Piedmont Natural Gas, Duke Energy remind residents that safe digging starts with 811

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  • 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 5,000 times this year 

  • Calling 811 helps prevent injuries, outages, costly repairs – keeping everyone safer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Aug. 11 is officially “811 Day,” and as residents continue summer yard projects, Piedmont Natural Gas and Duke Energy want to remind everyone to call 811 before digging to prevent potential personal injury and avoid electric and natural gas outages.

“Keeping our customers safe and protecting our underground utility infrastructure are top priorities,” said Sasha Weintraub, Piedmont Natural Gas senior vice president and president. “Even simple digging jobs can cause serious injuries and disrupt vital utility services to communities, so it is important to call 811 to prevent unnecessary and potentially dangerous situations and outages in our communities.”

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 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.

From January to June 2022, Piedmont and Duke Energy reported damage to 4,967 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 1,766 cuts to underground natural gas facilities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. And Duke Energy reported around 3,201 damages to its underground electric network in all its service territories.  In 2021, Piedmont and Duke Energy reported nearly 9,800 cuts to natural gas and electric lines.  

“Our best defense is awareness and ongoing education to call 811 before you dig,” added Weintraub. “We are committed to sharing this message with our customers and communities to avoid these accidents.”

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, distributes natural gas to more than 1.1 million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. 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. More information: piedmontng.com. Follow Piedmont Natural Gas: Twitter, Facebook.

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 28,000 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business and at least a 50% carbon reduction from electric generation by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 net-zero goals also include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. 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 2022 “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 TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

Contact: Zach Vavricka
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