Most Common Causes of Power Outages in Michigan

Here in Michigan, we experience a lot of power outages. We actually have the most power outages per capita than any other state in the US. Because of this, more Michiganders than ever are investing in alternative home power supplies, like automatic standby generators. But what are the causes of power outages in Michigan? Why do we have so many?

The 4 Most Common Causes of Power Outages in Michigan


One of the most common causes of power outages in Michigan, and the rest of the country for that matter, are squirrels and other meddling animals.
How many times have you seen a group of squirrels or birds chilling on the power lines outside your home? Michigan is a very biodiverse state, boasting a wide array of animals throughout the state. While it’s great for our unique ecosystem, the state’s electrical grid has never done a good job of accommodating them.

Birds, raccoons, snakes, and possums are common animals causing power outages in Michigan. In some states, bobcats and bears have also been known to climb power poles, causing massive power outages.

However, the animal that causes the most power outages in Michigan and the rest of the country, is the dreaded squirrel. These furry acrobats claim responsibility for as much as half of all animal related power outages.

Try as they might, electrical companies have a hard time keeping squirrels off the grid. Not only are they nimble, agile, and some of the best climbers in the world, but they’re also able to squeeze into a hole as small as a nickel.

Whether it’s squirrels getting into transformers, birds nesting on power poles, snakes slithering across exposed wires, or any other curious critter, animals leave us in the dark every year.

The best way to safeguard your home’s power supply against animal-related power outages in Michigan is to invest in alternate sources of power. An automatic standby generator, professionally installed, combined with battery backups, ensures you never lose power.


Another one of the common causes of power outages in Michigan and the rest of the country are accidents. Whether it be equipment failure, software issues, or human error, accidents cause way more power outages than people think.

One such example happened in 2003 when a series of mishaps and accidents in Ohio (classic) caused a vast power outage across 8 states and the entire southeast region of Canada. When all was said and done, over 50 million people lost power.

In the wake of this massive power outage and multiple smaller yet similar ones, everyone took a step back and looked at the overall health of the US grid. The conclusion: we’re in trouble.

Since 2003, a lot has been done to strengthen the grid to prevent issues like this from happening again in the future. The most important components of the health and reliability of our electricity grid comes down to the three T’s: Trees, Training, and Tools. By focusing heavily on comprehensive changes to our tree trimming practices, training techniques and materials, and improving the quality of and access to tools, we can protect our power and keep those lights on.

You can safeguard your own personal power grid with a professionally installed automatic standby generator to power your whole home.


Aging and failing infrastructure is also one of the most common causes of power outages in Michigan. The overall infrastructure of the Michigan electrical grid needs some work. Utility workers have cited ancient equipment and tools, some dating to before World War II, still in use today. Combine this with a complete lack of adequate tree trimming practices and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

In recent years (and even months), state and federal leadership have moved to implement sweeping changes and updates to Michigan’s grid and the entire country’s grid as well. While these are definitely necessary, we all know how fast the government moves. That being said, we could see improvements within the next decade… hopefully.

Updates to the power grid will safeguard it against new and emerging threats, like cyberterrorism. It will also help protect the grid from extreme weather as the climate continues to grow more and more unpredictable.

If you want to ensure your power stays on no matter how old and inefficient the grid is, then investing in a whole house generator is your best bet. This allows you and your family to enjoy uninterrupted power, even as your neighborhood sits in the dark.


The most common cause of power outages is the weather. This is especially true here in Michigan, where in one day we could have a blizzard in the morning and a severe thunderstorm in the evening; also known as, and this is true, “Thundersnow”.

Weather in Michigan causes power outages all year long, no matter what season we’re in. Spring brings heavy rain and flooding, summer brings oppressive heat and severe storms, fall brings high winds and heavy rain (again), and winter… winter brings everything.

A lot of the problems with the Michigan power grid become much worse when combined with severe weather. For example, heavy rain in the spring and fall cause the soil to become soggy and soft and, when combined with high winds, results in many fallen trees.

Another example of how Michigan weather wreaks havoc on the power grid happens just about every winter. Freezing rain and ice accumulation cause power outages every winter in Michigan. In fact, adding just .5in of ice to the power lines adds 500lbs of extra weight!

Stay in the Light With a Professionally Installed Standby Generator

Frequent power outages make living in Michigan more difficult than it needs to be. Luckily, there’s an easy answer: automatic standby generators. A professionally installed automatic standby generator from Mister Sparky Electrical automatically turns on as soon as the power goes out and switches off when the power comes back. You don’t even need to worry about refueling because it’s hooked into your natural gas line.

You can call us today at 800-574-2470 or book an appointment with us online. For more electrical tips and tricks, check out our blog. You can also keep up with the latest and greatest deals and news by following us on Facebook and Twitter.