Memphis Light, Gas and Water customers should be prepared for larger bills this month following a record-breaking number of days over the 100 degrees in August. The larger bills are the result of increased electric usage during the month of August, not a rate increase.
"The month of August was 30 percent warmer than July for most of our customers. Hotter temperatures mean air conditioning units have to run more and work harder to keep your house cool. As a result, customers should expect bills to be higher this month. The amount of increase is determined by how much energy you used and will vary from customer to customer," said Jerry Collins, Interim Chief Utility Officer for the utility.
MLGW bills customers for the amount of energy used in the previous month. Meter readers record usage since their last visit to your house and the usage is multiplied by the appropriate rate to determine the amount of your bill each month. According to Collins, "Customers have a tremendous amount of control over their energy costs by using energy wisely. When our customers use less energy they see lower bills. Unfortunately, however, there is not too much to be done when temperatures are as high as they were in August since air conditioning accounts for the majority of your summer heating costs."
Payment plans available
MLGW has payment plans in place to assist customers that may have difficulty paying a larger bill. The utility can assist customers with extensions, payment plans and other options if needed. However, customers need to call MLGW's Customer Care Center at 544-MLGW (6549) to make arrangements. "We want to do all we can to work with our customers, but we need them to take the first step and call us to let us know they need some assistance," Collins said. For more information on MLGW payment options, visit the utility's Web site at www.mlgw.com.
My Bill Dashboard
In late August, MLGW introduced My Bill Dashboard, an online tool that shows customers exactly how much energy they used compared to the previous bill cycle or the previous year. By creating a free account, customers can see a breakdown of their daily and monthly energy usage, find tips for controlling their energy costs and see how their usage compares to other houses of similar size in the area. This powerful resource is available by clicking on the "My Account" tab at www.mlgw.com.
MLGW is the largest three-service public power utility in the nation, serving more than 420,000 customers in Memphis and Shelby County. A 2007 survey of large metropolitan areas showed that MLGW has the sixth lowest combined residential rates in the nation.