For Immediate Release
BALTIMORE (April 8, 2020) – April is National Safe Digging Month, and BGE is joining Miss Utility 811– the one-call notification center for Maryland – to remind homeowners and contractors that safe digging must remain a priority to prevent damage to critical utility services and keep communities safe.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic which has homeowners spending more time than ever at home potentially engaged in home improvement activities requiring digging, it is imperative that underground utilities be marked before any digging takes place. Calling 811 or placing an online request before digging is free of charge and will help residents avoid accidentally damaging buried utility lines. Projects such as gardening and landscaping, installing a mailbox, deck or fence can result in serious injuries, service disruptions and costly repairs when gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines are damaged.
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:
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.
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. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and impact our community, we want to reaffirm with you our commitment to the safety and well-being of our customers, employees, and contractors. Safety is our top priority. We have implemented important procedures to prioritize the health of our community. All BGE employees and contractors have been instructed to follow health and safety best practices consistent with CDC guidelines including but not limited to practicing safe social distancing.
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.
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 1.3 million electric customers and more than 680,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. In the J.D. Power 2017, 2018, and 2019 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Studies SM BGE was ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Business Electric Service in the East among Large Utilities. In the J.D. Power 2018 and 2019 Gas Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Studies SM BGE was ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Business Natural Gas Service among utilities in the East Region. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Connect with BGE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and engage with the latest BGE stories on bgenow.com.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (or "BGE") received the highest score in the East Region of the 2019 Gas Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study and the East Large Segment of the 2019 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study of gas and electric utility customer satisfaction among business customers. Visit jdpower.com/awards.