Folks with Memphis Light, Gas and Water management were told to get their message out to the public, concerning their request for a rate hike and why they need it. That is what they’re doing this week.
After all, you own it.
Memphis Light, Gas and Water is the largest publicly-owned utility of its type in the country.
So when they talk about needing to increase the costs of their products, listen to what they have to say.
Utility President J.T. Young says there is one option, at least for right now.
“The option on the table right now defers an increase until next year, yet the benefit would begin in the future.”
Rates would increase by around $20 a month after the five-year plan is finished.
For people living in poverty, or on a fixed income, $20 might as well be $20,000.
“If customers feel they’re not prepared or that it’s not in their best interests,” Young says, “… we will continue to do what I call, break-fix. We will have to maintain our system.”
President Young just took a big step with those two sentences.
He is saying if the majority of you at these meetings say no, no rate hikes, and yes, yes you can accept MLGW services as is, blackouts and all, that’s what you will get.
“At the end of the day,” he says, “… if the preponderance of the feedback we receive is in the area of suggesting that now is not the time to do anything and customers are ok with where we are and where we’ve been, we serve our customers.”
Memphis City Council members will get all the feedback at their meetings next week.
They will be the ones who have the final say in whether the company will get a rate increase, or whether things will remain the same.