ReliabiliTree is Westar's revitalized Vegetation Management Program that started as a pilot program in the Wichita metro area in 2010. The program expanded to Lawrence in 2011. Manhattan, Topeka and Shawnee areas at the start of 2013 and territory-wide in May, 2013.
- The Wichita pilot program will take about four years to complete. As success of the project has been demonstrated, it has expanded to more populated areas of the Westar service territory.
- Intent will be to clear (remove) or prune trees first through the entire division and then maintain the vegetation by returning about every four to five years.
- Westar will periodically report the progress and results of the program to the Kansas Corporation Commission. In areas where we have cleared circuits of vegetation, tree-related power outages have dropped more than 60 percent.
- Vegetation management - clearing and pruning of trees - will be performed on a standard time cycle.
- Westar is increasing its education regarding the importance of keeping lines clear of trees and other vegetation.
- Westar will work to educate customers and communities regarding landscaping and tree planting with consideration to power line reliability and safety.
- The expected outcome is more reliable service and more efficient operations.
2012 (January - October) information. Percents represent customer minutes.
As you can see from the graph above, vegetation is a significant cause of power outages. Trimmed trees from powerlines also decreases other outage causes, for example:
- It is more difficult for wildlife to come in contact with our equipment.
- Overhanging tree limbs often fall on powerlines during thunderstorms and ice storms.
- Will reduce "flickering lights" that can occur from vegetation momentarily touching power lines.
Visit the FAQ section for answers to additional questions about ReliabiliTree.