Ready to dig? During National Safe Digging Month, Duke Energy reminds customers to call 811 first

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

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Spring is here and people are excited to get outdoors to plant trees, shrubs and flowers, as well as begin those outdoor construction projects that make homes more comfortable.

Can you dig it?

Yes, you can. But first, make an important call to 811, the national “Call Before You Dig” hotline and ask that the underground utilities on your property be properly located and marked.

“Calling 811 before digging anywhere prevents damage to underground utilities, prevents potential personal injury and avoids electric and other utility outages,” said Scott Batson, Duke Energy senior vice president and chief distribution officer. “It also helps avoid costly repairs for the offenders.”

Calling 811 is a free nationwide 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 above-ground stakes, flags or paint, which indicates restricted areas before a customer begins a digging project.

In 2019, the U.S. Common Ground Alliance reported approximately 532,000 excavation-related damage events in the U.S., an increase of 14 percent from 2018, the latest year for which figures are available. Estimated damages in 2019 total approximately $30 billion in direct and indirect losses.

In 2020, Duke Energy reported approximately 2,800 damage-causing dig-in events in its six-state electric service territory.

For more information about the national system and about the 811 office in your state, visit

To see a video that shows how to use 811 click here. For additional information, see our story on illumination.

Duke Energy

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. 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: 800.559.3853