Wired In Newsletter: October / November 2018

Sarah Gilliam | October 30, 2018 | Wired In Newsletter
With much of our region still recovering from Hurricanes Florence and Michael, we wanted to take a moment and share our deepest concerns for the health and safety of our supporters. Some of our own staff and their families scattered throughout the Southeast, were impacted by these back-to-back mega-storms, which are a scary testament to what a warming climate has in store for humanity. Now more than ever, we must continue making the connection between climate change and its well-documented impacts, like more intense rain events and higher temperatures, already occurring in our Southern communities. We must do all that we can to work towards climate solutions. Won’t you join us?

1. Election Day is Nov. 6 – Are You Ready?

2. Hiking and Hiding Fixed Fees Across Tennessee

3. Thanks for Adding Your Voice for Clean Energy


1. Election Day is Nov. 6 – Are You Ready?

This year’s midterm election has huge implications for energy issues in the Southeast, and we are hearing that voters are turning out in record numbers to make their voice heard. Elected leaders in local, state, and federal offices drive policy decisions that impact energy choices in your community. Voting for leaders that reflect your values has never been more important. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is committed to promoting civic engagement and factual, non-partisan resources to help voters understand where candidates stand on energy issues.

Please make a plan to vote for clean energy champions by voting early this week or on Election Day, Nov. 6. Here are some helpful links to make sure you are prepared before you head to the polls:

Thank you and happy voting!

2. Hiking and Hiding Fixed Fees Across Tennessee

Across the Tennessee Valley, utilities are hiking fixed fees — and some of them aren’t even visible on customer bills! High fixed fees mean we have higher bills, and less control over our bills. Because we have to pay fixed fees regardless of how much electricity we use, these fees discourage people from saving energy or going solar, and punish low-income, elderly, and single households who tend to use less energy. Electric bills in Tennessee are some of the highest in the nation, and too many KUB customers in Knoxville already pay as much as 18.5% of their income on energy bills. The last thing we need is higher fees.

In Memphis, MLGW currently charges $11.89 for electricity each month, before you even turn on a light, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA, which supplies MLGW with power) just approved a new fee that will likely add an additional $6.48/month to MLGW bills – but customers are speaking up. SACE’s #RenewTN campaign makes it easy for Memphis residents to take action and email MLGW’s new CEO and ask for these fees to be shown on bills so that we can have a transparent, public debate about fair fees.

In Knoxville, KUB’s basic customer charge or “fixed fee” has increased 300% since 2010, and it’s about to get even higher. Beginning with the October billing period, customers will see a monthly fee increase of $1.50 along with a 1.5% energy rate increase by TVA. KUB has proposed $1 to $1.25 fee increases every year through 2027, raising the basic customer charge to nearly $30/month, and that doesn’t even include potential further increases in TVA charges. The RenewTN campaign is helping customers speak out against these increases as well: If you’re a KUB customer, please personalize and send an email to KUB’s new CEO, Gabe Bolas, and the Knoxville Utilities Board members to tell them we need solutions to high KUB bills.

Click here to learn more about fixed fees at other utilities in the TVA system. This is a widespread problem and we invite you to work with us to RenewTN by addressing these issues throughout the entire region. Please contact Laura Humphrey if you’d like to take action with your local utility.


3.  Thanks for Adding Your Voice for Clean Energy

THANK YOU! As a SACE supporter, you are adding your voice to thousands of others, amplifying the call for clean energy solutions that protect the quality of life and treasured places in our precious region.

We are living in a critical time, and the choices we make today will impact our environment for decades and dictate the quality of our region for future generations. As voters hit the polls next week, they will face crucial choices that will have important implications here in the Southeast and across the country. As always, SACE is continuing to seek out opportunities to create real change and drive a clean energy future for the Southeast, and to fight back against dangerous decisions that neglect the public good to advance the interests of a few.

Thank you again for stepping up to join us in the movement toward a cleaner, safer, and healthier communities. Please continue to make your voice heard!

Sarah Gilliam
This blog was written by a former staff member of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
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