Infrared Scanning Keeps Starkville’s Electrical System in Top Condition

Proactive strategy identifies potential problems before they cause outages

This month, utility experts have been busy checking out local hot spots—but they’re definitely not on vacation. That’s because these hot spots refer to potential problem areas in Starkville Utilities’ electrical distribution system detected by infrared technology.

“Performing annual infrared scans is a proactive strategy to ensure that our electrical system is in top operating condition,” said Edward Kemp, general manager of Starkville Utilities. “It’s part of our continuing efforts to strengthen Starkville’s electrical infrastructure, prevent outages and provide excellent levels of reliability for customers.”

Infrared scanning is one of several services provided through Starkville Utilities’ partnership with Tennessee Valley Authority. During the effort, handheld devices are used to scan distribution equipment and substations. Infrared technology can detect high-temperature areas that indicate loose connections between switches and other electrical components, down to the smallest bolts.

Depending on weather conditions, it usually takes several days for TVA personnel to scan the entire system. After scanning is complete, they provide a report that categorizes hot spots as critical, intermediate or low priority. Based on the findings, Starkville Utilities develops a repair schedule to ensure that all issues are addressed.

“If an issue is critical, we will fix it immediately,” Kemp said. “It’s a unique advantage having access to technically trained personnel to perform infrared scanning, meter studies, power quality studies and other services that help us maintain high levels of reliability. It’s one of many ways our TVA partnership adds value to the services we provide for customers and the community.”

Starkville Utilities is a municipally owned and operated electric and water utility, serving more than 14,000 residences, businesses and industries in Starkville as well as the state’s largest institution of higher learning, Mississippi State University.

Learn more at

We are a Water and Electric Utilities Company in Starkville