What are the main causes of power outages?

We hate it when the power goes out just as much as you do. When there is an outage, we work hard to resume service as quickly and safely as possible.

It is estimated that 11% of all power outages are caused by squirrels.Many times, the reasons for outages are beyond our control. Here are the main reasons the power goes out:

  1. STORMS — Conditions brought on by storms such as high winds, ice and lightning can interrupt service. Lightning itself does not impact outages as much as people think, but it can strike trees and cause branches or even whole trees to fall on distribution lines. Lightning can cause a problem, however, if it strikes substation equipment, such as a large transformer. Strong high winds and ice that accumulates on lines can also impact distribution.
  2. TREES AND VEGETATION – Branches, limbs or trunks can fall on lines and vegetation (such as vines) can grow around poles, lines or other equipment. Ice and wind can make matters worse. This is why we work so hard to keep power lines and equipment clear.
  3. ANIMALS — It is estimated that 11 percent of all outages are caused by our furry friend the squirrel. They love to chew on the weatherproof coating around lines. Other critters like turkeys can interfere with service too. A bird on a wire is harmless and safe for the bird as long as it touches the line and nothing else.
  4. ACCIDENTS — Cars, trucks, and farm equipment that have a run-in with a utility pole can cause an outage.
  5. PUBLIC DAMAGE — Unsafe digging, equipment or line damage, vandalism or theft can all cause interruptions in the energy chain.
  6. OVERLOAD — This happens where demand spikes, such as when too many air conditioners run on a hot summer day, causing blackouts or brownouts.
  7. EQUIPMENT issues — We maintain and inspect all of our lines and equipment regularly; however, sometimes equipment malfunctions. We strive to address any problem as soon as it happens.