If your lights go out, chances are that a squirrel or a tree had something to do with it.

Nebraska’s utilities love squirrels and trees as much as anyone. But when squirrels come into contact with a power line, they get electrocuted and your lights go out. Tree limbs can catch fire when they touch a power line—and your lights go out.

That’s why Nebraska’s utilities regularly trim trees that are near power lines—to keep your lights on!

There’s not much we can do about squirrels, however.

A Nebraska lineman works to ensure reliable electric service

Nebraska’s utilities proactively maintain power plants, transmission and distribution lines, and related equipment like transformers, to keep the electric system in tip-top condition. We also spend millions of dollars annually trimming trees and bushes around power lines and transformers, to remove potentially dangerous situations and ensure that your power stays on 24/7/365. We do this so that electricity is there when you flip the switch.

If you have any suggestions about the squirrels, please let us know!

Electricity travels at nearly the speed of light, arriving at a destination at almost the moment it is produced. Unlike oil or natural gas in a pipeline, electricity cannot be stored. Although many people are working to demonstrate and commercialize electric storage technologies, the breakthrough we’re all seeking has not yet taken place. Which means that electricity must be generated and delivered precisely when needed.

Customers view route options for Central Lincoln Reliability Project

Nebraska’s public power system is a complex network of power plants, transmission lines, transformers, and distribution lines. The transfer of electricity from generation facilities across transmission equipment and distribution systems is a carefully controlled process. The system works as well as it does because of the people—people who plan and operate the system, maintain the equipment, construct new facilities, and provide customer service.

Some Nebraska utilities generate electricity at power plants and transmit it across the state’s high-voltage transmission grid. Others deliver that electricity to farms, rural towns, suburbs, and metropolitan areas via their low-voltage distribution network. Bottom line: Nebraska’s 167 publicly owned utilities work together to keep the power flowing to customers each and every day, rain or shine.

And if you have any ideas for keeping squirrels off the power lines, please let us know.

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