Piedmont Natural Gas, Duke Energy remind communities to call 811 before digging

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  • Aug. 11 is 811 Day, recognizing importance of having underground utility lines marked prior to digging, excavating.

  • Calling 811 prevents injuries, outages, costly repairs – keeping everyone safer.

  • Underground utility lines in U.S. were hit 532,000 times in 2019 – nearly a 5% increase over prior year.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In recognition of 811 Day, Piedmont Natural Gas and Duke Energy are reminding their customers and communities to call 811 before digging to protect the nation’s underground utility infrastructure, prevent potential personal injury and avoid electric and natural gas outages.

“During the warmer months and as we move into the fall, many people may be working on outdoor projects that may involve digging,” said Piedmont Natural Gas Senior Vice President Sasha Weintraub. “We’re asking anyone who might be starting a project in their yard to please remember to call 811 at least three days before they dig to prevent personal harm, service outages and costs to replace damaged lines.”

The national “811 Call Before You Dig” system was created so anyone who plans to dig anywhere can call to have underground utility lines clearly marked. Calling 811 is a free service. Contractors, homeowners, businessowners and anyone preparing for a digging project of any kind 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.

“While accidents do happen, most cut lines can be prevented with a free call to 811,” Weintraub said. “In addition to the 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 who are needed elsewhere.”

In 2020, Piedmont and Duke Energy together reported more than 5,800 cuts to underground lines (natural gas and electric) in their service territories. Specifically, Piedmont and Duke Energy reported approximately 3,025 damages to their underground natural gas facilities in the Carolinas, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky; Duke Energy reported around 2,800 damages to its underground electric network in all its service territories.

In late 2020, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) issued a report stating that 532,000 excavation-related damages to underground facilities occurred nationwide in 2019, compared to the 2018 estimate of 509,000 damages. The CGA is a national organization formed in 2000 to unify all 50 states in a shared effort to prevent damage to underground utilities and infrastructure.

For a video that shows how to use 811, click here. 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 call811.com.

Piedmont Natural Gas

Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than 1 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The company also supplies natural gas to power plants. Piedmont is routinely recognized by J.D. Power for excellent customer satisfaction, and has been named by Cogent Reports as one of the most trusted utility brands in the U.S. 

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 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 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 27,500 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’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.      

Media contact: Jason Wheatley
Phone: 877.348.3612
Email: jason.wheatley@duke-energy.com