Over 10,000 cuts to underground natural gas, electric lines in 2023, Duke Energy reports for National Safe Digging Month

(UI) – In recognition of National Safe Digging Month, Piedmont Natural Gas and Duke Energy are reminding professional excavators to call 811 before digging to protect the nation's underground utility infrastructure.

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.

"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 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.

"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."

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.

Duke Energy 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.

Related News

From Archive


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}