Outages and Weather

Common Causes of Power Outage

Power outages occur for many reasons and can last from a few seconds to hours or longer.
Below are some examples of the most common causes of power outages in Kenya.

Extreme Weather

Most power outages are caused by severe weather – high winds, lightning, rain or flooding. During a storm power poles are vulnerable to lightning strikes while strong winds can snap off tree branches and down power lines.


We invest in long-term, preventative maintenance to ensure Kenya Power can deliver electricity safely and reliably to customers. Areas densely populated with trees are more likely to have power outages. When a tree comes into contact with a power line, either due to bad weather or growth, circuit breakers or other protective equipment is designed to cut off the power until crews remove the tree and reset the equipment.


Wildlife such as squirrels and birds are responsible for numerous outages in Kenya. When they come into contact with equipment in a substation for example, this may result in a service interruption.


Although our equipment is regularly maintained and updated, problems can occasionally occur. From time-to-time, cables, connectors, transformers, switches and many other types of equipment require replacement and can trigger a power interruption.

Vehicle Accidents

Vehicles that accidentally hit and damage power equipment can disrupt the power supply. For example power lines and transformers.

Planned Interruptions

Occasionally, service interruptions are necessary in order to allow our crews to safely conduct maintenance or repair work. We try to schedule these repairs at the least inconvenient times for you and keep them to a minimum. Whenever possible, we provide you with prior notice before we interrupt service, hence the list of areas that will be affected by power outages.


On occasion, Kenya Power customers will experience power interruptions due to vandalism to electrical equipment. Vandalism of electrical equipment jeopardizes the individuals’ safety, the public’s safety as well as the safety of Kenya Power employees. Damage to Kenya Power properties can lead to loss of electricity for entire communities including essential services such as hospitals and other emergency services. 



Severe weather conditions that adversely affect power distribution can be generally categorized into any combination of rain, and wind.


Rain can cause havoc on insulation of high voltage lines by reducing the insulation properties of porcelain bushings, switches, and the pin insulators that attach the lines to the poles. 

Insulators play an important role in keeping the flow of electricity moving and not shorting out on structures. Any crack or breakage of an insulator allows water, mostly in the form of rain to cause a failure. This failure interrupts power by blowing a fuse, not unlike the ones found in our fuse panel in our homes.


Wind also has the ability to cause conductor fault. In this instance, the customer may see the lights go out and return within seconds as our breaker protection momentarily clears the fault and recloses. If the fault is gone the power remains on. This type of momentary interruption may also occur when a tree limb falls onto the line and then falls off. These lower strength winds typically create outages when the leaves are still present on trees. They act as a sail that in turn can increase the stresses on tree limbs and in turn contribute to the damage to the tree and our equipment. They have the potential of breaking trees and tree limbs causing them to fall over the lines.


When drastic temperature variation is present, lightning may result. Power interruptions can result when lightning contacts our structure or power lines. Lightning arrestors are placed at strategic places on the lines to protect critical switching and voltage regulation components.

Often with lightning storms there are periods of severe winds for brief periods that can also cause problems for our lines.