News Release

Peoples Gas and Tampa Electric remind homeowners to call 811 before digging

TAMPA, March 30, 2012

With warmer days and longer evenings, it’s prime time for planting and other outdoor projects – and it’s a perfect time to remind homeowners to always call 811 before digging.

Throughout April, Sunshine 811, Peoples Gas, Tampa Electric and other utilities are promoting National Safe Digging Month. The campaign is designed to remind Florida’s residents of the complex network of wires, cables and pipelines located underground. Striking one of these underground utility lines while digging could injure you or others, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, and potentially result in fines and repair costs.

No matter the size of the project – from simple landscaping like planting trees or shrubs, to placing a fence or installing a mailbox – you must call 811 before every digging project. There are 170,000 underground utilities damaged annually across the nation, and one out of every three incidents is the result of not calling 811.

Here’s how it works :

  • One free, simple phone call to 811 makes it easy for Sunshine 811 to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig.
  • Call at least two full business days before digging to give utility companies enough time to properly mark their lines.
  • When you call 811, you will be asked for the location and description of your digging project.
  • Sunshine 811 notifies affected utility companies who then send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of underground equipment.
  • Once lines have been properly marked, roll up those sleeves and dig carefully within 24 inches of any marks in your project area.

Visit sunshine811.com for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process. You also can visit Peoples Gas .com and Tampa Electric .com for more safety tips.

Peoples Gas System , Florida’s largest natural gas distribution company, is one of the four core businesses of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), an energy-related holding company with regulated electric and gas utility operations in Florida through Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System . Peoples Gas serves approximately 336,000 customers in most of Florida’s major metropolitan areas and beyond. Tampa Electric serves more than 672,000 customers in West Central Florida. Other TECO Energy subsidiaries include TECO Coal, which owns and operates coal production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia, and TECO Guatemala, which is engaged in electric power generation and energy-related businesses in Guatemala.

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CHERIE JACOBS
TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
E-mail: cljacobs@tecoenergy.com