Persistent outages frustrate MLGW users as utility asks for rate hikes

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. -- MLGW is still hoping Memphis City Council will approve rate hikes in the new year to fund infrastructure improvements, but some question the need.

Kallie Lindsey remembers what it was like when her family first moved into their Germantown neighborhood off Kimbrough Road in 2016.

“We were out of electricity for at least, it could’ve gone up to 14 hours every so often," Lindsey said.

A lot of people can relate to this; frequent outages have become a big problem for MLGW.

MLGW officials say they’re working in a lot of areas including Germantown, Whitehaven and Raleigh, but it’s just not enough. They need council to approve rate hikes.

"We’re trying to get to as many areas as we can. But a lot of it is like patchwork," said Gale Jones Carson, spokesperson for the utility.

But some customers aren’t buying it prompting speculation on social media that MLGW created a ploy to get the rate increase.

“We dare not cause outages. That’s just not true. That’s the first time I’ve heard that," Carson said. "Our goal is to have enough money available so we can begin working on our infrastructure."

CEO and President J.T. Young talked about the improvements they want to make at least week’s city council meeting.

“It’s distribution automation that will allow us to do switching a lot quicker when we have issues from weather, trees, or cars hitting poles. The second thing is increase our tree trimming cycle," he said.

But at least in Lindsey’s neighborhood, they’ve already figured out a way to get past it. She said they appealed to the Germantown Mayor.

"Our neighbor Ms. Jenny decided to get a hold of the mayor. She helped us get MLGW coming out here, getting all cables fixed," she said. “I saw cables being drilled in the underground. They were working long hours.”

Mayor Mike Palazzolo wouldn’t confirm his involvement in this specific repair, but his office did confirm they get a lot of calls about power outages and always follow up.

In Germantown, Lindsey says thanks to their repairs, they rarely have outages anymore. And she does not support any rate hikes.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.