Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Benefits of LED Lights

The City of Memphis and MLGW contracted with Ameresco Inc. last year to replace the city’s 77,000 streetlights. Crews started converting lights in late January and have since replaced about 3% of the city’s bulbs. We’re on track to replace every streetlight by the end of the year.

We're excited about this project for many reasons. Here are ten!


LEDs use less power and can save money on electrical bills

  • LEDs use substantially less power than HID lights. This is a big plus for the environment. Many countries such as the EU and USA also offer special rates for LED Street lighting – ones that are based on equivalent wattages. This was done to help offset the higher price of LEDs. This can allow businesses to save money on their energy bill while simultaneously protecting the environment.

LEDs operate better in the cold

  • High Pressure Sodium lights require a higher voltage to start in cold temperatures and the intensity of their light diminishes.  LED lights perform better, by up to 5%, and require less voltage. 

Longer lifespan

  • LEDs lower maintenance costs, which results in a healthier environment for you, your employees, and the planet. An LED streetlight product, for example, has a lifespan of 100,000 hours. This is far superior to the lifespan of a HID light source (usually 20,000 hours or less). LEDs are also more resistant to the inevitable vibrations and impacts that come with being on a pole. Labor savings alone over 5 years are usually enough to justify the cost of installation. 

Better lighting quality

  • LEDs provide a better option for eye-friendly illumination. LEDs also offer greater color options and can provide a whiter light with better color rendering. When it’s properly designed, the fixtures will drastically improve how clearly you see by displaying the light spectrums most used by people. Furthermore, unlike HID lights, LED street lighting can provide a more uniform light distribution that improves visibility.

Directional light sources

  • LED street lighting inherently has a “directional” light. This means that they can place the light where it is most needed and reduce the amount of light that goes in unwanted directions (such as into homes through windows).  This reduces glare, which is both courteous to your neighborhoods and helps improves both road safety, especially during raining and snow/ice conditions. 

Enhanced Contrability

  • LED street lighting can be controlled instantaneously. Unlike HID lights, they can be turned on and off easily. LED lights are also more suitable for advanced lighting control systems due to this contrability. With these systems, retailers can create smarter lighting that saves energy. For example, in an emergency, controllable lighting can be used by first responders to turn on the lights or turn them down.

Reduced Emissions

  • Fighting climate change is a cause every business can get behind. When you upgrade your technology to reduce emissions, you’re not only fighting climate change, but you’re also supporting the efforts to combat it. By upgrading 80,000 streetlights in the Memphis Area, which would result in 45,000 metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions over five years. This is the equivalent to taking nearly 10,000 cars off the road. Isn’t it amazing what a little light can do?

Potential to Reduce Crime

  • After implementation in Los Angeles, officials saw a 10% across the board drop in crime? Los Angeles officials believe the improved light quality deterred criminals thanks to a reduction in crime rates, such as burglary, theft and vandalism. You see, LED streetlights emit better lighting and colder temperatures to eliminate “dark spots” which have a higher crime rate.

Reduction in Light Pollution After Hours      

  • After implementation in Los Angeles, officials saw large reduction in reflective light in the atmosphere leading to a substantial drop of light pollution. Night skies were able to be seen from the City and the Griffith Observatory noticed a drastic reduction in light pollution and refraction.                 

Ease of Maintenance 

  • LED lights are typically simpler and easier to install than High Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide bulbs.  The are smaller and easy to work with.  This allows for a quicker maintenance turn around time.

LEDs reach full power and brightness instantaneously

  • This brightness, or more specifically their immediate brightness, is one of the biggest benefits of LED street lighting. Since LED light is effectively generated by an electric current rather than heating a filament with an incandescent or HID lamp, the light comes to full brightness instantly. This is beneficial for street light fixtures as there is no warm-up time where they might not be generating enough light to safely cover an area, and it also allows the fixtures to be controlled by occupancy sensors where the lights can come on completely as soon as a person enters the area.


Monday, March 20, 2023

Fix a Leak Week

 Save up to 10% on your water bill when you find and fix water leaks in your home. Become a water detective for Fix-a-Leak Week by visiting the EPA's website to learn how to spot and stop leaks.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Honoring and thanking our natural gas workers

Memphis Light, Gas and Water natural gas crews go the extra mile. That’s why it’s a great opportunity to honor and thank our gas workers on National Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day. A “thank you” breakfast was held for our gas workers Friday morning at MLGW’s Brunswick Service Center, North Service Center and South Service Center where they are based to let them know how much we appreciate them.  

Just two years ago, our natural gas workers completed a 30-year project to dig up, replace and retrofit the old, outdated cast iron gas mains that existed around Memphis and Shelby County. Replacing that old gas infrastructure in the interest of safety and reliability was long, arduous work accomplished by MLGW gas workers. And they go that extra mile every day.

MLGW and other natural gas utilities around the country observe Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day on Saturday, March 18 this year. It’s a day when communities such as Memphis and Shelby County offer recognition and gratitude to employees who work to provide natural gas service safely and reliably to area homes and businesses. MLGW would like to thank and honor our natural gas workers for their hard work and their dedication to safety.

That Cast Iron Replacement project cost $100 million and lasted over 30 years. It replaced more than 330 miles of cast iron pipes with polyethylene or steel pipes, improving natural gas safety for the public and reinforcing MLGW’s natural gas supply infrastructure for reliability and integrity as well as earthquake mitigation.

“This Saturday we honor the exceptional work our natural gas utility workers do every day in Memphis, Shelby County and across the nation,” said Doug McGowen, MLGW President and CEO. “MLGW and our customers depend on our natural gas workers to deliver reliable, affordable, and most importantly, safe natural gas service. When we completed our cast iron gas distribution pipeline replacement project two years ago, it helped reinsure the safe delivery of natural gas to our service area. Safety is a vital aspect of our work, and our gas employees put safety first every day. They deserve a day to be recognized for their hard work, dedication and accomplishments. Thank you, MLGW natural gas workers!”

The annual nationwide event is intended to build public awareness about the hard work done by the employees of natural gas utilities. March 18 is the date of the New London, Texas school explosion in 1937 that killed more than 300 and ultimately led to the widespread odorization of natural gas with the odorant mercaptan and an increased emphasis on gas safety. Mercaptan is that rotten egg smell that makes natural gas detectable and stinky. Safety is a vital aspect to natural gas distribution and the employees of distribution companies endeavor to make natural gas delivery as safe as possible. MLGW’s gas workers go the extra mile, and for that, we are indeed grateful.


Friday, March 3, 2023

MLGW’s 2022 Art Contest: These are the winners!

The winners of MLGW’s 2022 “Crisis Crusher” Poster Art Contest have been announced. With the partnership of Memphis-Shelby County Schools and the Children’s Museum of Memphis, MLGW received 105 art submissions from schools within Shelby County, in four defined categories: Kindergarten-2nd Grade; 3rd-5th Grade; 6th-8th Grade; and 9th-12th Grade.

“Like every year, the participating students showed great quality and inspiration in their work, therefore it wasn’t easy to choose the winners,” said one of the judges. The judging was based on creativity, originality, and adherence to the contest rules.

The winners of MLGW’s 2022 “Crisis Crusher” Poster Art Contest are:

Category K-2 winning student: Akshara Pravin Habbu, 2nd Grade, Bailey Station Elementary School, teacher: Rheanna Baker.

Category 3-5 winning student: Reuben James Kragt Bakker, 5th Grade, Midtown Montessori School, teacher: Ethan Taylor. 

Category 6-8 winning student: Anson Yan, 8th Grade, White Station Middle School, teacher: Rebecca Reed. 

Category 9-12 winning student: Vibha Duraikkannan, 12th Grade, Collierville High School, teacher: Jennifer Burford.

 Congratulations to the student winners and their teachers!

Friday, February 17, 2023

The Memphis Business Journal names President McGowen one of its 2023 “Power 100”

Congratulations to MLGW President and CEO Doug McGowen. The Memphis Business Journal named President McGowen one of its 2023 “Power 100.”

As a member of the US Navy, President Doug McGowen served as the Commanding Officer of a strike fighter squadron in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was also COO of a Carrier Air Wing, and CO of Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington.

After retiring from the Navy, Doug headed the Innovation Delivery Team under Mayor A.C. Wharton. Under Mayor Jim Strickland, Doug served as the Chief Operating Officer for the City of Memphis. He also led the Memphis and Shelby County COVID-19 Task Force.

Doug replaced President and CEO J.T. Young of Memphis Light, Gas and Water in December 2022 and was quickly put to the test. President McGowen helped the Division weather a winter storm, sub-zero temperatures, a boil water advisory and the first rolling blackouts in MLGW history.

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