With severe weather plaguing the Southwest and Southeast states this week, heavy rain and damaging winds are causing power outages that may take longer than expected to restore.

According to Bloomberg, Quanta Services, Inc., one of the nation's largest electrical maintenance providers, said utilities have decreased maintenance spending by as much as 50 percent.

This could mean much more frequent and longer-lasting outages for cities all over the country.

Damage to power lines from not only storms, but also animals and vehicle accidents, could become low-priority fixes for companies.

Compounding unresolved maintenance issues could make very localized hourly power disruptions turn into more globalized day- or week-long outages.

"With the upcoming storm season, this could mean more and more problems for the gridlines," said AccuWeather.com Expert Meteorologist and Long-Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi.

Rate increases have caused utility companies to cut costs, and part of this cost cutting has been reducing the number and complexity of improvements, as well as general maintenance.

The Obama Administration announced a $3.4 billion energy grid modernization plan in October that will enable the growth of renewable energy sources.

As of early Friday morning, weather-related power outages left more than 40,000 Southern California customers without electricity.

Story by AccuWeather.com's Carly Porter.