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MLGW News Release
Smart Talk: Serving seniors
June 26, 2013

In the Mid-south, storms happen. Power outages can be an unfortunate consequence of violent weather. Right now, MLGW’s system relies heavily on customer reporting for outage management. Service repair for smaller, individual outages can be delayed needlessly when it is assumed MLGW is aware of a problem because crews are working larger outages affecting blocks of customers.

This was the case for an elderly customer who went without power for several days. She called to report her outage after a storm and when her neighbor’s lights came back on she thought it wouldn’t be long before hers came back on too. What she didn’t know was the larger outage was a result of a lightning strike to a transformer. MLGW fixed the transformer but was unaware of the localized power outage at the senior’s home, resulting from a problem in her electrical panel. Because she’d already reported her outage, she didn’t bother to call back. Because MLGW fixed the transformer, crews moved on. Thankfully, a good neighbor placed a call to bring the smaller outage to our attention so we could get service up and running.

With smart meters, any outage, large or small, will be reported automatically. In addition to integrated outage management, there are other benefits to senior customers:

  • Safety and security – The option to keep fences and gates locked at all times provides peace of mind and added security for seniors.
  • Payment options – For retirees receiving checks once a month, picking the bill due date or choosing prepaid utilities means greater flexibility managing household expenses.
  • Water leak detection – Slow leaks can drain finances. Smart water meters are designed to detect and notify MLGW of low levels of continuous water use, which can signal a slow leak. Alerting the customer of a potential water leak, even before it may be visible on a senior’s property, prevents larger problems, saves money and preserves water resources.

In short, smart meters will give seniors and all our customers more options and greater efficiency in the delivery of their utility service.

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