Help TopicsOutage help

Why does my power come on and then go back off?

If your power comes on and then goes back off, that can happen for a couple reasons. 

During inclement weather, trees can sway and make contact with power lines, causing a brief disruption to your service. However during a longer event, trees can weaken and break causing more damage to our power lines, which would require crews to come out and make repairs.  

Other times, crews will make temporary repairs to restore your service as quickly as possible. However, they will need to briefly disrupt your service again to make permanent repairs at a later time. 

Sometimes your service may go out for other reasons:

  • Wildlife in the equipment
  • Work in the area
  • An equipment malfunction
  • A severed underground line
  • A fire in the area
  • Maintenance of the electrical system in the area
  • Trees or limbs in the lines
  • A motor vehicle accident
  • An unknown cause

In some instances, your service may be affected by a planned outage in your area so that our crews can perform upgrades or repairs to your service. We make every effort to provide advance notification of any planned outage that may impact your service.

I can see crews near my home, but why are they standing around talking?

When you see crews working around your home or your business, you may notice they take time before the start of work for a meeting. 

This meeting is important beforehand because the crews are discussing safety measures that will ensure their safety, along with yours. This includes conducting a safety briefing where they will discuss the job at hand, inspect their personal protective equipment, and review the work area to ensure hazards are identified and any unsafe conditions are corrected. 

Rest assured during an outage, our goal is to restore your power as quickly as possible. We want to do this while ensuring safety for our crews and everyone around them – including you.

Why do I see crews near my home, but I’m still without power?

During a power outage, you may see crews drive past your to assess the damage in the area and locate the cause of an outage. Sometimes, you will see crews stay by your house when there’s a downed power line to protect the public. 

The electric grid is built much differently than the roads that run through our neighborhoods.  Even though you may pass an electrical substation, power lines or equipment on the way to your house, that may not be the lines that actually provide electric service to your home or business. 

During prolonged events, we will have crews spread out across the area to assess the damage. By gathering this information, it allows our team members to assign crews and gather materials to restore your service safely and as quickly as possible.

After a storm, why does my neighbor have power, but I do not?

Your neighbors may have power when you do not because your service is fed from a different set of lines – or circuits. 

Think of the electric grid as a large-scale version of your house. The breaker that feeds your bathroom may be turned off, but you still have power in your kitchen. After restoring power to the main feeders that provide service to your neighborhood, some houses may still be without power due to additional damage. 

Our crews are working safely and effectively to restore power to you as soon as possible.

Why did my estimated time of restoration change?

We understand during large-scale power outages, you, your family and businesses have important decisions to make. That’s why we try to provide you with the most up-to-date information as often as we can while your power’s out. 

There are different factors that go into estimated times of restoration and why they change. A few of the factors are when crews get out on site, they’re assessing the damage and how long it will take to make repairs. However, as crews continue to patrol the line, they may find other damage they need to repair before they can restore power. 

Rest assured, that during an outage, our goal is to restore power to you safely and as quickly as we can. You can always follow our progress and get the most current information from our online outage map.

Why don’t I have an estimated time of restoration?

Some of the reasons we cannot provide an estimated time of restoration right away is because we must first assess the damage on our system. We look at many different factors to more accurately predict when you can expect your power to be restored.

When a large-scale power outage occurs, we’re sending crews out to assess the level of damage and how long it will take to make repairs to restore power safely and as quickly as possible. 

You can always follow our progress and get the most current information from our online outage map.

How do you determine estimated times of restoration?

There are many factors that go into determining estimated times of restoration. Some of these factors include the type and magnitude of damage to our system, and how easy it is for trucks to access the damaged locations. 

Also, during severe wide-spread events, we will sometimes bring in crews from other utilities to help in our restoration effort. Please also keep in mind that we get direct feedback from crews who are working on our equipment and power lines to restore your service. 

Crews may find additional damage that can lengthen the repair time when they arrive to a location, which can then change your estimated restoration time at your address.  

If you ever lose power at your home or business, you can always follow our progress and get the most current information through our online outage map.

How do you prioritize the order of power restoration?

Our number one priority during any restoration is making sure everyone remains safe. 

First, what we do is protect the community, the public, our own employees and contractors when we know there is an energized conductor on the ground. When this occurs, you’ll see employees who will stay in the area to make sure it’s safe and keep people away until crews can make repairs.

At the same time, we will start the restoration process which means we’ll be focusing on critical customers such as hospitals, nursing homes, fire departments and police stations to be able to get their power restored as soon as possible.

Why do I have to report my power outage?

We want to restore your service as quickly as possible. 

By reporting your power outage, you’ll let us know immediately when it goes out. It also helps us more quickly pinpoint the cause of the outage on our system. 

For instance, if one household reports a power outage, the cause may be located along the individual service line. But, if tens or even hundreds of people report a power outage in the same area, it tells us right away it’s a much different scenario. 

We understand a power outage is frustrating. Rest assured we’re working safely and as quickly as possible to restore your service if it goes out. You can always report your power outage online, by text or by phone.

How do you prepare for bad weather?

When the forecast predicts storms may be headed our way, we’re monitoring the weather around the clock and communicating with our community partners.  

We will work with the National Weather Service, as well as StormGeo, our weather service provider, to understand the potential of bad weather. We also work with Kentucky Emergency Management to understand what they’re seeing for the Commonwealth. Finally, we reach out to other utilities that are close by, perhaps in other states, and understand what their meteorologists are seeing as well as what they have experienced.

We’ll reach out to our business partners and our employee line technicians at more than 40 operations centers and other company offices, and coordinate schedules to ensure the proper resources will be available and have resources here to pre-stage before the storm occurs.

What are important safety tips I should know before using a generator?

It’s dangerous to connect a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring. That’s because it can send electric back, or “backfeed,” into power lines connected to your home. Utility transformers can then “step-up” or increase this backfeed to thousands of volts. Enough to injure or kill a line technician working on our power lines. 

The only safe way to connect a portable electric generator to your household wiring is to have a licensed electrician install what is called a transfer switch. This switch safely transfers the power coming from the power lines to the power coming from your generator. 

No matter what, always follow your manufacturer’s instructions for safely operating a generator. This includes keeping the generator outdoors in a well-ventilated area and never refueling while it’s in operation.

What should I do if I don’t have power?

Although many customers think we already know they don’t have power, that isn’t always the case. But once you tell us, rest assured we will have someone out there to get your power back on. 

We follow a process of protecting the public, we restore, and then we finally make repairs. 

Safety is the most important component of restoration: your safety and our safety. If you had a bad weather event that’s gone through your area, don’t go out and try to surveil or assess the damage. There could be energized conductor or poles down that could create a dangerous situation to you and your family.

Why are my lights flickering?

Sometimes customers report their lights are flickering or blinking. This can occur when a tree limb contacts the distribution line and our equipment temporarily de-energizes to allow that tree branch to fall away so that power can be restored momentarily, as opposed to a longer duration outage.

It can also happen when our advanced equipment is working behind the scenes to prevent a longer service interruption.

Since we began installing this equipment in 2017, it’s prevented thousands of service interruptions for our customers.

Momentary interruptions only last a few seconds, and it’s our system operating safely and as it’s designed to prevent longer power outages. Learn more about the new automated controls we're installing on our system.

How do I report my power outage?

You may report your power outage by phone or through your online account. 

If you have an online account, you may also text us at 454358 (4LGEKU). 

You can also text us at 4LGEKU if you have an online account. 

No matter which option you choose, we have teams of employees working behind the scenes to track the status of your service and restore your power as quickly as possible. 

If you don’t already have an online account, you may sign up any time by giving us a call or going to our My Account sign up to get started.

What if I require special medical equipment?

If you are on a physician prescribed ventilator, respirator or ventricular assist device, please notify us so we can make you aware of our Medical Alert Program

Once you complete the necessary paperwork and secure your doctor's authorization, we will make a note in your account to make you aware of planned maintenance outages in your area and keep you advised of our restoration efforts in the event of an unplanned outage.

While you can’t control Mother Nature, you can take steps before a storm hits to ensure you’re prepared in the event of an extended outage by:

  • Having an alternative source of power, such as a battery back-up or a generator.
  • Keeping emergency phone numbers handy for your doctor, fire, police and ambulance services. Remember, cordless phones will not work during power outage situations. Be sure to have a corded or cellular phone available.
  • Storing a battery-operated radio with fresh batteries.
  • Listening to the radio or watching your local news station during bad weather to stay informed of the severity of the storm.
  • Making arrangements with family and friends in the event you need to leave your home due to an extended power outage.

Do you reimburse for spoiled food during an extended power outage?

No, we do not reimburse customers for food spoilage during a power outage. However, you do have options. 

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a freezer full of food will usually keep for up to 48 hours — if you keep the door closed. Refrigerated food will last from 8 to 12 hours with the door closed and never opened. If your freezer is half full, please group your packages together to retain cold more effectively.

Why can't LG&E and KU bury all of the electric power lines to avoid power outages?

Burying all of the power lines that serve our customers would be very expensive — roughly $1 million per mile. These costs would be passed along to our customers in the form of higher rates. While placing power lines underground may result in fewer storm-related outages overall, outages do occur on underground power lines. Locating faults on underground power lines tends to be more time-consuming because our crews cannot visually determine what caused the outage. Special equipment is required for fault location and the restoration efforts can be lengthened since excavation is typically involved to repair the service.

LG&E and KU continually investigates and evaluates the most cost-effective methods to enhance and "storm harden" our system. We must consider detailed cost benefit analysis to ensure we provide the safe, reliable service our customers expect and deserve while doing so in such a manner that exorbitant costs do not negatively impact our customers' rates.

I have underground service in my subdivision, but my service is still out. Why?

While underground service can enhance the aesthetics of a neighborhood or community, the underground service is fed at some point by an overhead line. If a lightning strike or high winds impact the service line that feeds the underground service in your neighborhood, your service will be affected. In some instances, it can take our crews longer to restore service to areas served by an underground system because we cannot visually identify the cause of the outage.

Why do my lights dim?

Central air conditioning, heat pumps, some appliances and any motor-driven equipment may cause a noticeable dimming of your lights on start up. In most cases, this is normal. Dimming or brightening can also occur when there is a dip or spike in the electrical power serving your home. Fluctuating power system voltage due to system conditions during storms, wind and other weather events may cause your lights to dim or brighten on a temporary basis.

Why should I allow LG&E or KU to trim my trees?

Trees are one of the leading causes of power outages. Tree limbs can cause short circuits simply by brushing against power lines. During major events that involve wind and ice, tree limbs can be the cause of power outages that impact thousands of customers. LG&E and KU has a great respect for the aesthetics of the community, but we also take very seriously our commitment to providing safe, reliable service to our customers. Tree trimming is directly related to reliability and is an absolute necessity.

We also work hard to raise awareness about our tree trimming practices and encourage customers to become aware of planting the right tree in the right place.

Will LG&E and KU pick up and remove my tree debris after a storm?

If a tree lands on a power line during a storm, causing the lines to sag and/or break from the pole, LG&E and KU will remove the trees from the line and restring the lines. The removal of the tree debris such as branches and large limbs is the responsibility of the homeowner. Crews will not be able haul away debris or use wood chippers as this could slow down restoration efforts.

Should I trim my own trees?

Trimming trees that have grown into or near power lines is extremely dangerous. Safety is our highest priority. Trimming trees within 10 feet of high voltage power lines is prohibited because of the dangers involved. Residents can, however, maintain other trees on their property to prevent them from falling into power lines.

LG&E and KU are not responsible for trimming trees or limbs that grow into the low-voltage service lines that enter your home or business. We do advise that you contact a professional tree trimming service to have this work performed.

If you have trees that need to be trimmed and you want to ensure the work is done safely, please request a service drop or cover up. We will ensure the service lines that feed your home or business are dropped or covered while you — or the experts you hire — perform the work.