Extreme weather, like hurricanes and tornadoes, is becoming more and more common. If you have watched the news, you’ve probably seen many extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Florence. Each of these included flooding and disruption in utility services like electricity.
When the power goes out, utility companies must work under tough conditions and the public eye to return power. The news highlights how many days, weeks, or even months households go without electricity. In the United States, electricity isn’t treated as a privilege but a right and a basic household need. This is why utility companies must have enough resources available to restore power fast, including fuel for their fleets.
How are utility companies affected by weather emergencies?
Extreme weather is often followed by the public trying to get food, shelter, and fuel supplies. This strains access to spare fuel for utility companies. They rely on portable generators and other equipment to provide temporary power while they restore electricity. Because of this, utility companies must not only restore power, but do so while facing significant supply issues.
Utility companies can overcome these challenges with long-term planning and preparation. For example, fleet managers can establish and maintain a backup fuel supply for emergencies. The backup supply ensures the utility company can provide emergency power while crews work to restore the full grid. Also, they can make smart fueling decisions to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
How to get backup fuel
Like most businesses, utility companies secure backup fuel by asking for bids from a few suppliers. Many select partners who can provide low costs only. But, it is important not to sacrifice customer service and quality in exchange for lower costs.
In emergencies, your utility company can rely on the expertise of your fuel supplier to ensure that a steady source of gas or diesel is available. Also, more experienced fuel providers can predict problems and help you meet the needs of your customers, even during blackouts. Lower cost suppliers likely cannot guarantee delivery, provide quick service, or provide steady supplies.
Plan and practice with your fuel supplier
Finally, once you select a fuel provider, you should plan with them for emergencies. The supplier should have a plan to provide fuel and secure sources in the event of extreme scenarios like a blackout. You should also work on your processes to ensure that all flaws are discovered before an emergency situation.
The benefits of having a fuel contract
Another way your utility company can benefit from using a fuel supplier is with a fuel contract. These contracts lock companies into an agreement to ensure a regular supply at predictable prices, even in extreme situations. Also, the contracts ensure that your utility company can focus on providing and restoring services, not finding fuel. As the relationship develops, the supplier will become more adept at servicing your needs.
Questions to ask each supplier
You should ask questions that test the experience, resolve, and professionalism of fuel suppliers. For example, can the supplier guarantee delivery and can they deliver in emergencies? Do they have experience dealing with extreme weather events? What are the credentials and/or licenses of its drivers and technicians? Other things your company should about know include procedures the fuel suppliers use when handling their products.
These are the questions that an experienced provider should be able to answer. Utility companies and fuel suppliers are partners and need to be able to rely on one another for prompt and safe service, especially during emergency situations.
Bulk fuel delivery with Kendrick Oil
At Kendrick Oil, we distribute a wide variety of bulk fuels, including diesel and regular gas. If your utility company is concerned about having guaranteed fuel in an emergency, give us a call at (800) 777-9263. You can also Contact Us by email for more information about our Products and Services. We offer our services in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Louisiana.