311: The Way Things Work: Reporting a Street Light Outage

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COVINGTON, KY - Duke Energy maintains the vast majority of the City's outdoor lights to help promote safety and security in public areas. Repairs made to these lights are heavily dependent on direct customer feedback and all residents and businesses are encouraged to report any lighting outage they see directly online at https://www.duke-energy.com/ohio-large-business/standard/lighting/request-light-repair.asp  or through Duke's Customer Call Center at 800-544-6900.


When assessing an outage, never touch a power line or anything touching a power line, such as tree limbs, tools and toys. Even power lines that have fallen may be dangerous and should not be moved or disturbed. If there is a hazardous condition such as a wire hanging low or lying on the ground, please call 9-1-1 and/or Duke Energy immediately at 800.543.5599.


Duke Energy is dependent on its customers (residents and businesses) to report where the outages occur. Both Duke Energy and the City conduct all maintenance operations and are responsible for lighting outages.


Duke Energy owns, services and operates the vast majority of lights in the City of Covington's right of way, approximately 4,000 of street lights, and the City's Department of Public Improvements owns and services approximately 300-400 decorative lights throughout the City. Together and through a working partnership, these two entities are responsible for the maintaining the City's entire public lighting infrastructure.


Light repair requests for routine repairs such as a bulb and/or photocell change are typically repaired within three working days.  Repairs that require more work, like broken poles or fixture mounts, failed underground power lines, may require as much as ten working days to repair.


The accuracy of the information provided by the customer on the outage has a direct correlation to response time. Incomplete or inaccurate information will result in delayed response time and it is most helpful for callers to provide key information, which includes:

  • Physical address of the light
  • Pole number when possible (Duke Energy pole numbers are on a metal tag affixed to the pole are arranged vertically)
  • Nearest intersecting street if no address is available
  • A point of contact with a telephone number for a technician to use if the light cannot be located

On occasion, a person will call in a light for an apartment complex or business.  If they do so, it is important to make sure that this is indicated to the Duke Energy call center.  Callers should also provide their contact information. 


There are many instances in which lights that are called in to Duke Energy are actually owned or paid for by a property management company.  Without a good contact, the technician ends up speaking with someone that may not have the specific knowledge of the light which requires repair.


Rick Davis, Director of Public Improvements for the City said, "When businesses and residents call us to report a light outage and we discover that it's a light fixture owned and operated by Duke Energy, we will relay the message to them directly and vice versa. In both cases, we respond as quickly as possible to the request."


"What's important is that our residents and businesses understand their role in this relationship; we need their feedback to know where to lend our maintenance services, that's just how it works. " said Davis.


The City is constantly looking for ways to improve its services with existing resources and is currently looking at ways to simplify the feedback process for its residents and businesses.


For businesses located in a generally under-lit area of the City, Duke Energy has a department to discuss the addition of lighting poles on either public or private property.  Call 866.769.6417 or click here to arrange a consultation.

Posted on January 30, 2015.