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Why Outages Occur

At Alliant Energy, we are proud to provide reliable service to our customers for more than 99.9 percent of the time. That is one of the highest reliability rates in the country!

Still, despite our extensive maintenance programs, advanced equipment and experienced operations personnel, power outages do occur. While outages are uncommon, there are common reasons why they occur.

As you can see from the graph, the majority of power outages in our service territory are the result of weather-related events including:

• Thunderstorms
• Ice storms
• Heavy winds
• Lightning strikes
• Natural disasters like floods or tornadoes

Animals and trees contacting wires can also cause roughly 41 percent of outages. To limit these problems, we trim trees away from our distribution lines and install animal guards on pole-top transformers.

Other events such as digging, construction or auto accidents can damage lines, poles or other equipment and cause service interruptions.

Equipment failures cause about 22 percent of outages in limited areas. Transformers and other equipment may, in rare cases, fail during normal operation. An overload may also cause the equipment to fail.

Power outages may vary by season, and can last from minutes to hours, and occasionally even days depending on the severity of the event. Alliant Energy workers, often out in dangerous weather conditions, work to restore power to your home or business as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible.

Large-scale blackouts are rare

Blackouts and brownouts are rare in the U.S. and none of any significance has occurred for several years. Our electrical systems have become more reliable and electric supply is adequate. While human error or other factors can cause large-scale outages, Alliant Energy trains its employees to avoid such situations and works to limit the impacts that errors by employees of other companies might have on you and your service.