What Is ‘Peak Lopping’ And How Can It Help To Maintain Power Supply?

‘Peak lopping’ otherwise known as ‘peak shaving’, is the use of an additional power source (such as a generator) in synchronisation with the mains power supply, to deliver enough power to meet the peak demand that cannot be met by the mains supply.

Using a generator to provide a ‘peak lopping’ power supply, will enable the use of the most cost-effective mains power but provide the added support to reinforce the mains power during periods of high demand.

‘Peak lopping’ otherwise known as ‘peak shaving’, is the use of an additional power source (such as a generator) in synchronisation with the mains power supply, to deliver enough power to meet the peak demand that cannot be met by the mains supply.

Using a generator to provide a ‘peak lopping’ power supply, will enable the use of the most cost-effective mains power but provide the added support to reinforce the mains power during periods of high demand.

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Shenton Group Runs Apprenticeship Program

Willoughby Long joins Shenton Group on a 12-month apprenticeship program. Working part-time as a Business Developer for our Generator Rental department, Willoughby will learn key skills and gain work experience whilst continuing his studies in business and marketing. Upon successful completion, we will be pleased to offer him a full-time role!

Shenton Group Facilities

Shenton Group offers a supportive environment to young learners. As Richard Branson once said, “Train people well enough to leave, treat them well enough that they don’t want to.” We are a firm believer in this notion.

Willoughby explains:

Engines have always interested me. I was interested in the different types of projects and the mechanical side; that’s what attracted me to Shenton Group.

I had heard good things about the company as I have some friends that already worked here.

Willoughby has worked at Shenton Group for a month and has already integrated himself well into his team. We asked him: How have you found your time working at Shenton Group so far?

I have enjoyed learning new things, challenging but rewarding, it has been good fun, and the staff are friendly. It is very hands-on, and you get to speak to a variety of different customers.

Our generator rental fleet supplies generators from 30kVA up to 1250kVA. We are equipped to meet the demand of any bespoke residential, commercial, or heavy-duty applications 24/7, 365 days a year UK wide. If you need to hire a generator, give the industry experts a call. You never know, you might speak to Willoughby!

Are you interested in a career with us? Check out our careers page or get in touch about other apprenticeship opportunities.

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Fuel Taxation and Power Generation – 2022 Law Changes

As many will be aware, in March 2021 the UK Government announced impending changes to the way some fuel products would be taxed with effect from April 2022. Possibly the most significant of these is what’s widely known as ‘Red Diesel’. 

For anyone unclear, red and white diesel perform in exactly the same way. Quite simply ‘red’ has a chemical marker added to distinguish it from white (or DERV [Diesel Engined Road Vehicle]) and because red wasn’t intended for road use, it attracted a far lower rate of taxation. 

It should be noted that the red marker chemical also stains or dyes any fuel system component it comes into contact with, making it very easy for HMRC, VOSA etc to detect improper use! 

These changes will inevitably affect power generation for both suppliers and consumers so how will these effects be felt? 

There will be a number of exemptions to the changes. Specific areas of industry and business will be allowed to continue to use the lesser taxed fuel and more information on this can be found on the government website.


As with the introduction of many legislative instruments, this will be an iterative process and will inevitably be subject to a series of clarifications however there are some things that can be made clear from the outset.

  • If your particular industry or usage category is not clearly included in the above-mentioned government list, then specific and individual advice may be necessary and the Government provide a specific contact* for this purpose.

  • If you are part of a clearly identified industry, you will need to stop buying red diesel at a date appropriate to your typical usage rate and from there, move to white.

  • Affected businesses should NOT purchase red diesel which will then remain available for use after 1st April 2022. 
  • The requirement for end users to have fuel tanks purged and flushed has been removed following consultation however emphasis is placed on NOT ‘stockpiling’ red diesel ahead of the transition which would clearly be intended for use after April 2022. 
  • Given the degree of uncertainty affecting some aspects of the anticipated transition, be certain to retain invoices, orders and in general to maintain a clear and visible audit trail of related activities which – should an inspection take place – would then demonstrate the rationale and reasoning behind the current position of your business.

At the time of writing (August 2021) we can confirm the following points with regard to the use of HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil) as alternative fuel: 

CO2
  • HVO is a drop-in replacement and can be mixed with old diesel and there have been no compatibility issues recorded to date 

  • From 1st April 2022, all HVO will have to be sold as road fuel and so have the additional tax applied, thus it will be more expensive than white diesel 

  • The main selling point for HVO is a reduction in CO2 emissions which may be of interest to energy managers where their CO2 footprint is of importance. This is a result of the fuel manufacturing process and has no effect or bearing on exhaust emissions but when compared with fossil fuels, achieves a reduction of approximately 90%.

As with any fundamental change to the operation of essential equipment, it is always wise to check or ask questions specific to your own requirements before introducing an alternative fuel into your systems, to avoid any subsequent damage or reliability issues. 

Please contact Shenton Group with any related technical questions. 

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What is an ATS panel? (Automatic Transfer Switch)

ATS panels (or automatic transfer switch panels) are used in combination with standby generators to automate the switch between the mains power source and a generator in a blackout. An ATS panel ensures that you do not have to manually switch to an alternative power supply, such as a backup generator in the event of a power outage. An ATS will automatically switch to another power and an ATS panel ensures that a generator doesn’t require manual operation. When combined with a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) there will be a seamless supply of power as the UPS will bridge the gap in power whilst the generator starts up, reducing the risk of data loss, damage to electrical equipment, or any disruption to a business or facility. Without a UPS, there will be approx a 15 second delay in power as the generator starts up. 

The ATS panel monitors the incoming AC mains supply so that, should there be a blackout, the electrical load is transferred to the standby generator. When the mains power is restored, the ATS transfer switch then returns the building back to the mains supply, and shuts down the backup generator. 

Using an Automatic Transfer Panel for Safety Reasons

An automatic transfer switch or manual transfer panel is installed as part of any generator project where there is a mains supply.

The benefit of an automatic transfer panel system over a manual system is the ATS panel moves the electrical load without any manual process, reducing downtime. In the event of a power outage the transfer switch automatically switches its incoming power supply from the mains to the generator, triggering the generator to start up. The generator is ready to take load within approx. 15 seconds.

Without ATS switches, organisations would have to manually change over from mains to the generator and therefore suffer a longer break in electricity and depend on personnel being available to carry out this task. An automatic transfer switch panel will eliminate this need for a manual change.

ATS Panel Manufacturers

Shenton Group provides complete turnkey solutions consisting of generators, UPSs and ATS panels, designed to your requirements.

We design and manufacture our own ATS panels, often as part of a turnkey standby power solution that links an automatic transfer switch, UPS and standby generators with remote monitoring and associated security and safety features.

To ensure you get the correct backup power arrangement for your needs, get in touch with the UK’s leading technical experts today.

    Get in touch

    • Over 40 years of experience in designing and manufacturing ATS panels to accommodate every requirement.

    • Integration of ATS panels with the generator control philosophy.

    • Our ATS panels have an AC-33B rating and are BS8519 compliant to meet the stringent requirement as part of the British standard.

    Our ATS panels are available on short lead times with stock available to accommodate our customers’ needs.

    By using this contact form you agree to the Shenton Groups use of your details in accordance with our Privacy Policy

    What Is the Difference Between ATS and AMF Panels?

    Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS) and Automatic Mains Failure (AMF) panels both switch an electrical load from normal supply to a standby generator supply, and back to the mains when required and are in effect just different terminology for the same thing. To find out more about AMF panels and how they work, read our blog which further explores all AMF-related topics.

    An ATS Panel Solution for Amazon Distribution Centre

    After an initial assessment, Shenton Group provided a 275kVA generator to an Amazon distribution centre and as part of the project, to ensure seamless generator changeover, a 400A ATS (automatic transfer switch).

    For more information about any ATS Panel or generator solutions, get in touch with our technical experts today, and we will be happy to provide you with the best course of action for your premises.

    Why Choose Shenton Group?

    Shenton Group is an established power back provider with over 40 years of experience providing peace of mind with a turn-key solution. Our highly skilled team of technical experts can provide you with the answers to any questions you have.

    We manufacture a fully bespoke range of reliable standby power generators and offer ongoing technical support and maintenance service contracts to ensure you never fall victim to a power failure.

    Find out more about our products and services.

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    Shenton Group Expands Recruiting Across the UK

    Shenton Group expands its workforce and has opened up various job opportunities, a mixture of office-based and remote engineering roles, across the UK. We ask our new employees how they have found working for Shenton Group so far.

    The last 18 months of living through the pandemic have been challenging. It has brought added pressures in a magnitude of ways. Some businesses have shut up shop whilst others have been working around the clock to keep up with demand. It has been a trying time for all, but it has also opened new markets and new opportunities. 

    Shenton Group have experienced exponential growth, and 18 new team members have joined the Shenton family, and we still have some roles to fill! To view a full list of job titles we are recruiting for, please visit our careers page.  

    From Humble Beginnings, 1982 – 2021

    Shenton Group is the continuous power industry leader with family-owned business values. We were founded by Richard Meek back in 1982, under the name of Outback Energy. Scorpion Power was established only five years later, a brand that rapidly became synonymous with reliable standby power generators.

    Merging many brands under the Shenton Group name in 2010, the family-run business is now managed by Richard’s sons; Jody Meek Managing Director, Curtis Meek Sales and Marketing Director and Darren Meek as well as Derek Barry, the company’s Technical Director. Shenton Group now operates as a large corporate delivering million-pound projects and provides alternative power solutions to the nation.

    What Makes Shenton Group Different as an Employer?

    Ubay: “I feel appreciated at Shenton Group, and my work is recognised, rather than feeling like just another number. This workplace feels a lot more welcoming and supportive than other places I have worked. I enjoying coming into work in the mornings!”

    Ubay is one of our new CHP Service Engineers, and he has now worked at Shenton Group for two months. 

    What attracted you to work for Shenton Group? 

    Ubay: The culture and professional image. I wanted to push my career, and there is the opportunity to develop at Shenton.

    How have you found your time working at Shenton Group so far? 

    Ubay: I have found the team very welcoming, open and honest.


    Millie is one of our new Service Coordinators and has worked for Shenton Group now for five months. 

    What attracted you to work for Shenton Group?

    Millie: I heard good things about how the company was run and I was looking for something more challenging.

    What do you enjoy most about your role?

    Millie: The variety within the role, the team and the atmosphere.


    Kealan Suckling

    Kealan (pictured to the right) joined the sales and marketing team three months ago as Business Development. We asked her what attracted her to Shenton Group…

    Kealan: The image the company gives has always been something which I wanted to be part of! I had already heard a lot about Shenton Group as my sister works here. The team culture and family atmosphere make it very welcoming and a nice place to be.

    We want to say a huge welcome to all that have joined the team and thank you for all of your work so far. 

    We are always trying to improve workplace enjoyment for our staff; after all, a happy workforce means happy customers. If you are interested in taking your career to the next level or are looking for a new challenge, take a look at our careers page.  

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    National Grid Set to Lose Responsibility of Overseeing UK Electricity & Gas Systems

    After 30 years of managing the energy system in England, Scotland and Wales, government ministers are planning to remove the National Grid as the electricity system operator as it looks to meet its 2050 net-zero emissions target.

    Management of the UK’s electricity and gas systems, including balancing supply and demand to ensure electricity supply, is set to change hands as part of a revolution of our electricity network, driven by smart digital technology.

    The responsibilities of preventing blackouts and keeping the power on are set to be given to an independent body, following recommendations from Ofgem earlier this year. The government’s business department is looking to create an impartial organisation separate from the FTSE 100 utility, as part of plans that could save £10bn a year by 2050 and create 10,000 jobs for electricians, data scientists and engineers.

    Better Value for Bill Payers?

    UK energy system set for management shakeup Shenton Group

    Aside from looking to help the country meet their 2050 net-zero emission target, ministers are taking up the advice of Ofgem that a new independent body overseeing the electricity system would deliver better value for bill payers, as well as more effectively deliver the changes required to meet the 2050 targets.

    Speaking to The Guardian, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the energy and climate change minister, said the rules would allow households to “take control of their energy use and save money” while helping to make sure there is clean electricity available “when and where it’s needed”.

    Electricity demand is on the rise with the uptake of electric cars on the rise, while many new homes and existing homeowners turn to low carbon heating, such as electric heat pumps.

    As reported in the Financial Times, ‘the government said it was important to reassess the “governing institutions” that underpin the country’s energy system as it “undergoes a transformation equal to any it has undergone in the past” as Britain switches away from polluting fossil-fuel power stations to rely on more weather-dependent renewables such as wind and solar.’

    Time for Change

    In recent years, the National Grid’s role in electricity and gas infrastructure has come under government scrutiny given a conflict of interest over their ownership of electricity and gas infrastructure throughout the UK, and their work with subsea cables that trade electricity with France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Furthermore, ministers have already questioned the organisations’ involvement in overseeing the energy system, ever since the power cut that affected 1 million homes in England and Wales back in 2019.  

    The National Grid’s electricity systems operation has previously been valued at £300m by Barclays.

    Greener Energy Supply

    UK energy system set for management shakeup Shenton Group

    There is a string of new proposals currently being mooted to help connect the millions of electric vehicles that will be on UK roads in the future, with new regulations being suggested that aim to make it easy for electric cars to export electricity from their batteries back to the power grid or to property. As reported in The Guardian, the idea behind this is to ‘help large-scale and long-duration batteries play a role in storing renewable energy so that it is available when solar and wind power generation levels are low.’

    As technology evolves, the government is looking to ensure our energy systems can cope with the demands of the future. Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s Chief Executive has said that the UK requires a ‘revolution’ in how we use electricity and that a new digital energy system is ‘essential’. 

    Keep up to date with the latest industry news and insight via the Shenton Group blog.

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    Shenton Group Expands Generator Rental Division

    Grant Barry Shenton Group

    We congratulate Grant Barry as he is promoted to Manager of our Generator Rental fleet! Over the past year and a half, we have seen inquiries more than double, leading us to expand the department, and as a result, we are recruiting another Rental Assistant. For a complete list of current roles, please visit our careers page.

    Our generator rental department already serves the whole of the UK. This latest expansion enables us to offer more customer support and faster response times to our growing client base.

    Grant has been part of the Shenton family for almost four years now. In his first two years at the company, Grant worked as part of the projects team, installing permanent on-site generators before moving into the generator rental division, initially headed up by Lorna Barry, Grant’s sister. When the position became available, Grant saw it as a great opportunity.

    We asked Grant what he enjoys about his role:

    Everything! It’s a fast-paced, constantly changing environment, and we have a wide variety of clients that I have built some great relationships with. I enjoy helping people. I am the person that people call when they lose power. It can often be quite a stressful situation for them, so it’s gratifying to be able to offer a solution.

    I am a problem solver, and I enjoy taking on challenging jobs which no one else can do and getting clients back up and running within the shortest time possible.

    Client Feedback

    Our clients are at the heart of what we do, and it is always valued to receive feedback on our efforts…

    Following our recent power failure, I would like to thank the Shenton Group, in particular, the Rental division, for your help and assistance during that very difficult time. Shenton Group showed a very high level of customer service, which instilled confidence from the first point of contact through to completion. The personal approach and assurance were combined with the knowledge that Shenton Group had the expertise and equipment to deliver. These high service levels were also continued through to the staff on-site, and we would have no hesitations in recommending your services.

    Facilities Manager – Retail Company

    Shenton Expands Generator Rental Division

    The last 18 months have been challenging in the height of the pandemic, but lots of new markets have opened up, exciting things are happening, and there is a bright future ahead for this growing department.

    We ask Grant – Generator Rental Manager: What does the restructure means for you and your team?

    The restructure for the rental team has been a fantastic milestone and results from the hard work of every member of the team. It has given us the perfect opportunity to review and reshape and also invest in the department to ensure we are offering our clients the best possible service at all times.

    Push your career to the next level and join the Shenton Group team! Visit our careers page today!

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    Shenton Group and EMS Group Partnership

    Shenton Group has recently partnered up with the EMS Group and their dedicated experts in multidisciplinary environmental consultancy. As the UK’s leading technical experts in standby power, uninterruptible power supplies and combined heat and power systems, our new partnership will enable us to provide a more holistic offering to our loyal customers.

    Our Unique Skillsets

    With EMS’ environmental expertise and experience coupled with Shenton Group’s extensive technical knowledge, this partnership will provide customers with peace of mind that they are fulfilling their environmental compliance requirements.

    A particular area of focus for us is the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD). The MCPD requires all new and existing Medium Combustion Plants (these including boilers, turbines and engines) with a rated thermal input between 1MWth and 50MWth to have a permit in place by the relevant deadline.

    Our Goal

    Our goal is to regulate and limit the emissions of certain pollutants from the combustion of fuels. The MCPD, mentioned above, regulates emissions of SO2, NOx and dust to air and requires the vigilant monitoring of carbon monoxide emissions (CO).

    EMS’ hard-working team of environmental consultants can support you with your permit application and help you to understand your requirements better than ever. They also pride themselves on providing a diligent and proactive approach to all aspects of quality assurance for all their clients.

    Envirocare

    EMS support includes Envirocare. who are one of the leading UKAS and MCERTS recognised Environmental and Occupational Hygiene & Safety Consultancies. Their dedicated specialists will be on hand to ensure that you are complying with your MCPD permit by carrying out stack emissions testing. Envirocare has a team of highly dedicated industry experts who have excellent knowledge and a wealth of experience working in all sectors.

    Our Partnership

    Curtis Meek, the Sales & Marketing Director for Shenton Group expects great things from this partnership, especially the amazing environmental benefits to come from working together as a team.

    “EMS has proven themselves to be market leaders in air and emissions services.  Shenton Group are delighted to partner with EMS as the value they can add to us, and our partners is unrivalled.”- C, Meek.

    Rebecca Chapman, the Consultancy Manager at EMS says that she is looking forward to working more closely with the Shenton Group in the future.

    “This is an exciting opportunity for both businesses. We are delighted to be partnering up with the Shenton Group and providing more customers with peace of mind that their environmental responsibilities are being managed.” – R, Chapman

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    Electrical Systems: What is a Brownout?

    Generally speaking, electricity supply exceeds demands, but when there is any disruption at power plants or the supply source it can lead to brownouts. With the installation of a UPS and backup generator, it is possible to avoid fluctuation issues such as brownouts or power surge and remove the reliance on electricity provided by the grid.

    What is a Brownout?

    A brownout occurs when the voltage dips below the usual mains supply level and can last from a few seconds to hours or even days. When the weather conditions worsen or there is a growth in power demands, the additional strain on the electricity network may result in a brownout. Intentional brownouts take place too, controlled by the National Grid when they are looking to ration supplies and prevent a possible blackout. The term brownout stems from incandescent lighting dimming as the voltage is reduced.

    Brownout Indicators

    Voltage reduction is often imposed to reduce load and prevent a power outage, with common signs of an electrical system brownout including:

    • Flickering lights
    • Electrical appliances switching off & on again
    • Intermittent internet connections
    • Disruption to air conditioning
    • Security system outage

    What Causes a Brownout?

    The demand for electricity is continuously fluctuating with power companies using their networks of generators, sub-stations and transformers to deliver electricity to their customers. Our power consumption as a nation varies and so the National Grid has a constant balancing act on its hands, sometimes leading to an unplanned outage, leaving affected homes and businesses without power.

    The National Grid has previously shown strain due to power demand, with at least four market warning notices issued last winter.

    When the demand pushes the energy provider to capacity, the solution is to put an intentional limit on the flow of electricity, meaning the power continues to remain on but at lower voltage levels until the demand reduces. Brownouts can also occur as a result of damage or malfunction within the grid or at the power source. This is not ideal for businesses, healthcare facilities, finance companies or server locations that rely on continuous power. Fluctuations in power can cause equipment to malfunction. Loss of power to industries such as these can have disastrous effects on security, reputation and could be life-threatening.

    Brownouts and Power Outages Caused by Weather

    Electrical-Systems-What-is-a-Brownout-Shenton-Group

    Planned outages are a lot easier for businesses and organisations to handle than an unforeseen dip or cut in electric power due to bad weather. In adverse weather conditions, there can be a huge surge in demand for power to keep homes warm and the lights on, and the power companies have to enforce brownouts to balance supply and prevent blackouts.

    Equally, at the height of summer, air conditioning usage can shoot up causing a spike in the demand for power and energy providers may enforce voltage reductions until reserves are restored.

    What’s the Difference Between a Brownout and Blackout?

    Blackouts are when the power switches off completely, rather than a temporary reduction in voltage. 

    Power cuts or blackouts are however often less damaging and disruptive than a brownout, because when devices continue to receive power at lower levels, some may malfunction. A reduced level of electric current may leave electronic devices like consoles, computers or televisions permanently damaged by fluctuations in electricity levels.

    In the IT sector, it is paramount to protect IT loads and as such, a UPS and backup power supply are an ideal solution to bear the load should there be any issues with the National Grid. Uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) maintain the correct level of voltage when there are dips. In a brown out a UPS will take over and will ensure that your equipment has the required voltage to fully operate and will protect it from any disturbances, before potentially handing over the task to a generator.

    Too much electrical load can also cause equipment to malfunction. A UPS also act as a surge protector for electronic equipment.

    Put a Stop to Power Failure

    Working with a huge variety of clients, the team at Shenton Group are well equipped to protect you from any power interruption. We assess your demands and put forward a plan so that in any outage, grid malfunction or temporary brownout scenario, is managed and your power supply protected. With uninterruptible power supply options available to monitor the electrical power, it is possible to prevent a surge or brownout and keep the lights, equipment and security measures on.

    Shenton Group is the UK’s leading technical expert in standby power, uninterruptible power supplies, and combined heat and power, and we keep the power on and businesses operating.

    Already have an existing generator or UPS on site? We offer maintenance services to ensure the battery and key components in your UPS system are prepared and all the elements of your backup generator primed and ready to go. Visit our maintenance section for more information.

    How important is power continuity to your business? Click here to download your FREE guide to
    planning a resilient disaster recovery plan, including a business continuity plan. Alternatively, get in touch and speak to our technical experts. The Shenton Group team will be more than happy to assist you in putting a resilient plan in place and can explain all of the options available to you.

    Minimise both power surge inconvenience and potential brownout damage with the help of Shenton Group. Get in touch today. 

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    UPS Backup Power Systems & the Importance of Maintenance

    Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) Service & Maintenance plans include but are not limited to, device repairs, battery management, enclosure maintenance and power conversion optimisation.

    To ensure our clients get support best suited to their needs, Shenton Group offers five levels of UPS maintenance, ranging from a simple one-off annual maintenance visit, to fully comprehensive 24/7/365 emergency cover. These maintenance options allow you to pick the right plan for your equipment and your budget. 

    With a reputation of providing industry-leading technical expertise and customer service, Shenton Group breaks down their service levels into the following maintenance packages: 

    • Maxicare Plus
    • Power Care Premier
    • Power Care 24
    • Power Care
    • Power Care Lite

    For a full overview of these packages and the protection they offer, check out our UPS Maintenance page. 

    Prefer to speak to someone over the phone? Our service team is on hand to discuss each package in detail to ensure you will get the support you need for true peace of mind. 

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    Latest News

    Tuesday, March 05, 2024
    Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) is a form of renewable diesel fuel derived from vegetable oils or animal fats. Unlike traditional biodiesel, HVO undergoes a hydrotreatment process, resulting in a cleaner, high-quality fuel. Find out more about the benefits of HVO?
    Wednesday, February 14, 2024
    Rental generators provide a versatile and efficient solution to a wide range of possible power challenges – this added layer of protection could be the difference between all your business processes being put on hold for an extended period, or a short interruption that is then resolved allowing your business to function as usual.
    Tuesday, February 13, 2024
    FAQs - Shenton Group answers popular questions about service and maintenance for diesel generators.

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