Monday, January 6, 2020

Pick a Plan

Dawn M. has just completed her first year in the Corporate Communications Department and is here to share what she's learned about controlling her energy costs since starting at MLGW.

Now that you know where most of your utility dollars are going you can pick-a-plan that will help you start saving.

Decide your level of commitment. You can always update it later.

  • Am I only willing to do one thing?
  • Am I a weekend warrior? Ready to tackle weatherization projects on the weekend?
  • Can I get the whole family involved? 
  • Do I consider myself an Earth Saver? 

I chose Weekend Warrior.

I don't want to spend more than $50 to start and I don't want to spend too much time on projects. I am not a handy person so I think this is the best route for me.

"My Account" calculates my answers and brings up six ways I can save money on energy:

1. Save up to $30/year by changing to CFL bulbs.
2. Save up to $18/year by replacing my halogen torchiere lamp.
3. Save up to $17/year by lowering the temperature on my water heater.
4. Save up to $8/year by using CFL bulbs in recessed fixtures.
5. Save up to $3/year by raising the temp in my fridge.
6. Save up to $3/year by raising the temp on my A/C.

Doing all of these things will save me up to $73/year on my energy costs. I've already changed all of my lightbulbs to LED bulbs which are even more efficient than CFL's. I'm willing to lower the temperature on my water heater but the fridge and A/C are staying where they are.

I can adjust my action plan or my savings goal anytime I want. "My Account" will re-calculate everything for me and give me new, cost reduction ideas as I move forward.

Just try it! At the very least "My Account" will give you more insight into your energy costs. And when you're ready to take the next step, and start weatherizing your home, "My Account" will help with that too. Here's a 30-second video that shows you how to sign up.

Friday, January 3, 2020

How Much Do You Want to Pay?

Dawn M. has just completed her first year in the Corporate Communications Department and is here to share what she's learned about controlling her energy costs since starting at MLGW.

Here's the deal -- the amount I pay for utilities each month largely depends ON ME. Just like energy costs at your home largely depend on you and your family.

We, as customers, must decide "is it worth it to me to spend this money, use this time, etc. in order to save money on my utilities?"

This is where my work at MLGW really helps. Yes, there was a cold snap between October and November. I was cranking up the heat so it makes sense I used more electricity. BUT, am I really getting all that I pay for?

Probably not.

My place is in midtown and in an older building. A window unit in my living room provides both heat and A/C. It is not the most energy efficient way to keep my home warm.

What can I do to reduce costs? Again -- I'm at an advantage because of my job -- and immediately five weatherization/ cost saving measures pop into my head:

  1. Insulate the windows in my home with a kit. 
  2. Fill cracks with caulk, use spray foam for bigger gaps or holes. 
  3. Reverse the way my ceiling fans turn.
  4. Add weatherstripping around doors and windows.
  5. Make a couple of draft blockers for my doors. 
What else can I do? 

Check out "My Account." 

Towards the top-right of the same webpage that provides a bill analysis you'll find a link to "Control Costs." 

Side bar -- play around with this when you have a few minutes to spare. You will get asked lots of questions. It is OK if you don't have all the answers. I did not know the answer to many of the questions asked so I guessed. The point is, DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED. Just try it. 

Once you fill out the home profile you will see a breakdown like this. For me -- the sections marked "Ways to Save," "Energy Profile" and "My Energy and Water Usage" were the most relevant.

Take a look: 

Ways to Save

The "Ways to Save" asks you to set a goal for yearly energy savings. I split the difference and went with 15% which says I should save up to $246/year. 

Energy Profile

Free stuff! When you fill out the energy profile the TVA will send you an energy efficiency starter kit. 

My Energy and Water Usage

And this part: a graph showing "My Energy and Water Usage."

I don't have a dishwasher in my house, or a washer and dryer. I rarely cook. You can tell by the graph that about 3/4 of my energy use is spent heating or cooling my home and heating water. So yeah...I really need to take care of some weatherization things around the house.

Go back to the top of the page and click the "Ways to Save" button.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Why "My Account"

Dawn M. has just completed her first year in the Corporate Communications Department and is here to share what she's learned about controlling her energy costs since starting at MLGW.

We like to encourage MLGW customers to sign up for "My Account" and there are a few reasons why.

1. Simple, secure online bill pay.
2. Paperless billing.
3. Bill analysis.

The bill analysis part of "My Account" is especially helpful if you want to understand your bills and find ways to reduce it.

The first thing you want to do is sign up for "My Account." Visit and click the black, "My Account" button. You'll need one of your paper bills. This :30 video shows you how to sign up.

Log into your MLGW "My Account." Halfway down the page, on the left, you'll see a section marked "Bill Highlights." It gives you the nitty gritty of what you're being billed for each month. Here are my highlights for December 2019:

Yikes! I owe $40+ more this month than last. What gives? Click the "Bill Analysis" link under the highlights section for details.

My Bill Analysis shows my total utility charges increased $43.43; most of that was for electricity. I click the "Electric Details" tab for a deeper dive.

Two things stick out -- 
1. There were five more days in this billing cycle than last month. That accounts for $14 of my bill

2. And I used more than twice the amount of electricity as the month before.

Maggie (left), Stella (right)
An overall increase of $42 in one month is a pretty big jump for me. I live in a one-bedroom apartment. It's me, Maggie and Stella. We shouldn't use that much electricity.

What can I do to lower my bill? I check "My Account" again for ideas. Here's what I found! 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Spread the Warmth

MLGW's Procurement and Contracts department held its third annual Spread the Warmth blanket and soup giveaway for the disadvantaged on December 13, 2019 in Miller Park. Word got out and a stream of very grateful Memphians came by to enjoy the hot soup and hot chocolate on a cold day. They also received blankets to help them stay warm these cold winter nights.
Annie Mathis, Purchasing, (wearing blue and gray) prayed for and encouraged one of the ladies who received food and a blanket in the park during the Spread the Warmth event. 

Demetria Bowers-Adair and Camela Mitchell, both in Purchasing, spearheaded the event and said "thank you to the entire Division and members of the community for your generous donations that helped us give more than 90 blankets and feed soup and chili to more than 100 men and women in need." 
Front row: Shanikka Tate, Contract Management, Verkisserous Thompson, Contract Management, A’ricka Jackson, Purchasing, Demetria Bowers- Adair, Purchasing; Back row: Thaddeus Seaberry, Purchasing, Dorothy Coleman, Contract Management, Camela Mitchell, Purchasing, Tiffany Byrd, Supplier Diversity, Clifton Davis, Procurements Contracts and Supplier Diversity
 #MLGW #MLGWNews #ServingYouIsWhatWeDo

Thursday, December 12, 2019

IRP Status Update: Your Power, Your Voice

Siemens Industry Inc. Senior Manager, Nelson Bacalao.
MLGW in consultation with Siemens Industry Incorporated is nearing the midpoint of the IRP (Integrated Resource Plan) evaluation. At a community meeting November 21, 2019 Siemens Senior Manager, Nelson Bacalao, outlined the strategies under consideration.

  • Business-as-Usual is the first option. Under this option MLGW maintains its existing relationship with the Tennessee Valley Authority as its sole electricity provider. 
  • The Full MISO is option #2. In this option MLGW contracts with MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator) to provide all electric power to MLGW. 
  • Option #3 is a combination of MLGW and MISO where MLGW supplies some of its own power and contracts with MISO to purchase the rest of its electric power needs. 
#MLGW customers asked questions about the IRP.

Each strategy will be run through multiple scenarios in order to predict how they will fare in varying situations (e.g., future regulations, changes in technology, climate crisis, etc.).

The MLGW IRP will evaluate transmission costs to integrate new supply side resources into the MLGW system, either new-build generation or imports from other utilities (like MISO for example).

At the conclusion of the IRP evaluation Siemens will recommend the optimal portfolio of generation; including renewable energy, that best meets MLGW's future energy needs. Those recommendations will be presented at the next "Your Power, Your Voice" community meeting in March 2020.

Visit us online for a look at the presentations given at each IRP meeting as well as notes. Information is posted here. #MLGWNews #ServingYouIsWhatWeDo

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

#SheCanSTEM Gwendolyn Redmond

MLGW has 2770 employees; 752 (27%) are women. Of the 752 women, 143 (19%) hold STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) positions. On the second Tuesday of every month, we will introduce you to a different woman working in STEM at MLGW. 

Gwendolyn Redmond is currently the lead of Third Party Software Support. 3PSS is responsible for assisting with decision making processes to determine software needs; software evaluation, selection and installation; Level 2 support; and serving as the liaison between the user and the vendor. Gwen started working at MLGW in May of 1988 as a part time employee in Revenue Protection. She became full-time in September of 1990.

We asked Gwen a few questions to get to know her better:

How did you get started in STEM?

I originally found interest in STEM during my first year of college. However, after two years, I interrupted my undergrad studies and took a break to focus on making money, my daughter, etc. This so-called break lasted approximately 16 years. Although I was not in the technology field, it was always my desire to expedite cumbersome processes. This motivated me to utilize advanced application features and apply logic and troubleshooting skills. As a result, I was consistently asked to assist others with troubleshooting issues and automating processes. I was eventually asked to work on the IS ClientSoft GUI project. This experience helped me to recognize that I still had something vital to succeed in STEM—passion! As a result, I was allowed the opportunity to rotate in Desktop Systems Support (previously TIC). The rest is really history.

What's interesting or cool about what you do?

What’s really cool about what I do is that I’m always learning something new and I’m part of the solution. The accomplished feeling of resolving an issue, assisting a frustrating customer or watching a major project develop is priceless.

Why would you encourage girls to pursue STEM careers?

STEM is a rewarding, mind stimulating career. This career field will open your eyes to a new way of analyzing problems and invoking your critical thinking skills; not just with STEM but with issues in life.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self:
·         Believe in yourself.

·         Don’t let your fear of failure keep you from moving forward.  

·         Your passion, persistence and perseverance can take you beyond limits.

Did you miss our other installments of #SheCanSTEM? Meet Arnisa Davis, Kelsey Seiter, Debra Higgins, Kerry Roy, Cynthia Jones, Juanita Ford, Shleah Whitlock, Sandra Hicks
and Kimberly Griswold.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Ms. Betty's Water Leak

We met Betty Prise after Fox 13 ran a story on our On Track Program. Ms. Betty got into the program after a water leak caused her utility bill to rise.


She's lived in the same home in Barton Heights since 1962. Betty paid someone to fix the leak, but they took her money without fixing the problem. Plus, they left her yard full of holes.

Her story caught the attention of Andy Collier. Andy just happens to own Bullseye Leak Detection Service. He brought his crew to Ms. Betty's house to see if he could help.


They quickly found the leak by the house. Andy explained how a split in the coupling can happen due to wear and tear, but reassured her that it was in a easy spot to fix.



The men wasted no time, and had it fixed in just a few minutes.


Ms. Betty was thrilled. But little did she know that Andy also set up a Go Fund Me to help pay her utility bill and asked his men to clean up the holes in her yard from the first failed attempt to correct the issue.


We love a happy ending!

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