Outage Causes 

Thunderstorms and winter weather can bring unplanned power outages - but they aren't the only reason you might experience an outage. 

Our crews work hard to do their part in keeping the power on, but sometimes outages are caused by circumstances beyond our control. 

Below you will find some interesting stats on outage causes in Kitchener and Wilmot Township. 

Planned Outages 

Planned outages account for 35% of our outages. These outages allow our crews to perform regular maintenance to ensure a reliable supply of electricity.

Animal Contact 

Animal contact accounts for 13% of all outages. Small animals, like squirrels, sometimes chew into lines or come into contact with a piece of equipment and an energized line, which results in their demise and likely a power interruption for you. These outages are most often momentary, causing your lights to flicker or a power blip that leaves digital clocks flashing, but can also be longer outages, depending on the extent of the damage to equipment. Our animal protection program continues to drive these numbers down each year. 


Weather causes 10% of all outages. Severe weather such as lightning, wind, ice, snow storms can bring down power lines or cause equipment damage. 

Equipment Failure 

Equipment failure accounts for 18% of all outages. Most equipment failure related outages are caused by faulted switches and insulators. Older switches and insulators are made of porcelain - which fail over time when weathered by salt, moisture and other elements. Our standard now is to use polymer based insulators and switches which are more durable and have a much longer life span.

Tree Contact 

Tree limb contact accounts for four per cent of all outages. These interruptions can be momentary causing a light to flicker or a power blip. Sometimes they are more extensive when larger branches fall on to power lines. Our forestry team works hard year-round to complete preventative maintenance around overhead power lines, keeping this number low. 


Six per cent of all outages are caused by other. This could be contractors coming into contact with equipment, vehicle accidents etc. 


Not every outage cause is known. Around 14% of our outages do not have a known cause. 

Learn more through our infographic

Follow us on Twitter @KWHydro for outage updates.