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Smart Talk:  Smart Meters will Reduce Fees and Costs
MLGW's vision is to be the best utility for our customers. As a publicly-owned utility, we aim to be the “best” by providing a quality product at the lowest cost for our ratepayers. In a recent annual survey of 50 utilities in cities across the nation, MLGW customers had the lowest combined residential bill for electricity, natural gas, water and wastewater than any other utility.

Now, and in the future, our focus will be on keeping rates and costs as low as possible. The deployment of smart meters will not change our commitment. In fact, smart meters will help keep costs low for everyone. Here’s how:
  • Virtually eliminating utility diversion (theft). With 11,000 cases of diversion annually, this costs MLGW millions in uncollected revenue.
  • Minimizing transmission and distribution system losses. The fraction of energy lost accounts for T &D losses. Data generated from smart meters can help us optimize our system and potentially save $5 million annually.
  • Reduction in transportation and labor costs associated with monthly customer meter reads.
  • Decreased fees. Connection and reconnection fees will be lower—in some cases by more than 50 percent—because of automation.
  • Automating outage reporting. The Division will save approximately $250K on after-hour, third-party outage notification.
Additionally, customers who use their smart meter data to find ways to conserve, or to spot and fix any energy- or water-wasting issues, will save even more by reducing their monthly consumption. Smart Grid Demonstration participants’ average reduction in consumption was from 2.3 percent to 5.6 percent.

Unlike for-profit utilities where any cost-savings may be paid in dividends to shareholders, at MLGW cost-savings are returned directly to customers—and that’s more disposable income for households in Memphis and Shelby County.