Gold Shovel Standard™ Announces Foundational Membership Companies

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Dominion Virginia Power, Kinder Morgan, Pacific Gas and Electric and Xcel Energy join Gold Shovel Standard

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Gold Shovel Standard is truly a first-of-its kind program which will make our employees, contractors, and the public much safer

Today, Gold Shovel Standard, a non-profit association created for the purpose of expanding the Gold Shovel Standard program, announced that PG&E, Xcel Energy, Kinder Morgan and Dominion Virginia Power have joined together as foundational members to further develop and promote the use of Gold Shovel Standard throughout North America.

Gold Shovel Standard is a first-of-its-kind, two-part excavation safety program. Gold Shovel Standard both certifies an excavator’s policies and procedures against the Gold Shovel Standard, and publishes a score or rating, known as an EICO™ score, which is an ongoing measure of an excavator’s excavation-safety-worthiness. It is a novel and ambitious program on a North American scale to dramatically reduce damages from excavation to buried asset networks.

Sometimes referred to as “Experience Modifier for Excavation Safety,” the program is actively engaging insurance carriers to begin relying on the performance data when setting insurance rates of excavators. Similarly, EICO scores are a valuable tool available to municipalities and telecom companies in reducing the frequency of damage to their buried assets.

Participation in Gold Shovel Standard requires a commitment by operators, line locators, excavators and others to work together to develop a meaningful certification and rating process, using input from the infrastructure owners, insurance companies and excavators. Member companies are committed to begin a journey towards exclusively using contractors (excavators and locators) certified in the Gold Shovel Standard.

“We are very pleased to join with Xcel Energy, Kinder Morgan and Dominion in forming the Gold Shovel Standard. This is an ambitious program, on a North American scale which relies on collaboration between owners of buried infrastructure to achieve our goal of dramatically reducing excavation related damages,” shared John Higgins, Vice President, Gas Transmission and Distribution Operations for PG&E and Chairman of Board of Directors for Gold Shovel Standard. Higgins added, “When PG&E pioneered the Gold Shovel Standard in 2014, we realized that collaboration among asset owners was critical to achieving the program’s goals, and this is an important next step for Gold Shovel Standard.”

“Gold Shovel Standard is truly a first-of-its kind program which will make our employees, contractors, and the public much safer,” said Ed Baine, Senior Vice President of electric distribution operations at Dominion Virginia Power. “We’re looking forward to joining the leadership of the program, and will be working with our partners in the coming months to begin the adoption of Gold Shovel Standard.”

Joining Higgins on the Gold Shovel Standard Board of Directors are Luke Litteken, Area Vice President for Gas Operations for Xcel Energy and Michael Catt, Natural Gas Pipelines Operations Vice President for Kinder Morgan.

PG&E currently requires all excavation contractors to be Gold Shovel Standard certified. As part of their membership in Gold Shovel Standard, Xcel Energy, Dominion and Kinder Morgan will begin a migration towards requiring all their excavation contractors to become Gold Shovel Standard certified.

"The Common Ground Alliance stands 100 percent behind any effort that enhances safety and reduces dig-ins to underground utility lines," said Bob Kipp, president, The Common Ground Alliance, a member-driven association dedicated to ensuring public safety, environmental protection, and the integrity of services by promoting effective damage prevention practices. "We support the worthwhile efforts of the Gold Shovel Standard."

About Gold Shovel Standard – Gold Shovel Standard is a non-profit association created for the purpose of expanding the Gold Shovel Standard program, which was originally pioneered by PG&E, to create a North American scale program, driven by industry and underpinned by data technology, to unify excavation safety under a single broadly meaningful professional brand, that raises the bar for excavation safety. Through peer-to-peer collaboration, and by monitoring the performance of individual excavators across networks and geographies, Gold Shovel Standard will be the first program capable of targeting incentives directly at specific excavation companies on a North American scale.

Gold Shovel Standard Media Relations
Phone: 855-ORO-PALA (855-676-7252)

PG&E Media Relations
Phone: 415-973-5930

Xcel Energy Media Relations
Phone: 612-215-5300

Kinder Morgan Media Relations
Phone: 713-420-6828

Dominion Media Relations
Phone: 804-771-6115

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