The Meter's Running

Whatever their causes, the big blackout in New York and others in California and around the nation have caused business to lose money. An advertisement for American Power Conversion, a Rhode Island firm that specializes in "power-availability solutions" for high-tech and communication businesses, estimates that downtime due to blackouts cost U.S. industry an average of $1 million an hour. The estimates of lost revenue vary by industry, according to the firm: energy, $2.8 million per hour; telecommunications, $2 million; manufacturing, $1.6 million; finance, $1.4 million.

Economists quoted in the mainstream press estimate that total costs due to the blackout were about $6 billion. For New York, costs reached $1 billion.

Additional reporting: Phoebe St John

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