Energy Reliability Groundbreaking Survey on Emergency/Backup Power and Power Controls Nationwide sample of facilities executives shows wide gaps between what they have, what they want, and what they need. BY BHAVESH PATEL ASCO Power A Critical Power Mangement System encompasses a vari-ety of power-related gear and is separate from other building systems. Introduction rising number of organizations—hospitals, financial institutions, telecommunication companies, co-location data centers, and many others—are making significant investments in emergency/backup power systems. But those systems themselves are vulnerable to problems that can undermine the money spent to ensure reliable power. Power controls offer facility executives a range of capabilities to ensure the performance of critical power sys-tems when they are needed. The marketplace is full of products that offer individual power control capabilities. However, many products used for power control applications lack best practices features in such areas as monitoring, control, report ing, and power quality 50 www.distributedenergy.com A analysis. A survey of facility executives shows that most power control systems in use today lack important functions in those areas. What’s more, many facility executives lack awareness about those functions and their potential beneﬁ ts. Wider use of power controls that offer those capabilities could provide signiﬁ cant beneﬁ ts to facility executives seeking to maximize the reliability of their emergency/backup power systems. Cost of Power Interruptions There is a significant need for emergency/backup power in the United States. A study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2005 estimated the cost of power interruptions at $57 billion annually for the 15 million US commercial customers.