Aug. 11 is 811 Day – a day dedicated to the importance of calling 811 at least three business days before digging begins
Piedmont Natural Gas and Duke Energy reported damage to underground natural gas and electric lines nearly 4,900 times this year
Video here: Learn more about how the 811 process works
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – National Safe Digging Day (also known as 811 Day) is observed Aug. 11, and Piedmont Natural Gas and Duke Energy are reminding professional excavators and do-it-yourselfers of the importance of calling 811 before digging to protect the nation’s underground utility infrastructure, prevent potential injury and avoid electric and natural gas outages.
“This summer and fall, many homeowners and contractors will work on yard and landscaping projects that require digging or excavating,” said Sasha Weintraub, Piedmont Natural Gas senior vice president and president. “Before you pick up the shovel or power up excavation equipment, dial 811 at least three business days before digging to help keep yourself and our communities safe and to prevent costly and potentially dangerous damage to underground utility lines.”
Call first, dig second
The national “811 Call Before You Dig” system was created so anyone who plans to dig can have underground utility lines clearly marked by making a free call. Contractors, homeowners, business owners and anyone preparing for a digging project should call 811 at least three business days before digging begins. The local utilities will then send a crew to mark underground lines in the area (electric, natural gas, water, sewer, phone, cable TV and others) with stakes, flags or paint.
Digging into the damage data
From January to June 2023, Piedmont and Duke Energy reported damage to nearly 4,900 natural gas and electric lines in their service territories (North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana).
More specifically, Piedmont and Duke Energy reported about 1,600 damages to underground natural gas facilities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. Duke Energy reported about 3,300 damages to its underground electric network in all its service territories. In 2022, Piedmont and Duke Energy reported more than 10,000 damages to natural gas and electric lines.
“We are committed to the safe operation of our underground infrastructure and the safety of our customers, employees and communities,” Weintraub added. “While accidents do happen, most damaged lines can be prevented with a free call to 811.”
For additional information, see our story on illumination.
Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, distributes natural gas to more than 1.1 million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Piedmont Natural Gas earned the No. 1 spot in customer satisfaction with residential natural gas service in the South among large utilities, according to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Gas Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study, and has been named by Cogent Reports as one of the most trusted utility brands in the U.S. More information: piedmontng.com. Follow Piedmont Natural Gas: Twitter, Facebook.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,600 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050. The company has interim carbon emission targets of at least 50% reduction from electric generation by 2030, 50% for Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 upstream and downstream emissions by 2035, and 80% from electric generation by 2040. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2023 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “World’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Contact: Zach Vavricka