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CenterPoint Energy encourages safety awareness and education during National Safe Digging Month

Utility reminds everyone to contact 811 before digging – including gardening, building a fence or installing a mailbox – to keep our communities safe.

 

Houston – April 3, 2024 – CenterPoint Energy is collaborating with the Common Ground Alliance to observe April as National Safe Digging Month and encourage customers to follow safe digging practices.

Anyone planning a project that requires digging should contact 811 at least two days prior to their work starting to have underground utilities located at no cost. CenterPoint Energy reminds customers this includes projects done by themselves or their contractors, including building a fence, planting trees, installing a deck, placing a mailbox or laying a patio.

“By taking the time to call 811 prior to starting their digging project, our customers and communities are taking a critical first step in helping keep everyone safe,” said Chasta Martin, Vice President, Field Services at CenterPoint Energy. “No matter how shallow the digging project, everyone can help prevent safety incidents and potential loss of service for their fellow community members by having underground utility lines located.”

According to a recent national survey*, approximately 51% of U.S. homeowners plan to dig on their properties this year. Of those surveyed, 56% are planning to dig without contacting 811 first. CenterPoint Energy and the Common Ground Alliance encourage homeowners to contact 811 prior to performing work and also encourage homeowners to verify that their contractors contact 811 prior to performing work.

Safe digging practices are required by state law and help prevent damage to underground natural gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines. Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious injury, service disruptions, fines and costly repairs.

If a natural gas line is struck or ruptured outside of a home or business, customers are reminded to do the following:

  • Leave the area immediately on foot. Do not attempt to restart or move powered equipment or use your mobile device or any other item that could cause a spark.
  • Go directly to a safe location, where you cannot smell gas, and continue to maintain a safe distance. Once at a safe distance, call 911 and CenterPoint Energy.
  • Remain in a safe area until directed by emergency personnel to do otherwise.
  • Don’t try to repair a natural gas leak. Leave all repairs to a trained technician.

Visit 811BeforeYouDig.com for more information about 811 and the process to have underground utility lines marked. For more information about natural gas safety, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/Safety.

About CenterPoint Energy

As the only investor owned electric and gas utility based in Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) is an energy delivery company with electric transmission and distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution operations that serve more than 7 million metered customers in Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas. As of December 31, 2023, the company owned approximately $40 billion in assets. With approximately 9,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

 

*About the study

Online survey among 1,000 US Homeowners, aged 21+ fielded between March 5-7, 2024. The survey was conducted by Censuswide, a global insight-driven research center on behalf of the Common Ground Alliance. The margin of error based on a 95% confidence level is +/- 3%.

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