Power FAQs

Who do I call if I have city power and there's a power outage or my streetlights go out?

The Power Section maintains a 24-hour emergency dispatch center. If your power goes out, and you are one of city electric's customers, call 614-645-7627. If you notice a streetlight out, call 311, 614-645-3111 or online at 311 Customer Service Center

What do I do if a power line comes down during a storm or because of an accident?

Never touch a fallen power line. Keep at least 10 feet away and call your electric utility. If you are a city electric customer please call 311, 614-645-3111 or 614-645-7627. If you are an AEP customer, please contact them at 1-800-277-2177.

What should I do if a power line comes down on my car?

Stay inside and wait for the electric utility to remove the wire. Tell people outside to stay away from the car.

What do I do if there is lightning in the area during a storm?

There are a number of simple things you can do to avoid injury because of lightning: do not stand under a tree, do not stand in a flat place, do not ride a bicycle, do not fly kites or model planes, stay away from water and do not use the telephone.

Why does the city own an electric division?

Over a century ago, city leaders determined it would be more economical for the city to establish its own municipal electric utility to support street lighting than it would be to pay a private utility. That is still true today. If there were no city electric utility, street lighting would cost the city millions more than it presently does, with all of the money coming out of city funds and no revenue from electric sales for support.

Is street lighting the only function of the DOP?

No. The city sells electricity to nearly 17,000 electric consumers in Columbus. Most of these are residential customers, but others include government buildings, businesses and industries. The revenue raised from electric sales to a few thousand customers supports street lighting, which benefits everyone in Columbus.

I didn't know there were two electric utilities in Columbus. Do I really have a choice of electric providers?

In many areas of the city residential and commercial customers have a choice of electric suppliers between AEP and the Columbus Division of Power and Water (Power Section). You can contact the Division of Power directly to determine if your property can be served. See the service area map)

Why should I choose Columbus Power?

There are many reasons why city power is a good choice for your electric service. First, cost: our electric prices are competitive with the private electric utility. We understand you want reliable service that is not interrupted often. We can't promise your electricity will never go out because we don't have control over the normal reasons why it fails: storms, high winds, poles hit by motor vehicles and even squirrels getting into lines. However, we can promise that your power will be restored quickly and we'll let you know why there was a problem. We're your community owned electric utility. Finally, the Division of Power contributes millions of dollars toward a safer city by owning and maintaining the city's modern street lighting system.

Who gets street lighting?

Some neighborhoods in Columbus still do not have street lighting. Most of the areas where future lighting will be installed are chosen after input from people living in neighborhoods. The lighting program is multi-faceted. Voter-approved bond funds pay for basic lighting (cobra head fixtures, wood poles and overhead wires.) However, decorative lighting with underground wires are funded through special tax assessments. More information about these options. After 1990, developers were required to pay for lighting installations in new developments.