//Experts predict GA facing high blackout risks this summer

Experts predict GA facing high blackout risks this summer

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IN OTHER NEWS – New research by energy experts predicts Georgia among the worst states for summer power outages. 


  • Georgia ranks third-worst, with seven outages last summer, accumulating over 91 total outage hours.
  • Michigan is considered the worst state, experiencing ten disruptions across four months last year with over 90 total hours of outage.
  • Ten states experienced just one outage, including Montana, which experienced less than four hours of total disruption.

New research analyzing last year’s power outages suggests Georgia could face the third-most disruptions this summer.

Energy experts at Texas Electricity Ratings examined the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) 2023 Electric Disturbance Events Annual Summaries data to identify states most likely to experience disruptions this summer. By focusing on outages between May and August, the analysis also considered each outage’s frequency and average duration.

Georgia ranked third-worst with seven power outages last summer. Over 90,500 customers, mainly in DeKalb County, were affected by these disruptions. Vandalism emerged as the primary cause, resulting in a combined outage duration of 91 hours and 49 minutes, averaging around 13 hours per outage. Investor-owned utilities in Georgia, such as Georgia Power, have tree-pruning programs that are indirectly influenced by the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC).

States that Experienced the Worst Outages Last Summer

RankStateNumber of OutagesTotal Hours of Outage
North Dakota524:52

Michigan, which experienced ten outages last summer, should prepare for a potential increase in disruptions this year. With a total disruption exceeding 90 hours, the average outage lasted approximately ten hours and nine minutes. Concentrated mainly in Macomb County and Eaton County, these outages affected nearly one million customers, primarily due to severe weather events.

Texas takes the second spot, having experienced a total of nine outages last summer. These disruptions led to a total outage of approximately 71 and a half hours, each lasting just under eight hours on average. System malfunctions were considered the primary cause of these outages, which predominantly impacted El Paso. The Texas PUC, however, enforces regulations for electric utilities to maintain vegetation management within the state.  

Impacting 337,000 customers last summer, Maryland experienced six outages mainly due to severe weather events. Hartford and Montgomery County residents faced the majority of last year’s disruptions, each lasting around 19 and a half hours per outage. The total outage duration amounted to 78 hours and six minutes. With a 50-60% chance of exceeding normal summer temperatures (typically 64-76°F), Maryland may face further weather disturbances this summer. The Maryland PSC doesn’t have a centralized state-wide program for tree trimming, but individual utility companies, like Pepco, offer vegetation management. 

Washington also experienced six outages last summer. With a significantly shorter total outage time of four hours and seven minutes, the average length of each outage was only 41 minutes. King County and Skagit County were the primary targets, with most incidents attributed to physical attacks. Washington investor-owned utilities, like Puget Sound Energy, attempt to prevent outages by managing vegetation around power lines.

CaliforniaMissouri, North DakotaOregon, and Tennessee, each experiencing five outages, complete the list. 

Commenting on the findings, Karl Trollinger, CEO of Texas Electricity Ratings, said, “Extreme heat, though less common (only 3% of weather outages), can complicate existing problems. With this summer already expected to be one of the hottest summers on record, an increasingly likely La Niña event will bring drought to southern states, heavy flooding in the Pacific Northwest, and a more severe hurricane season in the central and eastern United States.”

“Power outages can be incredibly disruptive, especially when they strike frequently and affect entire communities. However, a plan can make a big difference during a power outage and significantly ease stress. Simple steps like keeping refrigerator and freezer doors closed to preserve perishable food, ensuring you have a ready supply of batteries and alternative power sources, equipping each family member with a flashlight, and unplugging appliances to prevent potential damage when power is restored. This preparation can offer peace of mind, keeping you and your loved ones comfortable until the power returns.”