City Council Approves MLGW Smart Meter Purchase

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(Memphis) MLGW’s $10.1 million budget expenditure to purchase 60,000 smart meters from Elster Solutions was approved by the city council Tuesday evening.

Beginning later this year, the smart meters will be installed at 24,000 homes.

Eighty percent of the homes are located in Memphis, and the other 20 percent are elsewhere in Shelby County.

The selected areas have existing MLGW telecommunications assets, and MLGW will cut four to six meter reading routes out of 21 billing cycles.

Smart meters will be distributed in selected neighborhoods in the following zip codes: 38002, 38017, 38103, 38104, 38105, 38106, 38107, 38111, 38112, 38114, 38115, 38119, 38120, 38126, 38134, 38135, 38139 and 38141.

Selected homeowners were notified by letter earlier this year.

MLGW says that, to date, only 125 customers, or 0.52 percent of the total, have opted-out.

MLGW also agreed to waive the opt out fee.

Customers who don’t live in the selected neighborhoods don’t need to opt out at this time, since their current meters will remain unchanged.

The smart meter expansion is expected to conclude in mid-2014.

Upon completion, MLGW will have 61,000 smart meters out of its 1.1 million meters system-wide.

Currently, there are 1,000 smart meters in use from a three-year Smart Grid Demonstration pilot.

MLGW’s goal is to fully implement smart meters by 2020.