Thursday, November 20, 2014

Water on Wheels, WOW!

MLGW Board Commissioners toured the Ground Water Institute's Water on Wheels (WOW) today.

Board Chairman, Rick Masson, pulls a lever that demonstrates the water cycle on the 24' mobile trailer while it was parked at Second and Main.

WOW features interactive displays which help educate the community about the source of our drinking water, and the importance of preserving and protecting it.

Memphis City Council approves MLGW 2015 Budget

Budget includes third phase of smart meter expansion

The Memphis City Council approved MLGW’s 2015 budget on Tuesday. The $1.7 billion budget will not become final until the approval of the Council minutes on Dec. 2.

MLGW’s 2015 proposed budget included a 2.3 percent water rate increase, resulting from the impending closure of Cargill Inc.’s operations in Memphis. City Council members voted down the proposed water increase which would have resulted in an average increase of $.35 on monthly utility bills.

Highlights of MLGW’s 2015 Budget:

•Implementation of the third phase of the Smart Meter expansion project which includes 50,000 smart meters and supporting infrastructure.

•The addition of 28 employees for infrastructure improvements.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Smart Talk: Giving customers a choice

One of the biggest reasons to forge ahead with smart meters can be summed up in one word: choice. An example would be a Raleigh resident who asked to be included in the 60,000 meter installation project. When MLGW installation trucks were in her area, she inquired about getting electric, gas and water smart meters at her home. Although her residence wasn̢۪t in the initial footprint, because a neighbor opted-out (only 3.6 percent of selected households chose to opt-out) she was able to take advantage of the new equipment.

The resident was anxious to opt-in because her water meter readings had been estimated on occasion, due to condensation on the meter dial and lots of dirt. Smart meters eliminate estimated bills, so customers pay for what they use and that appealed to the Raleigh resident. She chose to upgrade.

In addition to reducing fees, providing accurate billing, making meter reading hassle-free for customers with backyard pets and locked gates a non-issue, smart meters give customers more options.

To learn more, go to

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Smart Talk: Prepay offers savings, freedom

In February 2015, prepay service will be available to current smart meter customers. The new service, only made possible through the automation smart meters afford, will allow customers the flexibility to pay how much and how often they want for utilities. This freedom could make a huge difference for weekly wage-earners who instead of making one large monthly payment could make smaller, more frequent payments. However, it’s the significant savings prepay can potentially offer that may give MLGW’s poorest customers the greatest relief.

The potential savings are estimated at about $7.9 million on electric bills annually if our prepayment option mirrors the conservation success seen with program in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Phoenix area is the service territory of The Salt River Project (SRP), which has offered pre-pay since 1993. A 2010 study showed that SRP’s 100,000 prepay customers shaved 12 percent off their electric costs simply because their increased awareness resulted in behavior changes which reduced their usage.

If only half of Memphis’s impoverished enrolled in prepay and achieved that 12 percent annual savings on their electric bill, they would save $7.9 million each year. Add an additional $2.025 million in savings for customers because prepay would eliminate the $150 security deposit that’s required after a disconnection.

Prepay also eliminates the surprise that customers receive each month when opening their utility bill. How? Because through prepay, they would know how much energy is being consumed as they use it – much like the gas gauge in your car.

Much like that car gas gauge, when a customer’s balance gets low, they’ll be notified. Customers will have the control to pay whatever they can afford for services – whether it’s a dollar, $20 or whatever — whenever they need. No more monthly billing cycle! (If the customer requests a bill, we can still send one.)

This is an unprecedented amount of control and flexibility for MLGW customers. There’s going to be a period of adjustment where customers worry about finding themselves in cutoff situations. MLGW is committed to working with community organizations to empower those who need assistance and ensuring that customers get the most out of prepay – and their household budgets.

To learn more, go to

Friday, November 14, 2014

MLGW Encourages Pilot Light Safety

Customers urged to call to ensure safety of gas appliances

MLGW offers Pilot Light Safety Inspections to ensure safety of gas appliances through February 28, 2015.

The inspection service is free to physically challenged customers or seniors (60 years and older); for others, the cost is $55 for the inspection and lighting of three appliances. Each additional appliance over three is an additional $17 fee. After December 31, the service is free for all customers.

To schedule an appointment, customers can call (901) 820-7878 to choose a date and time convenient for them. MLGW’s Interactive Voice Response system (IVR) can also be used to schedule an appointment; customers will need their 16-digit account number when using this system.

Appointments can be scheduled for a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Saturday for one of the following time slots:

• 8 a.m.– noon
• noon – 4 p.m.
• 4 p.m.– 8 p.m.
• Saturday appointments are either 8 a.m.– noon or noon– 4 p.m.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

MLGW wins TMEPA service award

MLGW was honored recently with the Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association’s Community Service Award. The award is in recognition of extraordinary long-term commitment and service to the citizens of Memphis and Shelby County for multiple programs to assist our customers in making their utility payments and for consistently remaining in the top 10 for corporate and employee donors in outreach programs including United Way, Lifeblood, Junior Achievement and many others.

Pictured holding the TMEPA Community Service Award are Jerry Collins Jr., President and CEO, and MLGW Board Chairman Rick Masson.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Get rewarded for making your home more energy efficient

eScore, a residential energy efficiency program developed through a partnership between MLGW and TVA, gives customers a customized path for making your home a 10 – the highest score possible. By participating in eScore, you will receive an eScorecard that ranks the efficiency of your home from 1-10, an eScore report with photos of the areas evaluated, a list of instant rebate options for qualified energy-efficiency improvements*, direct-install items (for example, CFL bulbs, low-flow showerheads and aerators), and expert recommendations from a TVA-certified Energy Advisor.

Save on energy cost and usage by improving your eScore and making your home as energy efficient as possible over time, at a pace you can afford! To register and find out more information about the eScore program, visit or call 1-855- 237-2673 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Instant rebates are not available on improvements for which you already received an IHEE program rebate. Cost depends on eScore program chosen. Please refer to for additional information and restrictions.
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