MLGW Awaits Council Decision On Smart Meters

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(Memphis) Memphis City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove vows to stop the approval of $10 million for thousands of smart meters in Shelby County.

News Channel 3 uncovered Fullilove has been exaggerating the truth about her own bill to say smart meters are faulty and hike up customers’ bills.

“There's so much controversy or information that still needs to be disseminated,” said Fullilove.

Fullilove is chairperson of the MLGW Committee and told them she wouldn't allow any talk of smart meters at next week's meeting, but it's not just up to Fullilove.

Memphis City Council has to approve any of MLGW's expenses that are more than $50,000.

The council will vote on allowing them to buy the smart meters at the beginning of August.

Council member Myron Lowery disagrees with Fullilove, saying smart meters are a good thing and can be an asset for our city because of the convenience.

He says all of the rumors about them being defective or vulnerable for people to hack into them are being disproven by studies.

If the full council votes to approve MLGW's $10 Million purchase they can move forward.

If not, MLGW will have to put the brakes on the smart meter purchases for this year's budget.

MLGW says smart meters like this one save them money because they track the amount of energy a customer uses and electronically sends it back so a meter reader doesn't have to go door-to-door checking.

“If you don't want one, you don't have to have one,” said MLGW President and CEO Jerry Collins.

He says rumors of the meters causing fires, security problems or higher bills are simply not true.

“That is a myth there is no truth that they start fires,” said Collins.

MLGW says you don't have to have a smart meter if you don't want one, but most customers are pleased with them and they bring the average cost of a bill down $9.