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For Immediate Release

Contact

Tasha Jamerson

Tasha.Jamerson@bge.com

BGE Recognizes National Safe Digging Month

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BALTIMORE (April 4, 2019) – This April marks National Safe Digging Month and BGE reminds all customers and contractors to call 811 a few days before digging to learn the approximate location of underground utilities.

A national survey conducted in March by the Common Ground Alliance, the national association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them, and their communities, revealed that 42 percent of homeowners who plan to dig this year for DIY projects don't plan on calling 811 and will put themselves and their communities at risk. Homeowners and businessowners taking the step to call before they dig have helped reduce incidents of damage to BGE's energy system by nearly 50 percent during the past five years. This improvement is attributed to increased awareness as a result of ongoing outreach and education to raise awareness about underground facilities.

Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, service disruptions and costly repairs when gas, electric, communications, water, and sewer lines are damaged. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Landscaping, planting trees and shrubs, installing a fence or mailbox, and building a deck, pond or patio, are all examples of digging projects where a call to 811 should be one of the first steps.

More than 60 percent of BGE's electric lines, approximately 17,000 circuit miles, are located underground and BGE manages more than 7,000 miles of buried natural gas lines in its region, many of which may cross through residential properties.  Properly locating these lines is essential to safely completing a digging job.   

Residents and businesses should take the following steps when planning a digging project this spring:

  • Always call 811 a few days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property.
  • Plan ahead. Call on Monday or Tuesday for work planned for an upcoming weekend, providing ample time for the approximate location of lines to be marked.
  • Confirm that all lines have been marked. 
  • Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.
  • If a contractor has been hired, confirm that the contractor has called 811. Don't allow work to begin if the lines aren't marked.
  • Visit call811.com for more information.

When calling 811 at least three business days prior to digging, customers and contractors are connected to Maryland One Call that will take the caller's information and communicate it to local utility companies. Professional locators will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint, flags or both. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.

To promote safety around electric infrastructure in the communities it serves, BGE also reminds residents and businesses that customer-owned structures are not permitted within BGE's easements or near overhead equipment. Customers must contact their local municipality to obtain the necessary permits prior to any construction near company-owned transmission or distribution lines.

BGE joins the Exelon family of companies, the other 1,700 Common Ground Alliance members, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and governors across the country in marking April as National Safe Digging Month to bring extra attention to the issue of underground utility line safety and reduce the risk of unnecessary infrastructure damage. 

For information on digging safely, including how to get lines marked and what to do after lines are marked visit www.bge.com/811, or contact the BGE Damage Prevention team at 410.470.6698 to arrange for free damage prevention training.

 

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BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility and headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility. The company's approximately 3,200 employees are committed to safe and reliable energy delivery to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland.  In the J.D. Power 2017 and 2018 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study SM  BGE was ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Business Electric Service in the East among Large Utilities. In addition, in the J.D. Power 2018 Gas Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study SM   BGE received Best in Customer Satisfaction with Business Natural Gas Service in the East. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube  and Flickr.

 

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (or "BGE") received the highest score in the East Large segment of the 2018 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study and the East Region of the 2018 Gas Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study of electric and gas utility customer satisfaction among business customers. Visit jdpower.com/awards.


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