Large Savings Potential for Memphians Needs More Stakeholder Involvement
Memphis, Tennessee, Today Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) convened the Power Supply Advisory Team (PSAT) in Memphis to review and provide input on more analysis from an independent consultant about whether or not MLGW should break free from its current power supplier, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), to seek a lower-cost energy supplier.
Although today’s PSAT meeting should have served as a critical forum for education and public input, the independent consultant, Siemens, provided disappointingly little information and did not provide adequate analysis of costs and risks associated with each of the four presented future energy scenarios for MLGW.
Additionally, MLGW confirmed that today will be the last opportunity for meaningful stakeholder engagement, even though full report findings have not yet been released and there is a need for more discussion. The previously-scheduled March PSAT meeting has been canceled and while there was a promise of a meeting in April, followed by a public comment period, it has not been well defined. The PSAT should have another opportunity to interact with the consultants conducting the study, just as the program was initially scheduled to do.
Stephen Smith, Executive Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy commented, “There is mounting evidence that Memphis has the power to break free of TVA and save Memphians money today. Every year, MLGW pays roughly one billion dollars to TVA for energy that electrifies the City of Memphis and its residents. Preliminary studies indicate there are hundreds of millions of dollars a year to be saved by leaving TVA, which would mean lower bills for Memphians who face some of the most unaffordable energy in the nation.”
Maggie Shober, Director of Utility Reform at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy stated, “The presentation to the PSAT from Siemens today was disappointing in the level of information provided and lacked context. Memphians will be on the hook to pay for whatever MLGW decides for decades to come and therefore need to be included as much as possible in the process–canceling stakeholder meetings, and providing minimal information at this meeting, is unacceptable.”
If it takes leaving TVA to get affordable, equitable, and clean energy for Memphians, the City and MLGW need to keep rapidly advancing the search for alternatives to TVA. Every month the City delays making a decision on whether or not to leave could waste tens of millions of Memphians’ dollars.
About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices to ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org.