Debbie Hickman
Special to The Gardner News
Gardner Energy reports twenty power outages year-to-date.   These outages are the result of everything from equipment failure, storms, a trash truck to squirrels.   Not one outage was the result of tree branches downing a line. Gardner Electric Utility Board (EUB) members surmise that an aggressive tree trimming program the EUB approved and GE implemented has had positive results, and the proof is in the report.
The explanation of outages:
• 11 Equipment failure
• 0 Trees
• 2  Animals  (two less squirrels in Gardner)
• 4 Storms  (two in March and one each in May and June)
• 2 Damage by others  (Trash truck  and car)
• 1 Other  (jumper came loose from crew member’s hold – only a seven minute outage)
• 0  Unknown
When outages occurred, Gardner Energy employees also boasted short response times.
Response time:
• 14 events after hours  incurred an average response time of 24 minutes.
• 6 events workday  incurred an average response time of 9 minutes.
Response time is calculated from the time the on call pager goes off until the service truck rolls out of the yard.  Each truck is equipped with a GPS system that allows for information such as this to be documented.
A Feb. 26 storm interrupted service for 6,000 plus customers, but power was fully within five hours of the initial report.  On March 24, the 2,500 customers who woke up to no power due to ice on the transmission line, were up and going again in within five hours and 10 minutes. On May 27, the T-4 transformer tripped out and caused about 3,000 customers a little grief for 31 minutes. Lightning during the storm on June 5 affected 10 customers for about 28 minutes.
Length of outages:
• 1 More than 7 hrs. (7 hrs. 39 min.)
• 1 More than 5 hrs.  (5 hrs. 10 min.)
• 1 5 hours
• 1 More than 3 hrs.  (3 hrs. 6 min.)
• 4 Between 2 hrs. –  2.5 hrs.
• 5 Between 1 hr. – 1.5 hrs.
• 7 42 min. or under