Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Smart Talk: Connecting new service will be less hassle with smart meters

Smart Talk: Connecting new service will be less hassle with smart meters
The process for connection and reconnection of service will get a lot simpler for customers with the full deployment of smart meters. Starting or stopping service will be almost as fast as flipping on a switch.
That’s in stark contrast to the time it takes today. Currently, customers have to make an appointment and wait for a technician to arrive to manually turn services on or off. Appointments are available in two-hour increments. With smart meters, customers wouldn’t have to take two hours off of work or wait two hours for a technician; MLGW could remotely turn services on or off. All it would take is for the customer to make a phone call from their residence to MLGW's Call Center to be connected.
Offering this type of service enhancement far exceeds what most cable companies or Internet providers can deliver, and it’s an option customers deserve. Improving connection and reconnection service times is just one of the many reasons why MLGW is looking forward to installing smart meters. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Smart Talk: Smart Meter Installation

1 – 2 – 3 How Electric Meters are Installed

Customers frequently have questions about smart meter installation, wondering if they need to be home. They also wonder what's the big difference between a digital meter and a smart one. Any time a new meter is installed at a home, MLGW workers snap a photo with their cell phones (photo 1) of the old electric meters they are replacing. They pull out the old meter (photo 2) and snap a second photo of the new smart meter once it is in place. (photo 3) It's simple, and in most cases a customer doesn't have to be at their residence.

The process takes a matter of minutes unless a worker discovers there is a problem with the electric socket that the meter plugs into. While the meter is MLGW’s property, the homeowner is responsible for having working electrical socket. When lights in a home flicker or fade, it is often the result of the home’s electric socket. The socket is similar to an electrical wall socket in a home. Just like wall sockets sometimes go bad and stop working, so do outdoor electric sockets at homes. MLGW has committed to repairing any socket problems discovered during installation.

Digital and Smart Meter Differences

Looking at a side-by-side comparison of a digital and a smart meter, they look pretty similar. However, the capabilities between the two are worlds apart. Basically, the digital readings of a meter don’t make it “smart.” What makes a smart meter “smart” is the computer-chip-like communications device that is about the size of a half-dollar.

Digital meters still require a meter reader to physically read the meter on site. Smart meters are read remotely on a daily basis, which provides information on consumption to ratepayers they’ve never had access to before—information that can help them make decisions about their energy use to conserve and save. Right now, there are only about 24,000 Memphis Light, Gas and Water customers who have smart meters hooked up at their homes. About 80 percent are in Memphis, and the rest are in Shelby County and the suburbs. That represents about only five percent of the utility company’s total customer base.

By upgrading MLGW's metering technology, all customers will be able to take advantage of many benefits including PrePay, automated outage notification, tamper/theft detection and reduced customer fees. It’s why MLGW believes moving forward with smart meters is in the best interest of customers.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Electrical repairs to affect traffic in downtown Memphis

MLGW crews are preparing to begin emergency repairs to reinforce an electric duct line in downtown Memphis. Traffic on South Second Street will be reduced to one lane between Beale Street and Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Avenue. One lane of Lt. George W Lee Avenue will also be closed near South Second Street and The Westin Hotel.

MLGW and contractor equipment will be on site beginning Thursday afternoon; repairs will begin Friday morning. Work is expected to continue through next Wednesday, Nov. 25. Drivers should expect heavier traffic in this area as a result, especially during events at the nearby FedEx Forum.

MLGW 2015 Art Contest Open for Entries

MLGW is once again sponsoring its annual Energy Awareness Poster Contest for students in Shelby County.

This year, the theme is “Saving Water” and the deadline for submissions is Friday, December 4, 2015 at 4 p.m.

The students’ artwork will help to increase awareness about water conservation which will in turn help customers’ save money on their utility bills while preserving one our county’s most treasured natural resource. All students enrolled in grades K-12 attending ANY school within Shelby County or are home schooled within Shelby County are eligible to enter the contest.

Judging will cover three categories: elementary school (grades K-5), middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12). The entries will be judged on their ability to clearly and creatively communicate the theme "saving water." MLGW will oversee the judging of the artwork with non-employee judges.

Each category winner will receive a $125 award. Each winner's teacher will receive a $125 gift certificate to the Art Center. Home schooled students will need validation from their parent/instructor. All contestants will receive a certificate of participation, and all entries become property of MLGW and may be used for future energy-saving promotional purposes.

Entries must be the original artwork of the student submitting the entry; photographs and computer-generated artwork will not be accepted. Contestants will submit their artwork to the art teacher at their participating school.

Entries Submission:
Shelby County Schools: James Wells (wellsjm@scsk12.org);
Home, Parochial, Private, Charter, Montessori and Independent schools should submit their entries to Felicia Pete (felicia.peat@cmom.com).

More information, rules and entry forms can be found on MLGW’s Web site at www.mlgw.com/home/artcontest or call (901) 528-4820 or e-mail CommRelations@mlgw.org.

Smart Talk: Smart Technology Reduces Outage Times

Integrating a smart system with smart meters will have a significant impact on outage management, reducing outage times by alerting MLGW's System Control Center that the power is out at a premise, allowing for quicker problem diagnosis. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUnqZp8eUNE for a short video on how MLGW is currently using smart technology and how service will be improved with the full deployment of smart meters.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

MLGW Promotes Gas Safety Awareness November 20

Local Lowe’s Stores Team with MLGW for Safety Awareness Campaign

Memphis Light, Gas and Water and Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores in Shelby County are teaming up to promote natural gas safety awareness, gas leak response and “Call 811 Before You Dig” on Friday, November 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The gas safety day is in preparation for the upcoming winter heating season as well as any digging homeowners and contractors may engage in and the Call 811 Before You Dig requirement.

On MLGW’s Natural Gas Safety Awareness Day, November 20, the Division’s Gas Engineering employees and MLGW volunteers will staff display tables at several Lowe’s locations to provide information and brochures on natural gas safety, leak awareness and response, gas pipeline safety and more. The Call 811 Before You Dig law relates to any digging, excavating, landscaping and gardening, and home or business construction projects that Shelby County residents and local contractors undertake. Natural gas safety and leak awareness are especially relevant in the fall and winter as many homeowners and contractors prepare furnaces for winter heating and inspect gas appliances for safety. MLGW representatives will share information about:

  • What do to in the event of a natural gas leak in a home or business
  • How to recognize a gas pipeline leak
  • How to recognize transmission pipeline markers
  • Pipeline purpose and reliability
  • Awareness of hazards and prevention measures
  • Damage prevention awareness
  • One-call requirements for transmission pipelines and/or home or business excavations

Below is a list of participating Lowe’s locations:
  • 430 Germantown Parkway, Cordova, TN
  • 585 N. Perkins Road, Memphis, TN
  • 8490 Highway 51 North, Millington, TN
  • 8300 Highway 64, Bartlett, TN
  • 425 New Byhalia Road, Collierville, TN
  • 7895 Winchester Road, Memphis, TN

More natural gas safety information can be found on MLGW’s website at www.mlgw.com. For more information about Tennessee One Call, visit www.tennessee811.com.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Temporary Road Closures at I-40 Thursday Night

A portion of Interstate 40 will be closed tonight, Nov. 5 to replace fiber cables located just east of the Wolf River bridge. 

The effected areas of I-40 include:

  • Westbound:
    I-40 all lanes at Sycamore View, plus the Sycamore View ramp to westbound I-40.

  • Eastbound:
    I-40 all lanes at Wolf River Bridge, which includes eastbound Sam Cooper, the eastbound fly-over and eastbound I-240 to I-40.

The first closure will begin at 10 p.m. and last about 30 minutes, after which traffic will be allowed through.

A second closure will begin at 11 p.m. and also last about 30 minutes.

During the time that the work is being performed, TDOT is encouraging drivers to use SRE-385 between I-40 and I-240.

After this work is completed, these portions of I-40 will resume regular traffic flow. 
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