Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) will present its proposal for rate hikes to the Memphis City Council on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 5th.
MLGW has been pushing for multi-year hikes in water, gas, and electric rates for at least the past three years. In January, the council rejected electric and gas hikes, but approved a 3 percent hike for water.
Now, the utility is pushing for increases in all three divisions over a three-year period. The plan calls for increasing electric rates by 4.2 percent in July 2020 and then 1.5 percent in both 2021 and 2022.
Water would increase by 15 percent in July 2020, 7 percent in 2021, and 5 percent in 2022. Gas would only see a one-time hike of 2 percent in 2022.
This would add about $14 to customer’s bills each month, according to the utility. That’s $4 less than last year’s proposed hikes would have tacked on.
MLGW officials say the extra revenue will be used to improve the utility's infrastructure, which MLGW president and CEO J.T. Young has said in the past is “aged” and in need of an overhaul.
In the past, some council members have been reluctant to approve rate hikes citing poverty rates here or MLGW’s need to find other ways to fund infrastructure improvements.
While other council members, supporting the rate hikes, argued that the council should not defer maintenance to the utility's infrastructure any longer.
The council is set to hear MLGW’s proposal for the hikes Tuesday, but a vote on the issue isn’t slated until November 19th.