Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division is continuing its effort to help customers in need stay warm during the winter. Beginning January 31, MLGW will give 150 space heaters and 50 electric blankets - each safety-certified - to recipients identified by three local agencies as those in need of help this winter.
The heaters and blankets, donated by MLGW, will be given to low-income, disabled and medically fragile individuals and families identified by the Tennessee Department of Human Services' Adult Protective Services and the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, as well as the Family Services Program. Blankets and heaters will be distributed to the recipients by MLGW Customer Services field representatives. Recipients will also be provided with tips and brochures on safely operating these items.
"While we have limited resources to assist our customers, we want to ensure that we are able to help those who are in need right now," said Jerry Collins, MLGW President.
The donations are part of MLGW's continuing effort to help those in need manage their utility costs; space heaters and blankets are a good alternative to turning up a home's thermostat on a cold day because they are more energy efficient.
The space heaters feature an auto-safety shutoff, tip-over safety shutoff, cool-touch housing and are certified by Underwriter Laboratories. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent product safety certification organization. The blankets, also UL-certified, feature automatic overheating cut-off, detachable-heating control, single-heating control and will fit a full-sized (double) bed.
Last August, in the midst of high temperatures, MLGW also assisted customers in need. The utility donated 200 air conditioning window units to CSA-identified recipients, gave 300 box fans to the Aging Commission of the Mid-South to be distributed to senior and disabled customers, and delivered bottled water to the city's cooling centers and other areas in need. The utility also helped with the distribution of air conditioners donated by Governor Phil Bredensen.
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 rates in the nation.