Westar Energy

Wildlife Outage Causes

Small animals such as squirrels, snakes and birds can climb on equipment such as transformers and fuses and cause the equipment to either momentarily shut down or shut down completely.

In 2011, animals/wildlife were involved in 4,470 different and distinct incidents, resulting in 141,926 customers without power. When the amount of customers out of power is multiplied by the length of time they were out, customer minutes can be calculated. Over 7.7 million customer minutes occured in 2011 due to animals.

To help protect our frequently targeted equipment, we install guards on equipment that prevents some outages, such as squirrel guards. Many times, these animals are looking for a warm spot.

The squirrel on top of this pole is just inches away
from disrupting power, and most likely causing
equipment damage.

Wildlife protection equipment in a substation