Top 10 Causes of Power Outages

Power outages can be incredibly frustrating, inconvenient, and even dangerous. When the power goes out in your neighbourhood, you may lose access to heat, water, and of course, light. But what causes power outages to occur in the first place? In this brief article, we’ll look at the ten most common causes of a blackout.

Planned outages

During a planned outage, the power company shuts off power in your area for safety reasons. For example, if there’s an issue with an underground cable and they need to repair it, they will shut off power in the affected area until they’re done.

Poor weather

Poor weather is one of the most common causes of power outages. Heavy rain, snow and wind can knock down trees and power lines, causing power outages for thousands of people. In addition to damaging homes and businesses, these storms can also damage electric infrastructure, like transmission lines, substations and transformers, that keep electricity flowing around your community.

Fallen trees

Fallen trees are another common culprit. The wind can blow down trees and branches, causing them to fall on electric lines and poles. These downed trees can also knock down utility poles, leaving large areas without power.

Animal interference

There are a number of types of animals that may interfere with your power supply. Squirrels and other rodents can climb into substation equipment and cause short circuits or other damage. Birds can get caught in transformers or insulators and cause issues. Even snakes have been known to interfere with power lines!

Vehicle crashes

Car crashes can also cause power outages by damaging power lines, poles and substations. The damage may be caused by the crash itself or by a fire following the crash. Either way, when this happens, it can take a long time to restore the power.

Construction or maintenance work

Outages can occur when construction workers accidentally hit power lines or utility poles while digging near an existing line. Maintenance work can also lead to outages when workers make mistakes while working on equipment or repairing a line.

High energy demand

High energy demand can cause a power outage because utilities may not have enough resources available to meet the peak load during extreme weather events such as heat waves or cold spells when people turn on their air conditioners or heaters at the same time.

Equipment failure

Many power outages are caused by equipment failure, which often occurs when equipment is not properly maintained or repaired in a timely manner. Some of the most common types of equipment failures include switchgear failures and generator failures.

Bushfires and natural disasters

When there’s a bushfire or other natural disaster, the damage to electricity infrastructure can be extensive. It can take several days to repair the network and restore power to customers.


Vandals often target power lines because they are easy to access, and damaging them can cause significant damage to property and loss of life. Vandals may also target substations, which are often located in remote areas and contain large amounts of electrical equipment that can be destroyed.


There are many reasons for why the power could go out in your neighbourhood. However, whatever the reason may be, a licensed electrician can help prepare your home with backup power during a power outage.


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