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Site Selection Names MLGW One of Top 10 Utilities for Economic Development
September 7, 2010
(September 7, 2010) - Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division has been identified as one of the top 10 performing utilities in the nation for economic development, according to Site Selection magazine. MLGW also made Site Selection's Top 10 list in 2000 and 2001.

According to Site Selection, the designation is based on calendar year 2009 performance in four categories: capital investment, job creation, capital investment per capita and jobs per 10,000 in population. More broadly, the designation gauges the ability of U.S. utility companies to complement power delivery with the powers of persuasion in fostering corporate investment in their territories, according to the magazine.

"No group benefits from successful economic development in a city more than the existing customers of a municipal utility," said Jerry Collins Jr., President and CEO of MLGW. "MLGW is proud to continue its long-time partnership with the Greater Memphis Chamber in both attracting new industry to Memphis and assisting existing industry. MLGW's key focus is helping make our business customers more profitable to not only maintain their operations, but consider expansion as well. Over 90 percent of the employment gains and investment in 2009 were from customers already located in the county."

In addition to MLGW, the other top utilities included Alabama Power, Birmingham, Ala.; Entergy Corp., New Orleans, La.; Georgia Power, Atlanta, Ga.; and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Knoxville, Tenn.

"[The top-performing utilities] are constantly raising the bar on delivering superior customer service," says Ron Starner, executive vice president of Site Selection. "They are always looking for ways to save industrial power customers money; and they are fostering and building coalitions of support for economic development."

The Site Selection designation is the latest example of national recognition for MLGW. In July, MLGW residential electric rates were the seventh lowest out of the 56 public and private utilities surveyed by the Jacksonville Energy Authority (JEA). The JEA survey compared the cost for 1,000 kilowatts of electricity (a universal standard of measure), and not average utility bills. MLGW customers paid $94.50 per 1,000 kilowatts, about $19.27 less than JEA customers.

MLGW is the largest three-service public power utility in the nation, serving more than 429,000 customers in Memphis and Shelby County.