Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Opportunities on Tap at MLGW Procurement Fair

MLGW invites local small businesses and minority- and women-owned enterprises to come and learn about business opportunities with the utility at the third annual MLGW Supplier Diversity Procurement Fair.

Business owners will have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with MLGW project managers, end users and procurement professionals to discuss 2015-2016 procurement opportunities.

In 2014, MLGW spent 24 percent of its procurement budget with local small businesses and minority- and women-owned enterprises.
Who:             Local small, minority and women owned business can learn about business opportunities with MLGW.

When:        Thursday, June 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where:       MLGW David Hansen Administration Building, 220 S. Main St.

NOTE: Validated parking is available at the Beale Street Landing Garage located at the corner of Dr. Martin Luther King St./Front St.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Procurement Opportunities Fair

Do you know a business owner who would like to work with MLGW? We are looking for business owners to meet one-on-one with MLGW project managers, end users and procurement professionals for the 2015 Procurement Opportunities Fair on Thursday, June 25, in the Admin. Bldg. lobby, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. See the flyer below for additional information.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Company lineman’s ready for his close-up after makeover

It was as if his right leg had been badly twisted out of place. The pain must have been so intense the top of his safety helmet brushed against the electrical line.

That’s what many workers at MLGW’s Administration Building walked by daily as the lineman for the company stood watched over the main road of the lobby.

Graphic artist summer intern Cassandra ‘Cassie’ Wery hated what she saw in the lineman portrayal.  “With his head touching the power line in the display, it was like what not to do,” she said.

With the help of Steve Fury, Joe Burch, Will Gardner and others, the company lineman looks better now. Cassie carefully touched up his face after at least ten years of wear and tear and cleaned his yellow hard hat.  Workers operated on his knee and replaced a worn out bolt, re-laced his boots, tucked in his shirt and soon he was strapped  back on the utility pole like the Wichita Lineman  “searchin’ in the sun for another overload.” 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

MLGW Receives National Recognition for Reliable Electric Operations

For the fifth time, Memphis Light, Gas and Water has earned the American Public Power Association's (APPA) Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3 ®) recognition for providing customers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service.  However, 2015 marks the first time ever that MLGW earned the highest honor given, the Diamond award.  MLGW joins 26 other utilities nationwide who received the Diamond award in 2015.

The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four areas: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.  Criteria within each category are based on sound business practices and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.  MLGW will have the RP3 designation for three years.

“Utilities that have earned APPA’s RP3 designation are implementing best practices for the industry, and are a testament to public power’s commitment to serving their community,” said Kenneth Stone, Energy Services and Accounting Manager at Braintree Electric Light Department of Braintree, Mass., and executive committee member of APPA’s RP3 Review Panel.

“We’re honored to receive the RP3 designation,” said Jerry Collins, Jr., President and CEO, MLGW. “MLGW employees put in a lot of hard work to serve our community.  RP3 represents a much appreciated recognition of this hard work.”

This is the tenth year that RP3 recognition has been offered.  APPA is the national organization representing more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community- and state- owned electric utilities.  It is located in Arlington, VA.

Fifth annual “Walk United” fundraiser to benefit United Way of the Mid-South

Did you know you can help improve education, financial stability and health across the Mid-South just by walking?

In Memphis and the Mid-South, rates of obesity, heart disease, stroke, poor eating habits and diabetes are higher than national averages. That’s why on Saturday, June 20, you can join MLGW and United Way in “Walk United,” a beautiful morning stroll through Tom Lee Park and the Mississippi Riverwalk that raises resources for this year’s United Way drive.

“Walk United” is a fundraiser, and walkers will raise funds from personal sponsors. The funds raised and resources are donated to United Way of the Mid-South. The walk starts at the MLGW Administration Building at 220 S. Main at 9:45 a.m. Walkers participating are asked to arrive no later than 9:30 a.m. Free parking will be available at the Beale Street Landing parking garage, directly across the street from the administrative building.

MLGW President and CEO Jerry Collins Jr. is a long-time United Way volunteer and member of the United Way Board of Directors. Collins and Greg Gibson from International Paper are serving as 2015-2016 Co-chairmen for United Way’s regional drive to gather resources for nonprofit programs across the Mid-South.

Better health and active living are Mid-South priority issues. Activities like “Walk United” help remind us to be more active and encourage good health habits.

This is the fifth year MLGW has led the “Walk United” fundraiser for our community.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Memphis leads among nation’s cities with lowest utility bills

For the third consecutive year since 2013, Memphis Light, Gas and Water topped the list for having the lowest combined winter residential bill among 30 metropolitan areas.

The survey looked at what a typical home would use in terms of electricity, natural gas, water and wastewater services. MLGW provides services for lights, gas and water while the City of Memphis Public Works Department supplies services for wastewater treatment.

Mayor AC Wharton Jr. wasn't surprised at the news of the city's continued success in keeping utility rates low. He believes local officials should tout our rock-bottom utility rates as a way to lure businesses to locate here.

"We pay too much attention to what kind of tax incentives that we should give to recruit businesses and industry here. I think, perhaps, we ought to downplay that and play up that there is a distinct advantage that is perpetual," he said.

"These tax incentives run out after, seven, eight, ten years. The cost for competitive, low utility prices is something that never, ever, ever runs out. It is a distinct competitive advantage which we have to do a better job of marketing,” Wharton added.

Since the utility company started tracking its rates in 1991, Memphis has consistently scored among the lowest in selected markets. In 2012, Omaha and Springfield, MO pushed Memphis to a third place finish.

In 2011, Memphis ranked second again behind Springfield.

A Memphis resident would pay $251.06 a month for the four services compared to someone living in Boston who would fork out a whopping $603.23 a month. Boston came in last among the metro areas which responded to the survey.

Among Tennessee cities, Jackson ranked 12th with a monthly winter bill of $352.87 followed by Chattanooga (14th with a $357.18 monthly bill), Nashville (20th with a $401.83 monthly bill) and Knoxville in the 24th spot with a $450.45 monthly bill.

In 2014, a typical Memphis winter residential bill was $278.25. But for 2015, the bill dropped about $27 to $251.06.

The savings resulted largely in how MLGW buys its gas and reflects the dropping gas prices in the market place. When the cost of gas drops, MLGW passes along those savings to the customer.

To see the entire listing for 2015 go to

A compilation of electricity, gas, water and wastewater costs for a typical winter bill is on page 13.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Smart Talk: 655 Shellane Ave.

A fire is a devastating and tragic event. As an organization, MLGW empathizes with the families affected by the fire at 655 Shellane Avenue. Our hearts go out to them. While we are all grateful that there were no fatalities, it is nonetheless traumatic as the fire consumed most, if not all, of the families’ possessions. After such a life-altering event, everyone asks, “Why?” In the search for answers, rash and inaccurate theories may surface.

The media has widely reported that the house fire was caused by a smart meter. The Memphis Fire Department has stated the contrary and issued a press release which says, "The origin and cause of the fire was determined to be electrical in the carport storage room." The full Fire Department press release is below.

The electric meter at 655 Shellane Ave. was not a smart meter; it was a regular digital meter. Digital meters are sometimes thought to be smart meters because they look similar. A smart meter is a digital meter which contains a small communication module and unless a person is familiar with metering technology, it is easy to confuse the two types of meters. Furthermore, meters regardless of the type, do not cause fires. A fire can be caused, however, by poor electrical connectivity in the socket that the meter plugs into. It is for this reason MLGW has inspected and fixed any damaged sockets identified during smart meter deployment.

Fire Department Report:

Lieutenant Wayne A. Cooke, Public Information Officer
Office: 901-636-5682 
Cell: 901-508-0614

June 8, 2015

655 Shellane Avenue

The Memphis Fire Department responded to a house fire at 655 Shellane Avenue, Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 3:07 p.m. Upon arrival on the scene, firefighters reported heavy fire visible from the one story wood-frame residential structure. Rescue and Firefighting operations began immediately.

Twelve (12) pieces of Fire/Rescue/EMS equipment and approximately twenty-eight (28) emergency response personnel ultimately responded to the call. Battalion Chief M. Tolliver was the commanding officer of this incident. The fire was brought under control at 3:25 p.m. There were no
firefighter or civilian injuries.

It has not been determined if the residence had a working smoke detector. The structure sustained smoke, fire and water damage. Total damage is estimated at $40,000 structure and $20,000 contents. The adjacent structure (649 Shellane) sustained $5,000 exterior damage. The origin and cause of the fire was determined to be electrical in the carport storage room. Red Cross provided assistance for two families.

The Memphis Fire Department urges all citizens to maintain a working smoke detector in their place of residence. City of Memphis residents may apply for a free smoke detector by completing an application on-line  or by contacting the Fire Museum of Memphis at (901) 636-5650. Always have a plan of escape in case there is a fire.

Also remember that 9-1-1 is for emergencies only.  For all other FIRE/ NON-EMERGENCY issues please dial (901) 458-8281.

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