Folklore Now is Perfectly Rational

When I started in the utility industry about 45 years about the stories of squirrels eating electrical equipment insulation and thereby causing outages at customer facilities were legendary.  It was such common excuse for large customer power outages that field reps would actually carry a dead squirrel in their trunk and pull it out to proclaim that as the reason for the outage.

Yes, the stories were true in many cases.  The reason the squirrels ate the insulation was that it did appeal to them in some way … no one knew exactly why.

Well, with today’s environmentally sustainable sourcing of materials we now know exactly one reason.  Listen to what USA Today has to say about it.

I am sure my fellow utility friends are snickering about this and glad they are not the focus of customer wrath on this count.

On a more serious note, this is going to be very interesting to watch … what does happen when doing the right thing for environmental reasons results in costs that were unforeseen?  Worse yet, these outcomes are downright inconvenient to customers and could damage customer loyalty and brand preference.

I am sure no one making this decision had the foggiest idea that they could walk into this kind of trouble.

Shouldn’t that cause us all to take a deep breath and consider things like this before we “do the right thing?”


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