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Memphis coalition launches Save Energy, Save Dollars campaign

SESD plan helps residents use less energy, lowers utility bills,

MEMPHIS — The Memphis Save Energy, Save Dollars (SESD) campaign was launched today by Friends of the Earth (FOE) and a coalition of Memphis civic organizations in an effort to work collaboratively with Memphis Light, Gas, and Water and the Memphis city government to provide energy-saving and cost-saving measures to qualifying residents.

“Too many Memphis families struggle to pay monthly energy bills that cost as much as 25% or more of their income,” said Friends of the Earth Memphis Program Manager Eric Brown. “Working with MLGW and the City of Memphis, we can fix that – saving energy, putting more money back in the pockets of MLGW customers, and creating new jobs in our city and region.”

If the SESD plan is adopted by MLGW, the city council, and the mayor, it will install energy savings and water savings measures directly in Memphis homes and apartments on a voluntary basis. This will help customers save money right away, as less electricity, gas, and water are needed. Roughly half of the homes will also get weatherization improvements – all at no upfront cost to residents. Over five years, this plan will reduce utility bills in Memphis by $63 million and create 330 new local jobs for the installation.

Ten local civic organizations have already signed onto the effort urging MLGW and the City Council to adopt the plan.

“Save Energy, Save Dollars is dedicated to helping eligible Memphis residents save money on their energy bills with weatherization improvements to their homes,” Eric Brown continued. “Cooler homes in the summer and warmer homes in the winter means healthier homes for Memphis families with more money in their pockets.”

The neighborhood groups, labor organizations, and ministry groups are part of the coalition supporting the SESD plan, and organizers say more groups have expressed interest in joining the effort.

“Despite relatively low utility rates, Memphis families are paying a staggering amount of their income for basic utilities and making tough choices between prescription drugs, groceries, or their utility bills,” said Herman Morris, former president and CEO of Memphis Light, Gas and Water and past City Attorney.  

“The facts make a powerful case for these reforms, and it is why so many organizations and individuals are joining this coalition,” former TVA Chairman David Freeman added.

Residents from across Memphis joined the afternoon of activities that included food, musical artists, spoken-word artists, kid-friendly activities, and featured local visual art and artists.

If adopted, the initiative would also eliminate flat fees on some qualifying ratepayers’ monthly utility bills.  The full SESD plan is available online.

Organizers of the event said the campaign will continue to take its message not only to officials at MLGW, the City Council, and the Mayor’s Office, but also to voters across the city, engaging them with the coalition and the campaign to implement the Save Energy Save Dollars plan.Consumers can learn more at www.SaveEnergySaveDollars.com and take action in support of the SESD plan.  Memphians can follow Friends of the Earth on Facebook to learn more.

Local organizations who have endorsed the SESD plan include:

  • A. Philip Randolph Institute
  • Healthy and Free Tennessee
  • IBEW 1288
  • Lauderdale Sub Neighborhood Association
  • Memphis Black Arts Alliance, Inc.
  • Memphis Feminist Collective
  • Memphis and West Tennessee AFLCIO Labor Council
  • Real Life Ministries
  • Restore Your Vote
  • SisterReach
  • STAX Music Academy

 

CONTACT: Isaac Wright, isaac@forwardsolutionstrategygroup.com
Erin Jensen (FOE), ejensen@foe.org

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