Friday, April 24, 2015

Future of Fuel Conference Scheduled for April 30th


MLGW Energy Resources has scheduled an opportunity to hear from industry leaders about the economic oulook of natural gas and its benefits for fleets. This year, our focus will be Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as a cost effective and green fueling option. Aimed at educating fleet managers, the Future of Fuel Conference will discuss what is involved in fleet conversions and share success stories.

Featured speakers include: Pat Riley, General Manager Gibson County Utilities, Hugh Donnell, North America Truck Market Segment Leader, Cummins Westport and Bart Begley, CEO Inland Waste Solutions.

The conference will be held on April 30, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. - noon at the MLGW Traning Facility located at 4949 Raleigh - LaGrange Rd. Space is limited. Please RSVP to afouche’@mlgw.org or call 901-528-4143.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dig Safe: Call 811 Before You Dig

Planning on digging this spring? Whether it’s excavating, landscaping, gardening, home additions or patios, April is National Safe Digging Month, and we want you to dig safely.

In addition to being prepared for the dangers presented by severe weather in the spring, a little knowledge about natural gas safety is a must. The leading cause of natural gas pipeline accidents – almost 60 percent – is damage from excavation or construction. Many of us are eager and can’t wait to break ground to start outdoor projects such as building fences or planting trees. But do we know what’s under the ground where we plan to dig? Natural gas pipelines and other utility lines weave beneath the surface throughout our community. Major gas pipelines are marked with a yellow caution sign. But secondary lines aren’t as easily identifiable. So don’t risk hitting a gas line, disrupting neighborhood service, and facing potential fines and repair costs. Before you begin digging, remember to contact Tennessee One Call at 811 to request that a professional locating crew mark the underground utility lines on your property.


Make sure you plan ahead. Call 811, Tennessee One Call’s safe-digging hotline, several days before you plan to dig and get your utility lines marked for free. Then allow 72 hours (three business days) for lines to be marked. Always make sure any contractors you hire have had your lines located and marked before you allow them to begin a job that involves digging. Be safe. Call 811 Before You Dig. It’s free and it’s the law! For more details, visit www.mlgw.com/811.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

TVA names MLGW “Top Performer” in energy savings

The Tennessee Valley Authority honored Memphis Light, Gas and Water this week for its Top Performer Award in energy efficiency goals.

   Laura Campbell with TVA lauded MLGW for saving “enough energy to power 3,000 homes a year. In addition, the incentive dollars that we were able to pay out in Shelby County totaled $5.5 million. So, those are dollars that flowed right back into Shelby County.”

   Campbell made the remarks during this week’s presentation to MLGW’s Board of Commissioners. She noted that it marks the seventh consecutive year that TVA has met its energy efficiency goals in partnership with the 155 utility companies it serves.

    “MLGW stands out for not only how much energy efficiency you do, but for your leadership in this area. Many of the new programs are started right here (at MLGW),” she said.  

TVA recognized MGLW – its largest wholesale electrical power customer – as being a leader in several categories as a part of its 2014 Highlights Report.

   MLGW saved over 51 million kilowatt-hours of energy during fiscal year 2014 with the bulk of that coming from Shelby County businesses and industries. Together business and industry owners saved 48.9 million kwh by making their operations more energy efficient through the EnergyRight Solutions program.

   About 1,700 homeowners also completed energy self audits to save on their utility bills.

   In addition, MLGW added 143 more Green Power Switch customers bringing the total to 1,576. Green Power customers bought 49,512 blocks of renewable power last year such as biogas, solar or wind-generated energy. The biogas process at TVA’s Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis burns off methane gas emissions from the waste water treatment facility.

     Campbell also pointed out that most businesses wouldn’t encourage its customers to use less of a product. By customers using electricity wisely and efficiently, she added, “It’s about making Shelby County and the Valley a better place to live and to work.” 

   MLGW President and CEO Jerry R. Collins Jr. accepted the award: “MLGW really enjoys the partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority.” He stressed that the company is committed to helping its customers save energy and money.


   Headquartered in Knoxville, TVA covers most of Tennessee, portions of Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky and small sections of Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Community Conservation Day is April 23, 9-11am

Stop by, learn ways to save energy, and receive a free energy conservation kit!

1) City Hall- 125 North Main  Tables set up in lobby.
2) The County Administration Building- 160 North Main. Tables set up in lobby
3) UTHCS Hamilton Eye Institute- Tables set up in lobby outside bookstore
4) Tennessee College of Applied Technology- 550 Alabama. Tables set up in cafeteria

Thursday, April 16, 2015

MLGW Kicks Off “Play It Cool” Program

200 Window Air –Conditioning Units Available for Low-Income Seniors


MLGW is donating 200 window air-conditioning units to qualified low-income seniors and disabled residents of Shelby County.

Neighborhood Christian Center will host a screening and application process for the free units at 785 Jackson Avenue May 19-20, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To qualify, an applicant must be a resident of Shelby County, a low income senior 60 years of age or older, and without operable air conditioning. Once an individual is screened and pre-qualifies, a pre-qualification voucher will be issued to verify that the applicant has met the guidelines up to the field inspection. Field inspections will be conducted by MLGW to verify that the residence meets installation requirements. Households are eligible to receive an air conditioner once every three years.

To apply, applicants will need the following credentials on hand:
  • Tennessee State ID or Drivers License to verify age and address.
  • The most recent pay stub or Social Security Income statement to verify income.
  • If the applicant has a physical disability but does not meet the age requirement, they must bring the proper certification information.
  • Air conditioners will not be installed at addresses with operating units, or on residences with bars or storm windows.  MLGW field inspections will begin in late May and the installation of units will be performed by MLGW employees starting in June. 
Applicants for the “Play It Cool” Program may also contact the Neighborhood Christian Center’s hotline number at (901) 881-6013 for a pre-recorded message detailing the necessary qualifications and credentials for eligibility. 

MLGW’s spending with local, women and minority owned firms up three percent

For every dollar that MLGW spends for supplies like paper to poles and services like janitorial, security and information technology, 23 cents goes to women owned, minority owned or locally owned small businesses.
Those are the latest findings when MLGW analyzed its 2014 spending as a part of its supplier diversity report.
MLGW spent $33 million – or 23 percent of $144 million – with local, women and minority owned firms. “We are consistently raising the bar with our supplier diversity program,” said MLGW president Jerry Collins Jr. “We want to insure that minorities, women and locally owned small businesses are competitive and receive a fair share of our business.”
 The report showed:
·         $15.2 million was spent with minority owned firms
·         $12.2 million was spent with locally owned small businesses
·         $5.48 million was spent with women owned enterprises
The 2014 numbers represent a steady three percentage point gain over the last two years. MLGW spent $26.6 million – or 18 percent – of $144 million in 2012 and $33.8 million – or 21 percent – of $160 million in 2013.
Last year the Division also rolled out a new Sheltered Market Program in which 26 companies qualified and were awarded $7 million out of the $33 million in bids mostly in the area of goods and supplies. The race and gender neutral program shelters any purchase under $100,000 by offering three or more certified local small businesses the opportunity to bid on products or services.
“The concept is huge and innovative. This helps us grow,” said Pravin Thakker, president of Universal Scaffolding & Equipment. His business with 16 workers won $4 million in bids providing MLGW with aluminum brackets for street lights, power line hardware and electrical cable. Of the $4 million, less than $1 million came from the new Sheltered Market program.
“Some people’s perception is MLGW is giving away money to local minorities,” Thakker said. “That’s not true. Our pricing has made the process more competitive. We are really competing with the big boys by finding a niche to fill.”
Brighter Days & Nites Inc. is another Memphis company that qualified for the Sheltered Market Program. When owner Dorothy Sinclair started her commercial lighting business in 2003, she said, “MLGW was my first customer; now MLGW is my main customer.”
She estimated out of her $6 million in gross sales last year, about $3.5 million resulted in bids she won selling wiring, gas and water pipes, sealants, optical fibers and cables to MLGW.
The utility company recognized both businesses as two of its four 2014 Sheltered Market Flame Award winners. In addition to the Flame award, Universal won the prestigious national Minority Export Firm of the Year in 2014 presented by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency.
            Jozelle Booker, manager of MLGW’s Procurement and Contracts, hopes local businesses will urge their peers to sign up for the Sheltered Market program. “If we only have two businesses certified instead of three or more, those bids have to compete on the world market,” Booker said. “Companies go online and compete for supplies. We purchase transformers, switchgear and other electric materials from China or Mexico. We are committed to this local market.”
    For an example, a construction company headquartered in Shelby County could be certified as a local small business enterprise by the Mid-South Minority Business Council if it has $33.5 million or less in average gross annual sales for the last three years. A majority of the business owners must live within the eight-county Memphis metro area to qualify.
     Similarly, a landscaping firm could be certified if it has $7 million or less in average gross annual sales for the last three years. 
     The idea is to continue creating an economic ripple effect. “We are feeding dollars into the community. If these small businesses grow, they are going to hire more employees,” MLGW’s supplier diversity coordinator Renise Holliday said. “In turn they will buy houses and cars right here in our own community.”

     Newly appointed MLGW board commissioner and chair of the Supplier Diversity Committee Carlee McCullough is not surprised by the latest results: “I think MLGW historically has done a great job with supplier diversity. I didn’t expect anything less than that. They have the awards and accolades to support their accomplishments.” 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

MLGW’s Customer Satisfaction Score Soars

MLGW Posted Highest Year-Over-Year Increase in Latest J.D. Power survey.

We posted our highest score ever, 672, in the latest wave of the 2015 J.D. Power & Associates Gas Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Survey, its midpoint results show.

Among the 83 utilities surveyed, only two other utilities improved as much as MLGW, a 53-point increase, in a year-over-year comparison. Overall, MLGW’s overall gas customer satisfaction index score is 666 among mid-sized utilities in the South. There are two more waves left in the survey.

The year-long survey, which begins conducting interviews each September, covers six primary categories: customer service, power quality and reliability, price, communications, corporate citizenship and billing and payment.

MLGW President and Chief Executive Officer Jerry R. Collins Jr. said the improvement is further proof of how the focus on providing great service and low rates changed perceptions of the utility. From a performance standpoint, [the J.D. Power score] is a good indicator of how we are doing,” he said.
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