3 Reasons You Need Generator Maintenance In Your Empty Buildings

The last thing a property owner or manager wants is an empty building. A commercial building without tenants is no longer generating revenue, but still incurring most of the costs associated with ownership: loan payments, taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance costs. This is not an ideal situation.

Tenants come and go, but a building and its upkeep remain. Without revenue to offset the building’s costs, some owners will cut back on what they may see as unnecessary expenditures, namely maintenance costs that can be viewed as deferred. In the case of some maintenance costs—daily janitorial service, for example—this can be a smart strategy. But in the case of your building’s backup power system, this can be a costly mistake. 

Here are three reasons why generator maintenance cannot be ignored in an empty building:

1. Regular maintenance preserves the value of your generator

Not unlike a brand new car, a new commercial generator begins to deteriorate from the day it is installed. An ongoing maintenance program slows this deterioration and helps to give your generator a potential life span of 20 to 50 years. Without regular maintenance, you could shorten the life of your generator by as much as half.

Although it may seem counter-intuitive to maintain an asset in a vacant building, an emergency generator and automatic transfer switch (the two components of any emergency standby power system) can deteriorate rapidly if left neglected for an extended period of time. This can lead to expensive replacement costs much sooner in the equipment’s life cycle than if it was on a regular preventive maintenance schedule. 

If your tenant was responsible for the maintenance of the emergency standby power generator, it should be left in good working order after they’ve moved out.  But this isn’t always the case. Some tenants may ignore generator maintenance, and once they’re gone, the generator is once again the responsibility of the owner. It’s wise to perform a maintenance check on your generator right after a tenant moves out. As we talk about below, you never know when a new tenant will come to look at the property, and they’re going to want a generator in good working order.

2. A Functioning Generator Increases The Property’s Marketability.

An emergency standby power system in good working order can be considered a major selling point to a prospective tenant or purchaser. More and more companies look at consistent and reliable backup power as a necessity to running their business. Delivering this capability is a great way to help market your property.

Or look at it this way. A small or medium-sized business typically needs a generator capable of outputting between 10kW and 20kW, which costs upwards of $10,000. But large or industrial businesses may need up to 500kW or 1,000kW or more, which costs tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If your building has a solid backup power system is great working order with a record of regular maintenance, it adds value to the property and ensures your prospective tenant that they won’t need any additional capital expenditures on the system before to moving into the property. In the competitive commercial leasing and sales environment, this gives your building a distinct advantage.

3. Your generator is still subject to NFPA 110 compliance even if the building is empty

Any person managing a vacant building has to ask themselves an important question: what would happen if the fire marshal paid a visit to my building today?

Regardless of whether your building is vacant or occupied, your backup generator is still subject to NFPA 110 compliance. This means you need to be ready to show the fire marshal all applicable documentation to prove your backup power system is in working order and regularly maintained. Systems include power sources, transfer equipment, controls, supervisory equipment, and accessory equipment needed to supply electrical power to the selected circuits.

Just as important, a prospective tenant or new owner is going to want to see this paperwork as well. The fire marshall doesn’t announce her visit three weeks in advance. It’s always a surprise. Your new tenant is going to want to know that this surprise won’t cost them fines or something worse.

The commercial sales and leasing market is still trying to recover from historic lows set in 2020. If you own or maintain a vacant building, you’re going to need every advantage you can get in this competitive marketplace. Electro-Motion can offer you a flexible program to address deferred maintenance and to maintain your emergency standby power equipment at as minimal a cost as possible. This gives you piece of mind that your asset is in proper working condition while saving money in the long run. Give us a call at 650-321-6169 or schedule an appointment today. 

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