When it’s sweltering outside, everyone wants to keep cool indoors—so they all crank the air conditioning up at the same time. That creates a greater demand for electricity than when the weather is milder and homeowners can open their windows or leave the a/c on a less-intense setting.
When that happens, power lines tend to heat and expand, which in turn can force the lines to sag a bit and touch tree limbs and branches. That contact can result in short circuits.
At the same time, cables, switches and other equipment react to the high electric current by stretching, which can magnify minor flaws in insulation and connections.
Plus, lightning strikes are more common when it’s hot outside. If lightning strikes the electric cooperative’s equipment, it won’t be able to keep up with demand until it’s repaired.
SWPPD can’t always prevent outages caused by extra-hot weather and super-high demand. Still, our crews are trained to restore service as quickly and as safely as possible.