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Outage FAQs

Common questions about power outages.

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Select a question below to view the answer.

DP&L relies on customers to notify us when they experience an outage. Report your outage on our website, or call 877-4OUTAGE (877-468-8243). Please don’t assume we already know about your outage, or count on your neighbors to report it. Data provided by our customers is important to help us analyze the outage to find the location and cause.
You can visit our Outage Map, or check your outage status on our website where we will share an estimated restoration time, if one is available. DP&L also communicates regularly with local news media and posts outage updates on Twitter and Facebook during large outage events.
When DP&L responds to an outage, we use our system data and information from our crews in the field to estimate when we will be able to get the power back on for customers. We work hard to meet or beat the times we provide, but it’s important to keep in mind that these are estimates based on the best information available. Sometimes conditions change or we may need to bring in additional crews or equipment and outages may last longer than our original estimate.
If an estimated restoration time is available, you can find out the most up-to-date information by calling our outage hotline at 877-4OUTAGE or visiting our website. The estimated restoration times are displayed on our Outage Map, and are also available when you report your outage or check your outage status.
Sometimes we are not able to provide an estimated restoration time. Unfortunately, this is often the case following major storms that impact a lot of customers, because of the number of incidents for crews to address. We cannot provide good estimates until the incident has been assessed and we have assigned a crew to the job.
The outage locations displayed on our Outage Map are approximate. The dots are related to the equipment causing the outage, not necessarily the location of the customers who are impacted. For example, your outage may be caused by a downed tree a few blocks away, or by an animal at a substation a few miles away.
The service area boundaries on our Outage Map are approximate, and are based on the location of our equipment. Within our service area, there are a number of local municipalities that provide electric service for residents and businesses within their boundaries. These municipalities are not designated on the map in order to provide a clean and easy-to-use experience for our customers. Please see the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s electric service area map for the location of municipalities.
DP&L always works to restore your power as quickly and safely as possible. Our power restoration process is designed to address emergency situations first and then to restore power to as many customers as possible. Learn More ›
Stay away! Assume it is live and keep children and pets away. Report it online, or by calling 877-4OUTAGE. If the situation becomes an emergency, such as a fire, call 911. If you are cleaning up debris after a storm, do not remove tree limbs near downed lines until DP&L crews come and make the area safe. Learn More ›
Just because you don’t see one of our trucks, that doesn’t mean we’re not working to restore your power. Outages are caused by a variety of reasons, and the cause may be in someone’s back yard a few blocks away, or at a substation a few miles away. If you experience a power outage, please be sure to report it to us, and we’ll work as quickly and safely as possible to get you back up and running.
Please do not approach DP&L crews as they are working. Our line technicians perform difficult and dangerous work, sometimes in adverse conditions. Please allow them the focus on their work so they can restore your power safely.
Often, customers on different sides of a street are supplied power from separate connections. If a problem occurs with one of those connections customers on that line may lose power while customers on another connection may still have power.
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If our customer service representatives need to ask questions to restore your service faster they need to be able to reach you directly – not leave a message. Also, after your power has been restored, DP&L may attempt to confirm if you reported the outage, so we need the best number to reach you. Learn More ›
Momentary power interruptions, often described as lights “flickering” or “blinking” very briefly can last from less than a second to just a few seconds. Most distribution power lines are protected by special devices called breakers and reclosers. These devices are able to detect line interferences and shut off the flow of power to that section of the power line for a split second. This design often allows any interference the ability to clear the power line on its’ own.

For example, if a tree branch makes contact with our power lines, the system detects this interference and shuts off electricity to that section of the line for a moment. If the contact is eliminated, either because the tree limb falls or snaps back into place away from the line, the problem is resolved without an extended outage. This is how momentary power outages can help to prevent damages and extended outages.
Create a plan and prepare an emergency outage kit with essentials like flashlights, batteries, medicine and blankets. When you develop your plan, think about what you would do in an extended outage, such as using a generator or staying with family or friends. Learn More ›
When unplanned tree trimming is necessary during a storm or outage situation, DP&L crews do not remove the debris. Our crews will make the area safe, but then must work quickly to restore power to all of our customers.

In these situations, call your community's public works department, private trash collectors or a professional tree-removal service for advice regarding the disposal of brush and other debris.
At a typical customer location, there is a service line that connects through a masthead, service entrance cable and meter box. In many instances, there is only a service entrance cable and meter box. DP&L installs and maintains the service line. The customer owns and is responsible for the meter box, service entrance cable and masthead.

If the meter box, service entrance cable and/or masthead are damaged, DP&L will make every effort to reconnect your service. However, there are times when the damage is too extensive and DP&L service cannot be connected for safety reasons.

In these cases, you will need to contact a qualified electrician to make the necessary repairs. In some instances, an inspection may be required before DP&L is permitted to connect your service.
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DP&L does not provide vouchers for food that spoils due to a power outage. We offer tips and information to help you be prepared and keep your food safe on our website. Learn More ›
No, DP&L does not reimburse for losses caused by events outside of their control including adverse weather. We recommend you work with your insurance provider for reimbursement of personal losses.
It’s important to have a plan in place in case of a power outage, especially if you have a special medical condition. You may contact DP&L to let us know of your condition and we can note it on your account. However, DP&L cannot guarantee you priority restoration, and you need to have a backup plan in place, such as using a generator or staying with a friend or family member. Learn More ›
Yes, as long as you take steps to ensure you’re connecting it safely and following all instructions in your owner’s manual. DP&L recommends that you have a GenerLink™ device for a safe connection. Learn More ›

It’s also important to operate your generator outside of your home and away from windows to prevent carbon monoxide from entering your home. Learn More ›
No. Using extension cords to reach from one home to another could be a safety issue, because you are exposing those extension cords to many things that could damage them (people walking or driving vehicles over the cords, weather conditions and more). Any damage to the insulation of an extension cord could expose people to electrical shocks and burns. Learn More ›
If DP&L needs to interrupt your service for scheduled maintenance, we do our best to inform you of the outage to avoid inconvenience as much as possible. If the outage impacts a very small number of customers, a line technician may knock on your door. If many customers are impacted, we will call you to let you know of the planned outage and when to expect to get power back on. This is another reason why it's important DP&L has your current phone number.
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.

DP&L continually investigates and evaluates the most cost-effective methods to enhance and "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 high costs do not negatively impact our customers' rates.
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