MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Over 18,000 MLGW customers will be receiving an estimated bill soon. This is happening as the utility company works to repair water meters and gas meters with broken digital registers or read outs.

WREG reports the problems surfaced after December’s extreme weather caused rotating outages and water issues, and it may take longer than expected to repair.

Timothy Davis is Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at MLGW. He explains water has gotten into what’s called the digital register on thousands of water meters, making it impossible to get a “true” reading of water usage. In addition, the digital readouts on thousands of gas meters are also broken.

“With the gas meters there’s this little small device that’s called a ‘wriggler,’ and as gas goes through the meter this little ‘wriggler’ turns and that turning causes the dials on the register to turn…and that’s broken,” Davis said.

Davis said the fix for both kinds of meters would normally be pretty simple, if only MLGW could get the parts.

“We’re working with the manufacturers to escalate getting the parts we need so we can get these meters repaired and go back to business as usual, but that’s going to be challenging because of the supply chain issues that were caused by COVID,” Davis said.

MLGW customers impacted by failing meters will be getting estimated utility bills in the meantime

“The estimation will be based on actual usage and we”ll estimate that over a three month period and give a conservative estimate to the customer because we’re looking to be fair and transparent,” Davis said.

Davis said the first batch of estimated bills will go out in the next few days to about 1,900 of the approximately 19,000 customers.

“For those who may be concerned that ‘my bill’s going to be higher’…for many customers…actually well over 50 percent of them…it’s actually been zero usage…hence..why we have the estimate,” Davis said.

Timothy Davis said, for some, the estimated utility bill may be confusing and he urges customers with questions to call MLGW at (901) 528-4465.