April is National Safe Digging Month
Now that spring weather has finally arrived and people begin their annual traditions of gardening and landscaping, safe digging means calling 8-1-1 first. Xcel Energy, CenterPoint Energy and Gopher State One Call want to remind customers that April is National Safe Digging Month. To be safe, customers should call 8-1-1 to have underground utility lines marked before starting any digging projects.
Damaging or striking a single line can create a dangerous situation, resulting in injury, loss of services to a wide area and ultimately, significant repair costs or fines for the customer. In Minnesota, homeowners and contractors should call 8-1-1 or submit an online request to Gopher State One Call at least two business days in advance of a planned project.
2017 damage statistics in Minnesota when buried electrical and natural gas lines were damaged during excavation and not located beforehand:
• Xcel Energy = 110 incidents
• CenterPoint Energy = 75 incidents
Every digging project, large or small, warrants a call. Installing a post for a mailbox, building a deck or planting a tree are all examples of projects that need a call to 8-1-1. Gopher State One Call will notify the appropriate utility companies of the customer’s intent to dig. At no charge, professional locators will mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.
Xcel Energy, CenterPoint Energy and Gopher State One Call are placing additional emphasis this year through a joint educational campaign, to further promote safe digging practices for residents and contractors. Both additional television and social media campaigns are being featured this year.
All customers need to make arrangements with a private locate company to locate lines not owned by a utility, such as a line installed by a homeowner to heat a pool or light a garage.
Gopher State One Call has been serving Minnesota for over 30 years. It processes approximately 800,000 requests for locates annually, in turn saving that state millions in avoidance of potential damages. For more information about 8-1-1 and safe digging practices visit Call 8-1-1 Before you Dig or Gopher State One Call.
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About CenterPoint Energy
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns 54.1 percent of the common and subordinated units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp., which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With nearly 8,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com.