The electric grid in US is vulnerable to severe weather and the country should invest more in grid as climate changes, according to a new report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers and the US Department of Energy (DOE).

The report, Economic Benefits of Increasing Electric Grid Resilience to Weather Outages, finds that grid resilience is increasingly important as climate change increases the frequency and intensity of severe weather and expects the economic impact of power outages on the nation’s economy.

The report found that severe weather between 2003 and 2012 has cost the US economy an inflation-adjusted annual average of $18bn to $33bn.

According to the report, about 679 power outages, each affecting at least 50,000 customers, occurred due to weather events.

US President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plans include upgrading the country’s electric grid to help make electricity more reliable, save consumers money on their energy bills, and promote clean energy sources.

DOE assistant secretary for the office of electricity delivery and energy reliability Patricia Hoffman said the US electric grid is a vital component of the nation’s infrastructure and delivers, transmits, and distributes electric power to millions of Americans in homes, schools, offices, and factories across the country.

"Investment in a 21st century modernized electric grid has been an important focus of President Obama’s administration and this report underscores the importance of continued cross-sector investment to make the grid more resilient to the causes of power outages, including severe weather," Hoffman added.