Utility assistance for 1,400 customers impacted by COVID-19 was made available through the Utility “Holiday” program powered by Shelby County Government and Memphis Light Gas and Water (MLGW).
The Utility “Holiday” program served customers who owed $500 or less in previous bills and opted into MLGW’s Deferred Billing COVID-19 payment plan. Each customer had $185 credited to their MLGW account to go towards their outstanding utility bill.
Announced this work by Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and Shelby County Board of Commissioners Chairman Eddie Jones, the new program cost $257,890 and was funded through the Federal CARES Act.
“The risk of losing your utilities or falling too far behind to catch up is one of the terrible fallouts from this pandemic,” said Harris. “Our Utility Holiday program will provide utility assistance to hundreds and hundreds of families in Shelby County who previously told MLGW that they were facing hardship. …
“During this difficult time, we must be determined to not let the pandemic steal our joy. We hope that the notice that these families will receive soon will be a welcome holiday surprise.”
Jones said the program with MLGW has been relatively seamless.
“They’ll enter a few keystrokes, and, presto, these families in need will get utility relief out of funds that Shelby County has set aside. Although this is a terrible year and a challenging time, we hope Shelby County Government’s Utility Holiday program brings a smile to the faces of some of the families in the most need.”
Gale Jones Carson, MLGW vice president, Community and External Affairs, said, “In times like these, it is exciting to know we have programs that meet the direct needs of our residents.”