Home » Northern Kentucky | Ample systems of proactive providers benefit businesses, residents

Northern Kentucky | Ample systems of proactive providers benefit businesses, residents

By Robbie Clark

The consumer-owned Owen Electric Cooperative serves 60,000 members in Northern Kentucky.
The consumer-owned Owen Electric Cooperative serves 60,000 members in Northern Kentucky.

Doing business in Northern Kentucky has a competitive advantage, given the region’s low utility costs and ample service providers.

Duke Energy’s Ohio and Kentucky operations provide both electricity and natural gas to customers. Specifically in Northern Kentucky, Duke Energy Kentucky has 140,000 electric and 98,000 natural gas customers in five counties.

Consumer-owned electric company Owen Electric Cooperative serves 60,000 members in nine Northern Kentucky counties via 4,814 miles of line. Owen Electric’s wholesale power is provided by East Kentucky Power Cooperative, which is owned by 16 electric co-ops in Kentucky and owns and operates three coal-fired power plants and three combustion turbines.

The company has had roots in the community since its founding in 1937 and has always been committed to the region’s economic success.

“Our commitment to our members starts at the top from locally elected directors who serve on the board to management within our not-for-profit electric cooperative,” said Mike Cobb, senior vice president of member and corporate services at Owen Electric Coop. “We’re committed to the economic success of Northern Kentucky.”

Along with coal-fired power plants, East Kentucky Power Coop generates a small amount of renewable energy through its landfill gas-to-electric plant at Bavarian’s Landfill in Boone County. Methane gas collected from the landfill as organic waste breaks down powers a series of generators in an adjacent facility.

In 2016, EKPC completed a $2.9 million expansion of the plant at the waste facility, adding a fifth generator, which enabled the plant to produce up to 4.6 megawatts of electricity – enough to power approximately 2,500 typical Kentucky homes. EKPC has five other similar facilities.

Meanwhile, numerous communications providers offer an array of telecommunications services in Northern Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati area. Along with Cincinnati Bell and Time Warner Cable, there are dozens of other communications providers in the region, making a digital infrastructure to high technology available in almost every corner of Northern Kentucky.

Cincinnati Bell has been a proactive leader in communications services since its beginnings more than 130 years ago. Cincinnati Bell serves 2,500 square miles in Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana. The company offers a fiber-optic communications service called FiOptics, and in 2014 Cincinnati Bell began offering gigabit internet speeds through its FiOptics service.

“Bavarian was the first landfill in Kentucky to collect methane gas the landfill produces,” said Jim Brueggeman, president of Bavarian Trucking Co., which operates the landfill. Bavarian has been in Northern Kentucky since 1934, entering the waste disposal business in the ’50s. Today the waste management company provides dumpster rentals, waste hauling, and disposal and recycling services.

Sewage treatment service in Northern Kentucky is primarily provided by Sanitation District No. 1, which serves areas in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties.

For treated water, most people locally rely on the Northern Kentucky Water District for their needs. The company provides service to approximately 300,000 residents of Campbell and Kenton counties, and portions of Boone, Grant and Pendleton counties. The company draws raw water from the Ohio and Licking rivers, and purifies it for potability at one of three treatment plants. Combined, the treatment plants have a total capacity of 64 million gallons of water a day, which gets to households via 1,288 miles of water main.

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (known as ORSANCO) continuously monitors water quality in the Ohio River Basin. Since 1948, ORSANCO and its member states have cooperated to improve water quality, ensuring the river can be used for drinking, industrial supplies and recreation; and that it can support a healthy and diverse aquatic community. ORSANCO operates monitoring programs to check for pollutants and toxins.

Bavarian Waste



Duke Energy

Cincinnati, OH


Rumpke Of Kentucky



Sanitation District No.1

Fort Wright


Owen Electric Cooperative, Inc.



Best Way Disposal



Northern Kentucky Water District



Stand Energy Corp.

Cincinnati, OH


Smartwatt Energy Inc

West Chester, OH


Information provided by Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce