From falling trees to curious critters to failing equipment, learn why your power might be out and what we’re doing to limit future outages.
Everyone knows that when severe weather rolls through, it comes with a chance for power outages. But what about those blue-sky days when there isn’t a cloud or breeze to be found? Weather could still be the culprit. Extreme temperatures, both high and low, can cause power outages. Here are some other reasons you might be experiencing an outage.
While we can’t control the weather, equipment failure or curious animals, we can perform proactive work and invest in our system to make sure it can withstand the high winds, pesky squirrels and anything else it may encounter, which is where our Reliability Roadmap comes in.
The goal is simple: fewer, shorter and less frequent power outages for our nearly 2 million electric customers. We are working toward a future when:
And we plan to reach those goals by following our Reliability Roadmap – our blueprint to strengthen Michigan’s electric grid and improve electric reliability and resiliency.
What’s the difference between reliability and resiliency you might ask. Great question! To us, reliability means managing the daily challenges of supporting and running the grid to deliver the power to homes and businesses. This is where the tree trimming comes in and using unique methods like a helicopter to inspect our lines and an amphibious machine to reach areas surrounded by water. Resiliency, on the other hand, is our system’s ability to withstand the more frequent and severe storms we are experiencing. This includes having poles that can sustain winds over 100 miles per hour without ice and finding opportunities to bury lines where they are protected from high winds.
Learn more about the steps we’re taking to reach our goals:
Forestry management: Traditional tree trimming is still the most effective way to prevent and shorten power outages and improve system reliability. Our plan significantly increases spending to keep distribution lines clear.
Infrastructure upgrades: We’re making investments to replace or rebuild poles, better understand how to bury power lines in a cost-effective way and organize circuits more efficiently to ensure fewer customers are impacted by outages.
Grid modernization: Smart meters, sensors and automation devices are working together to help us monitor our system more effectively, optimize power delivery and solve problems faster, often before customers notice.
Equity and Environmental Justice: We will continue to weigh how different communities experience reliability and resiliency, as well as future implications for grid access when it comes to EVs and other technologies.
We don’t yet know how long it will take to reach these goals, but we do know reliability upgrades are already paying off for customers. In 2022, we completed more than 2,000 electric projects which resulted in improved performance, reducing the number of outages by 20%.
To learn more about our reliability roadmap visit ConsumersEnergy.com/reliable.