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MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Memphis Light Gas and Water says changes are happening to improve services and the customer experience at a Memphis city council committee meeting Tuesday.

Outgoing MLGW CEO and MLGW President J.T. Young spoke about what his team calls improvements being made to the utility company following the formation of an Outage Improvement Advisory Team

“The community is very engaged and involved in what we do and we appreciate that,” Young said.

Much of what was discussed came from findings following February’s historic ice storm that left nearly 234,000 customers in the dark.

“We’ve learned a lot. We’ve actually been able to put some things already into place, the communication should be better for the next storm if there’s one similar to the one we had,” Young said.

Young said the committee put things in the budget for 2023 to help with some issues and they are already seeing shorter outage times, but it will take a few years to finalize it all.

“The distribution automation which we’ve talked a lot about, which are the devices we’ve been putting out on our system to help reduce, number one the frequency and the duration of outages, those are being rolled out, we should see a big emphasis on that in the near-term. Our tree trimming challenges are big and I’ll just acknowledge that,” he said.

When it comes to customer interaction and call center issues, a new VP of Customer Experience and Chief Customer Officer leader who has been on the job for less than a month talked to the council about plans.

Young said they should have around 350 lines available for customers in the coming weeks and he believes the changes will make a difference.

“We’ve added lines for customers to be able to reach us, we should have up to 350 lines available for customers in the next few weeks for customers to be able to call in. Resources are increasing, we’ve actually increased some of our full-time resources,” he said.

Young also said they’re in the process of bringing on some additional contract services. They’ve opened the lobbies for the community offices to try to alleviate issues.