Duke Energy reminds those planning to plant trees, shrubs and flowers or starting outdoor construction projects, to make an important call to 811, the national “Call Before You Dig” hotline.
The hotline is the first step to getting underground utilities on your property 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, in a media release. “It also helps avoid costly repairs for the offenders.”
Calling 811 is a free nationwide service. Contractors, homeowners, business owners 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 in 14% 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. In Indiana, the number was 138.
For more information about the Call Before You Dig system in Indiana, visit https://Indiana811.org.
Duke Energy Indiana, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides about 6,600 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 840,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it Indiana’s largest electric supplier.