News Releases - 2012

Date: 7 May 2012

Blackout Tracker Shows 41.8 Million People Affected by Power Outages in 2011

Eaton report highlights most affected regions, unusual outages and more

RALEIGH, N.C. … Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation announced the release of its Blackout Tracker Annual Report for 2011. For the third year in a row, California topped the list of states with most outages in 2011, followed by New York and Texas. The data is based on reported power outages across the United States and is organized into two sections: an overview of national power outage data and power outage data by state.

The Blackout Tracker evaluated a full year of data with 3,071 reported outages affecting more than 41.8 million people across the country in 2011. The report includes statistics that illustrate the importance of reliable backup power and features “top” outage lists, including the most significant reported outages and reported data center outages.

An average of 21,109 people are affected per outage in 2011 and power failures caused problems for people and businesses in all 50 states. A state-by-state ranking is found in the report.

“In an era where businesses and major institutions require continuity in their IT infrastructure, it is more critical than ever that we understand the causes and likelihood of utility power outages,” said Mike DeCamp, senior marketing communications manager, Eaton Power Quality Division. “Every business, no matter how small or large, should have a robust power protection plan in place. If you don’t know where to start, contact a company that specializes in power protection and get the expert advice needed.”

Although power failures are common, uninterruptible power systems (UPSs), generators and surge protection devices are designed to protect data and equipment during outages.

Eaton has tracked power outage information since February 16, 2008 in an effort to educate consumers on the causes and potential impact of outages. A power outage is just one of nine common power problems that affect power quality and availability. Eaton’s robust portfolio of data center products that store, cool, power, manage and secure mission-critical data center technology includes UPSs, power distribution products, data center services, Power Xpert ® power management software, IT rack systems and data center air containment solutions, as well as medium and low voltage switchgear.

Among the most unusual causes of power outages in 2011:

  • Spokane, Wash.: Strong winds picked up a trampoline and dropped it into a substation.
  • East Missoula, Mont.: A bald eagle dropped a deer carcass onto a power line
  • Salt Lake City, Utah: A paraglider got tangled in a power line (the paraglider survived)

Data for the annual report is based on reports from news services, newspapers, websites (including those of newspapers and TV stations) and personal accounts. To download the entire annual report and track power outages across the U.S., please visit www.eaton.com/blackouttracker. To learn about Eaton’s line of power quality products and services, visit Eaton’s website at www.powerquality.eaton.com.

Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader in power distribution, power quality, control and automation, power monitoring, and energy management products and services. Eaton is positioned, through its Cutler-Hammer®, Moeller®, Powerware®, Holec®, MEM®, and Santak® global electrical product series, to answer today’s most critical electrical power management challenges.

Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with more than 100 years of experience providing energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. With 2011 sales of $16.0 billion, Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components, systems and services for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulic and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 73,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.

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