Power outages on the increase: Eaton

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More than 1.7 million people were affected by 327 power outages in 2017, according to a new report which says overall power outages in Australia increased by 19% , with Queensland overtaking New South Wales as the top blackout state after Cyclone Debbie caused devastation along the east-coast in March.

And across the Tasman, New Zealand blackouts increased by 36%, with the North Island faced with widespread snowstorms, a big scrub fire and Cyclone Cook.

Gordon Makryllos, managing director Australia and New Zealand at power management company Eaton Industries, said while the total number of people affected by power outages almost halved in 2017, businesses and individuals should still be wary as there was a higher frequency of small-scale blackouts and the average duration of outages increased by 39%.  

“With almost three out of four blackouts caused by weather, falling trees, faulty equipment or human error, it is clear that many power outages are unexpected and often unavoidable, which serves as a timely reminder for businesses to review their power back-up and disaster recovery plans to ensure IT systems and data are protected in the event of a power disruption.”

Eaton cites an EMC Global Data Protection Index that surveyed 125 Australian companies and found the average organisation experiences approximately three days of unexpected downtime per year, with data loss and other consequences totaling around $70 billion – with the majority of respondents not fully confident in their ability to recover after disruption.

“In the current era of digital connectivity and data dependency, the cost of power outages can be significant for any business – in particular those that have data collection technology in locations where recovery processes are complex and hard to reach. To reduce the risk of data loss, downtime and increased costs, it is important to have uninterruptible power systems, generators and power management software solutions that can deliver back-up power during outages,” Makryllos says.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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