How to Help
Click below to sign up for Share the Pennies or to make a one-time donation.
You can also sign up by calling MLGW Customer Relations at (901) 528-4887
or by downloading and returning an
enrollment form

   
 

Frequently Asked Questions about Share the Pennies

What is Share the Pennies?
What is changing about Share the Pennies?
What led to this change?
Can I opt out of Share the Pennies?
When will all customers be enrolled in Share the Pennies?
How much do customers give through Share the Pennies?
Could the grants funded through Share the Pennies be abused?
Can landlords or renters qualify for grants through Share the Pennies?
Isn't this like a tax?

Are you hoping people won’t notice they are enrolled in Share the Pennies so you can get more donations for the program?

 


 

What is Share the Pennies?
Started in 2013, Share the Pennies is a voluntary program that provides grants for home weatherization projects for low-income MLGW customers. Participating customers have their utility costs rounded up to the next dollar, and the extra change goes toward weatherization grants. For example, if your utility costs were $74.63, they would be rounded up to $75, and 37 cents would go toward the grant program.

Currently, seniors and disabled customers can apply for grants of up to $1,500 to reduce wasted energy in their homes.

Share the Pennies is not a bill assistance program. Funds for weatherization improvements are only available for resident homeowners. Rental properties are ineligible.
 

What is changing about Share the Pennies?
On Feb. 22, 2017, the MLGW Board of Commissioners approved changes to Share the Pennies, including transitioning to an opt-out model for all customers. This means instead of customers contacting MLGW to enroll, all customers would be automatically enrolled but will be able to contact MLGW to remove themselves from the program.

Customers do not need to take any action or contact MLGW at this time. No immediate changes are planned. Currently, Share the Pennies is still an opt-in program. For now, no new customers will be added to Share the Pennies unless they request to enroll.

In July 2017, MLGW will begin a six-month period of educating customers about Share the Pennies before changes are implemented. Instructions for opting out will be publicized at that time. Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, all customers who have not opted out will be enrolled in Share the Pennies. Any customer who wishes to opt out after that point will still be able to do so. They will also be able to request a refund for any donation to the program for up to six months from initial enrollment.
 

What led to this change?
The MLGW Neighborhood Advisory Council — led by MLGW customers — along with Just Energy Memphis (NAACP, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the Sierra Club) and Memphis City Councilwoman Patrice Robinson, worked together around a shared goal of finding ways to help some of those most in need in our community. One way to help is to reduce wasted energy in their homes and increase energy efficiency through Share the Pennies. To increase the amount of good MLGW can do in the areas we serve, they suggested making Share the Pennies an opt-out program instead of opt-in. That means automatically enrolling all MLGW customers in the bill round-up program and allowing them to remove themselves if they decide not to participate.

Councilwoman Robinson proposed a resolution to the Memphis City Council to ask the MLGW board to vote on making Share the Pennies an opt-out program for all customers. The council passed the resolution with a 10-0 vote. The MLGW Board of Commissioners voted to approve proposed changes on Feb. 22, 2017.
 

Can I opt out of Share the Pennies?
The technical processes involved with opting out in advance are currently being finalized. Customers will be able to opt out beginning in July 2017. Check back here for more information at that time. No customer will be automatically enrolled until 2018.
 

When will all customers be enrolled in Share the Pennies?
We anticipate enrolling customers into the program Jan. 1, 2018. MLGW will begin a six-month education campaign in July to let customers know about the changes and the opt-out process.
 

How much do customers give through Share the Pennies?
On average, customers give about 50 cents per month. In an entire year, most customers average about $6. The most any customer could give through rounding up in 12 months of billing is $11.88 total. Most customers give much less per year.
 

Could the grants funded through Share the Pennies be abused?
Only low-income resident homeowners can qualify for home weatherization grants. Only projects which cause significant deficiencies qualify for service (e.g., replacing a furnace, upgrading insulation, fixing broken windows). Cosmetic upgrades do not qualify.
 

Can landlords or renters qualify for grants through Share the Pennies?
Rental properties are ineligible. However, renters who are concerned about substandard energy efficiency can request a free energy audit from MLGW. If conditions are below standard, MLGW advocates for the renter to have repairs made and will even take the property owner to environmental court if necessary. Renters can report low energy efficiency standards at 322-5757. This rental ordinance program is operated separately from Share the Pennies. No grants are awarded for work done by landlords for rental properties.
 

Isn’t this like a tax?
Share the Pennies remains a voluntary program, as it has always been. The only difference is that customers will now be enrolled by default. Any customer who wishes to opt out of Share the Pennies will be able to do so easily and can request a refund for up to the previous six months of donations.
 

Are you hoping people won’t notice they are enrolled in Share the Pennies so you can get more donations for the program?
Before automatic enrollment begins on Jan. 1, 2018, we will begin a six-month education campaign through multiple channels to make customers aware of Share the Pennies, including the program’s positive impact and opt-out methods. At any time before or after automatic enrollment begins, customers will be able to contact MLGW to opt out and request a refund for up to the previous six months of donations. The purpose of automatic enrollment is to make participating as easy as possible. However, we want customers to be aware of the program and allow them to easily opt out if they choose to do so.

 

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