Know what’s below – Piedmont Natural Gas, Duke Energy remind customers and professional excavators to call 811 before digging

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  • April is National Safe Digging Month, recognizing the importance of calling 811 before digging to have utility lines marked.

  • Underground electric and natural gas lines were hit over 10,300 times in 2023.

  • Video here: Learn more about how the 811 process works.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In recognition of National Safe Digging Month, Piedmont Natural Gas and Duke Energy are reminding customers and professional excavators to call 811 before digging to protect the nation’s underground utility infrastructure. 

“Every April, many homeowners and construction crews begin projects that involve digging, and with that, we see an increase in emergency calls for cut utility lines,” said Brian Weisker, senior vice president and president of Duke Energy’s natural gas business. “In addition to potential danger and expense of damaged utilities, many incidents lead to road closures and evacuations, and they can tie up police, fire and other emergency resources.”

Call 811 and know what’s below

The national 811 “Call Before You Dig” system was created so anyone who plans to dig can make a free call to have underground utility lines clearly marked. Contractors, homeowners, business owners and anyone preparing for an excavation project should call 811 at least three business days before digging begins. The local utilities will 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 deeper

In 2023, Piedmont and Duke Energy reported more than 10,300 cuts to underground lines (natural gas and electric) in their service territories. Specifically, Piedmont and Duke Energy reported over 3,500 damages to their underground natural gas facilities in the Carolinas, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky, while Duke Energy reported more than 6,800 damages to its underground electric network in all its service territories.

“Keeping our customers safe is at the heart of what we do,” said Weisker. “Planning ahead and calling 811 is the best way to dig safe and prevent potentially dangerous damage to our underground utilities.”

For additional information about 811, visit Call 811 Before You Dig. To get in touch with the 811 center in your state, dial 811 or visit

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 for the second year in a row, according to the J.D. Power 2023 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: Follow Piedmont Natural Gas: TwitterFacebook.

Duke Energy

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 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 TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

Contact: Zach Vavricka
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