Case study

Southern Company Gas reduces damages by 30%

Results at a glance

50% of damages identified in 5% of all 811 tickets

30% reduction in third-party damage rates

Zero damages during fiber deployment

About Southern Company Gas

Headquartered in Atlanta, Southern Company Gas serves more than 4 million natural gas retail customers in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee. The company handles more than 2 million 811 tickets each year across four operating companies: Atlanta Gas Light, Chattanooga Gas, Nicor Gas, and Virginia Natural Gas.

Challenges

Excavation accidents that damage Southern Company’s assets are a threat to public safety due to risk of explosion, leaks, and physical asset degradation. Repairs to damaged facilities are also incredibly costly.

Inundated with 811 tickets, Southern Company was not able to effectively identify the riskiest excavations or prioritize interventions intended to prevent damages. Furthermore, the company had no way to stop damages caused by excavations without accompanying 811 tickets.

Southern Company implemented Urbint Lens for Damage Prevention to reduce its damage rate in the Chattanooga service territory without adding additional damage prevention resources.

Solutions

By combining Southern Company's internal infrastructure data with hundreds of risk variables like work type, contractor past history, and weather information, Urbint Lens for Damage Prevention generates risk rankings to identify excavation sites that are the most damage-prone, as well as the likelihood of individual locate requests being mismarked.

To assist with no call-in excavation reduction, Urbint Lens for Damage Prevention leveraged permit data to identify permits not linked to an excavation ticket. Using natural language processing, the software also identified habitual no call-in offenders.

Results

Urbint Lens for Damage Prevention identified almost 50 percent of damages in just 5 percent of Southern Company’s overall 811 ticket population. By taking preemptive actions on these risky tickets, Southern Company was able to increase the efficiency of their current damage prevention team and drive down excavation damages by more than 30 percent in select service areas.

Compared to historical pass/fail locate audit rates, Urbint Lens for Damage Prevention doubled the identification rate of audit-failing locate tickets, and identified that 20 percent of no call-in damages could be traced back to an identifiable building permit. The software also produced a list of historical no-call offenders across Southern Company's service territories, enabling damage prevention specialists to optimize safe digging awareness campaigns.

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