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More jobs.
More utility savings.
More discretionary spending.

Those three dividends are closely interwoven as Memphis Light, Gas and Water seeks to start its investment in a $240 million smart meter project.

More jobs and minority business participation

Smart meters will have an immediate impact on the local economy, resulting from jobs created because of installations. Based on the contract language, at least 75 percent of the installers hired must live within our service area of Shelby County.

Additionally, Elster Solutions, the selected smart meter supplier, is using Apex CoVantage LLC, a minority-owned company. As a subcontractor, Apex CoVantange LLC, will assist with the new meter integration. With Elster's subcontractor selection, it is voluntarily exceeding the RFP goals that required at least 20 percent of total costs of services be met using minority-owned businesses. Rather than meet the minimum goal, Elster is spending $54.8 million or 83 percent of total costs of services with a minority-owned business.

More discretionary spending/More utility savings
Less money spent on utility bills means residents have more money for other necessities.
With smart meters, customers have more options such as time-of-use rates or PrePay – or pay-as-you-go. This gives customers more control over their utility bills and potentially lowers their usage.

As customers save money on their utility bills, it creates more discretionary spending which results in even more jobs within our community. In a 2010 analysis by Younger Associates, it showed that if MLGW customers saved $10 million on their utility bills and “in turn spent that money according to typical household spending patterns, 152.5 jobs would be needed to supply the goods and services purchased.”

Projections based on actual 2012 Smart Grid Demonstration results show a potential for up to almost $30 million in consumer savings which equals 458 new jobs created in our community.

In short, more jobs, more discretionary spending and more utility savings make smart meters a win-win for Shelby County.

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