How your power company is combatting squirrel-related outages

How your power company is combatting squirrel-related outages
Rappahannock Electric Company has started installing animal guards to prevent animal-related power outages. (Source: Rappahannock Electric Company)

FREDRICKSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - Most power outages are caused by fallen trees. But another common culprit is a constant challenge for local power companies: wildlife and reptiles.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, or REC, says squirrels alone cause around 1,000 outages each year.

To combat this, REC tracks the cause of each outage and uses software to determine where animals are causing frequent issues.

“The squirrels especially are relentless,” said Daniel Dewey, REC’s director of operations and construction.

Crews have started adding padding to animal guards and wrapping some poles in plastic to keep animals from climbing them.

To improve reliability, REC says they continue to install animal guards and to use equipment to deter animals.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.