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Common Outage Causes

Few things in life are as reliable as your electric service. On average, customers of PPL Electric Utilities have service more than 99.9 percent of the time.

Still, despite extensive maintenance programs and investments in infrastructure and new equipment, power outages can occur. We work hard to reduce the likelihood of outages and our efforts include:

Tree trimming: Trees and tree limbs are a leading cause of power outages. To lessen the likelihood of problems, we trim more than 5,500 miles of power lines each year. That’s enough to stretch from New York to Los Angeles and back.

Keeping animals out: Animals like squirrels and raccoons can damage equipment like transformers. We install animal guards on all new equipment and on existing equipment where animals have caused problems.

Inspections: Each year we conduct a thorough review of one-quarter of our distribution system. As part of that effort, we put more than 3,500 miles of power lines under the microscope to find and repair problems before they lead to power outages.

Investment: From 2011-2015 we expect to spend more than $3 billion to improve our electric system infrastructure in several ways including building new lines or substations, rebuilding older lines and installing state-of-the-art switches and protective devices. We continue to invest in new software and technology to speed our response to outages.

Momentary Outages: Short outages of a second or two sometimes occur when fuses on power lines shut down circuits that might become overloaded. This helps protect the equipment that delivers your power. We understand this can be inconvenient, but without these automated devices, outages would be longer and more disruptive for customers.