Non-weather-related power outages are known to happen at the worst time, so understanding what’s causing those outages has helped JEA reduce them.
Whether it is while watching a live sporting event on TV, or cooking a meal in an electric oven, we’ve all experienced an unexpected power outage that had nothing to do with stormy weather. It can be even more frustrating when non-weather-related electricity loss is a common occurrence.
JEA Chief Operating Officer, Raynetta Marshall said analyzing the data behind non-weather-related power outages is key to understanding how to prevent outages from happening.
“We always look at what the data is. Whether it’s equipment outages or caused by animals or weather and then we decipher what we need to do,” Marshall said.
According to JEA data on power outages in Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, and Orange Park, there were 4,608 total outages last year. Both the Westside and Northside of Jacksonville had the most outages followed by Orange Park, Riverside, Arlington, Mandarin, and downtown. Equipment failure, overgrown vegetation hugging powerlines, and animal activity accounted for most of the outages.
So far this year, the data is showing some improvements.
“Both the frequency and duration of outages, the metrics are going down, meaning better. Maintenance, inspection, replacement, and utilization of advanced technologies. All of that is helping to mitigate outages, ”Marshall said.
According to outage data recorded between January of September of this year, there have been 3,620 total outages so far. Neary 1000 fewer outages than all last year. Within the last 9 months, equipment failure and vegetation have caused fewer electricity losses, but there has been an increase in power outages this year caused by animal activity. Marshall said they may have to install more barriers to prevent squirrels and other wildlife from contacting the power lines.
Unfortunately, power outages caused by animal activity are not exclusive to the Jacksonville metropolitan area. JEA said animal-related causes of outages continue to be an ongoing problem nationwide.
JEA also said homeowners can help reduce power outages by reporting a tree limb or brush that is too close to powerlines.