How likely is a power outage?

Power2013-tn

Download the Generac Outage document 2013 here.

When talking to our customers about emergency power generators we are often confronted with the question how likely a power outage would occur. And of course we have great but stereo type answers about the aging power grid, the unpredictability of weather and their impact on electric power. And we can argue with ice storms which some people had seen last winter and some haven’t.

To shed some more light on the topic of power outages we are publishing documents collected and prepared by Generac. This document include all power outages in South Carolina which had occurred in 2013 and the first half of 2014. And while it’s more of statistical value to see all outages in South Carolina it is rather interesting to learn the cause of the outage.  Click the thumbnails on the right to download the full reports.

Power2014-tn

Download the Generac Outage document 2014 here.

Storms, here quotes as strong storms were with 71% the top cause of outages in 2013 but only number 2 cause in 2014 with 22%. Snow and ice was the top cause in 2014 with 77%, but was only number 3 cause in 2013 with 6% And then we find the category equipment failure causing 1% of all outages in 2013 and 2% of outages in 2014. Additionally we see for 2013 causes like trees, vehicles,vandalism and theft. Unknown causes make up for 6% of the outages.

Looking at the regional distribution we see that no county was spared except Union county where no outage was reported.

But there is one more variable in the report. That is the number of people impacted and the duration of the outages caused by the events in the earlier paragraph.  Outages caused by ice and snow have significantly longer recovery time and more people are impacted.  While storms might be limited to smaller areas with less people, ice and snow typically impacts larger areas and causes damage what takes much longer to repair.

So in summary our seemingly stereo type answers are confirmed with weather including storms and snow/ice being the top reason and equipment aging with resulting failure is following closely.

What to do about it?  Since we cannot influence weather it looks like we have no other choice than to prepare for temporary power outages. This preparedness can mean having a flash light and a candle ready, or invest in temporary energy sources such as emergency generators.  And that decision needs to be made based on the dependence on electricity in each individual case.

For additional information and to evaluate the cost of preparedness using a generator contact one of our generator specialists.