Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Smart Talk: 60,000 Smart Meters Successfully Installed

Following Memphis City Council’s approval of the 60,000 smart meter purchase in September 2013, MLGW executed the contract with Elster Solutions and MLGW has now completed the installation of smart meters and the associated telecommunications system. In addition, a meter data management system has been configured to store smart meter data, which is successfully integrated that with our Customer Information System (CIS) for service orders and billing. Additionally, CIS was interfaced with Elster’s headend system which allows events like tamper alerts to be received and acted upon by MLGW. The software integration has been complex and our crews have worked diligently to meet an aggressive project timeline.

Project results
To date, only 3.6 percent of the residential customers that are in the smart meter footprint (the geographic area where the smart meters were deployed) have opted out.

To validate remote read data, manual meter reads continued until September 2014.

In September, after months of testing and data verification, footprint customer’s bills were generated exclusively from smart meter data.

MLGW hasn’t received any high bill complaints from smart meter customers.

Water leak detection and tamper alert functionality have been activated and is working well—helping to identify theft and even improving our manual metering processes.

There have been no fires associated with smart meter installs.

Outage reporting, online customer access to personalized usage data and prepay will be available in the coming months. These enhancements will provide greater options and savings for approximately four percent of all MLGW customers.
It is now time to move forward with the full scale smart meter implementation in Memphis and Shelby County and provide 100 percent of MLGW customers with the service, efficiency and options this new technology provides. If approved by City Council, MLGW's plan is to complete full scale implementation of smart meters by the end of 2020.

To learn more about smart meters, go to mlgw.com/smart-grid.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Winter Moratorium Deadline is November 15th

The November 15 deadline is approaching for customers to apply for MLGW's Winter Moratorium for Seniors. The program ensures uninterrupted service from December-February for participating senior (60+) and physically-challenged customers.

The Winter Moratorium for Seniors has been in place for more than two decades and prevents cutoffs for registered customers during the months of December, January and February. Participants are still responsible for paying their utility bills during this time, but in the event that the bill exceeds the customer’s means, the customer will not be disconnected. If there is a balance left at the end of the February billing cycle, registered customers may qualify for a short-term payment plan.

There are no income restrictions for the Winter Moratorium program; the deadline for application is November 15. Applicants must resolve any outstanding balance over $199 on their utility bill by the close of business on November 30. Fill out the application and mail to:

Credit Operations
Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division
P.O. Box 430
Memphis, TN 38101-0430

Applications are also available at the Aging Commission, Meritan, MIFA, MLGW Community Offices, or by calling 544-MLGW. You can also download the Winter Moratorium for Seniors application at www.mlgw.com/wintermoratorium.


Utility service must be listed in the name of the elderly and/or handicapped person. If qualification is to be based on age, proof of such is required (example, driver's license).

If qualification is to be based on disability, proof of such is required (example medical statement from the physician).

Past due amounts must be paid down to $199 by the close of business on November 30.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MLGW Hosts 2014 Esri Electric and Gas Conference

More than 500 attendees expected

MLGW will serve as the host for the 2014 Esri Electric and Gas GIS Conference at the Memphis Cook Convention Center from Oct. 26-29.

With more than 500 attendees expected, the Esri Electric and Gas GIS Conference is one of the largest geographic information system (GIS) conferences; MLGW is hosting for the first time.

GIS is used for mapping. In Shelby County, for instance, MLGW uses GIS to analyze data, to improve outage notifications and to enhance the accuracy of maps for emergency responders among other uses.

The 2014 Esri Electric and Gas GIS Conference will serve as a major resource for professionals from all types and sizes of electric and gas utility organizations.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

MLGW Basketball Tourney Benefits United Way

Sixth Annual Tournament – November 1-2

Basketball and United Way – it’s a great way to have fun, enjoy some “roundball” competition and raise funds in basketball-loving Memphis. Memphis Light, Gas and Water will host the 6th Annual MLGW United Way Basketball Tournament November 1-2 at Penny Hardaway’s FastBreak Court at Methodist University Hospital Gym in Midtown.

The tournament runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 1 and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, November 2. The Methodist University Hospital Gym is located at 1287 Linden Ave. across from Central High School’s Crump Stadium. Parking is available across the street from the gym at Central High. A banner with “MLGW United Way Basketball Tournament” on it will be displayed in front of the gym to identify its location. Admission is $3; children 12 and under are free. Food and beverages will be available.

All proceeds including ticket revenue and concessions benefit the United Way of the Mid-South.

The basketball teams competing in the tournament include MLGW employee teams as well as other amateur teams from around Memphis. An MLGW team won the tournament last year. The tournament is being organized for the sixth year by MLGW’s Kevin Watkins, a Work Management Process Alignment engineer who is MLGW’s 2014 United Way Campaign chair.

MLGW employees are consistently in the top five for per capita donations to United Way of the Mid-South. One hundred percent of all MLGW contributions come from employee donations. In 2013, MLGW’s United Way campaign raised $633,260.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MLGW Welcomes New Board Commissioner

We welcome Carlee M. McCullough, Esq., as the newest member of our Board of Commissioners. McCullough was appointed by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. and approved by the Memphis City Council in September.

The native Memphian currently serves as general counsel of McCullough Law and was previously the contract compliance officer for the City of Memphis. She has served as legal advisor for the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission as well as the Memphis and Shelby County Film & Television Commission.

A former certified public accountant, she is a graduate of Howard University School of Business and Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, Calif., where she received her law degree. Among her many pursuits, she also writes a weekly business column for The New Tri-State Defender.

The five members of MLGW Board of Commissioners serve three-year terms and can be re-appointed by the Mayor.

Friday, October 10, 2014

MLGW Hero Patrick Jones

It was a stormy Thursday, September 11, 2014, during a heavy rain, when Meter Reader Patrick Jones was routinely reading his route. While in that neighborhood he noticed a lady trapped in her car by fast moving flood waters.

The water had quickly accumulated inside Patricia Nelms’ vehicle and had risen around her shoulders as she sat stranded in the driver’s seat.

Without hesitation, Patrick rushed into the cold water to set her free her from the flood waters.

The closer Patrick got to her car, he realized she was disabled and unable to walk away, much less wade through the water to safety.

Without hesitation, Patrick carefully placed her on his back and carried her to dry ground, saving her from drowning.

Ms. Nelms came to the MLGW Board meeting today to formally thank and honor Patrick Jones for saving her life that rainy day.

Monday, September 29, 2014

MLGW Celebrates Public Power Week Oct. 5-11

We are celebrating Public Power Week, Oct. 5-11, along with more than 2,000 other electric utilities that collectively provide electricity on a not-for-profit basis to 47 million Americans.

“As a municipal-owned utility, MLGW strives to do what’s in the best interests of our customers. Public Power Week enables us to showcase that commitment to the community,” said Jerry R. Collins Jr., president and CEO of MLGW. “Our rates are among the lowest in the nation and we appreciate being able to provide the best service that our customers deserve.”

Public Power Week is a national, annual event sponsored in conjunction with the American Public Power Association (APPA) in Washington, D.C. APPA is the service organization for community- and state-owned electric utilities. MLGW is a member.

“MLGW is a driving force for the community’s economic vitality, and it’s important for us to remind residents how valuable we are as a local resource,” said Collins.

A great way to observe Public Power Week is to continue to prepare for colder temperatures.

Here are a few tips to help conserve energy:

Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower when you’re home during cold months (78 degrees in hot months). Every degree below 68 can save four percent on your heating bills.

Wear layered clothing and thick socks to keep warm, then set your thermostat even lower.
At bedtime, lower your thermostat even more and add extra blankets.

Lower or turn off thermostat when leaving your home for four hours or more.

Close garage doors, cover foundation vents, and close off vents and doors to seldom-used rooms.
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