Could California Style Power Outages Hit Ontario?

vector image showing child looking out window beside burning candle and a power outage warning sign

We’ve all heard it on the news recently how planned rolling power outages have hit California, causing severe adjustments to be made by those who are living with them. Millions of Californians have been affected and the costs to businesses and homeowners is overwhelming. As we write this, we read that presently, PG&E Electric has cut power in the area of San Francisco Bay and it is unknown when it will be restored. It could be in a few days, or if the winds continue, those affected could be without power for days longer.

According to PG&E, the causes for the power outages include a safety precaution in regard to starting fires. California’s long history of droughts means that often, during extremely dry periods, forests are at a huge risk for fire. Some of these fires can be blamed on electrical utility companies’ equipment sparking fires during dry and windy conditions. Last year, the deadly “Camp Fire” in California was found to have been caused by faulty electrical equipment owned by PG&E.

Is This A Political Or “Climate Change” Problem?

While many point to the recent California fires as being a sign of climate change, others take a view that it is more a political issue than anything else and including that utility companies in the State have not kept up with their equipment maintenance. In addition, power lines could have been buried which may go a long way to preventing forest fires caused by electrical utility equipment sparking, but for some, the costs are prohibitive with claims of up to three million dollars (US) per mile to bury lines.

While “climate change” is a concern, it would appear with deeper digging, that problems in California are more political and of course, include big issues of funding for maintenance and upgrades to the electrical grid. California historically has a very long history of decadal and multi-decadal cycles that include long and intense droughts which need to be accounted for.

Could Rolling Outages Happen In Ontario?

We can’t say for sure or predict when or if they will happen, but we can point to the fact that they have happened in the past. Many of us remember the big power outage that affected millions of people throughout eastern North America in 2003, which was followed up with rolling outages as power was restored.

Over the past decade or so, it’s not been uncommon to discuss the possibility of brown-outs in the Province of Ontario for a variety of reasons. Rolling blackouts could also occur here as well, although, at this point in time, there is nothing to suggest that there are any definitive plans for such actions.

But could it happen?

That answer depends on a variety of things including the political climate in the Province, maintenance (or lack of it) in regard to electrical grid infrastructure, and weather conditions. Ontario has been well endowed with natural resources for generating electricity (long before even solar and wind installations) including hydro-electricity. As of 2015, 58% of Ontario’s electricity is generated by nuclear with hydro coming in second at 23% (source).

Electrical generation, however, is not the only thing that would contribute to rolling blackouts should they occur. As pointed out above, it’s been lack of maintenance and upgrades in California that has necessitated the blackouts over the dry season for safety reasons and prevention of fires. Ontario seems to be well-positioned to prevent incidents of mass blackouts, but still, it could happen.

Would Standby Power Generation Help?

Having your own residential or business standby power generator can ease your mind with regard to almost any type of scenario where the power is out. In California today, many people are facing food spoilage, inadequate in-home medical supplies and services that require electricity, and of course, businesses are shut down. This is affecting millions creating a state of emergency.

Those who have their own standby power generators are able to count on power for their daily living needs!

Why not give yourself some peace of mind, regardless of when or the reason for a power outage to hit your home or business? Whatever the cause, we can guarantee that your area will suffer from power outages at some times, and caused by a variety of conditions including of course, weather. But with an AMP-TRAK installed standby generator for home or business, you won’t have to worry!

Give us a call today: (519) 941-6740