Power and Money at MLGW

Did you get a letter in the mail from MLG&W about their new Green Power Switch program? It’s a doozy.

The letter is from Jerry Collins, President and CEO of MLGW, and Patty West, Director of Renewable Energy Programs for the TVA. It begins:

Dear Neighbor,
YOU (underlined and in bold type) have the power to make a difference today!

Improving our environment or economy may seem too big an idea for one person to have an impact, but the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), working in cooperation with Memphis Light, Gas and Water, offers a simple and easy way to make a difference.
Green Power Switch (trademarked) has developed a way to bring regionally generated green power – electricity that’s generated by renewable resources such as solar, wind and biomass – to Tennessee Valley consumers.

(Back to bold type)How much does Green Power Switch cost?

For just an additional $4 per month, you can purchase a 150 kilowatt hour block, about 12% of a typical household’s monthly energy use. You can buy one block or as many as you like. With each Green Power Switch block purchased, you add locally generated renewable energy to our region’s grid. As an added convenience, your block purchase will appear on your monthly utility bill as an additional line item, so there is no need to send any money today.

In fact, investing $12 each month in Green Power Switch buys enough green power in one year to equal the annual environmental benefit of planting almost 4 acres of trees in the Tennessee Valley region!

Although no energy source is impact free, renewable energy resources create less waste, pollution, and they help develop the regional clean energy economy.

(Back to bold face) How do I sign up for Green Power Switch?

Signing up is easy immediate payment not required. Simply tear off and mail in the attached reply form above, call 1-866-673-4340 or visit www.GreenPowerSwitch.com. Thank you for helping to make a difference today.

Wow! Here’s a company that is basically saying send us some money for nothing. This makes the guy offering the Brooklyn Bridge look reputable. At least he was offering something. They’re not.

The letter writers really will have to work a little more on their style. They need to work in the poor, our fragile planet, our American greed when it comes to energy or a play on liberal sympathies. No, no niceties here such as what a great person who are to recognize the need to help others or anything about global warming or dying rain forests. It’s just a complete crass request for more money for…..what? And who benefits?

All that’s missing is the line “But Wait – there’s more!” No need to send money now is in there. Isn’t it always? Except there is money due eventually. MLGW courteously will do the “work” of attaching it to your bill. Now that’s thoughtful.

There is a sidebar that adds a little more “info.” It says “Make a Difference, Buy Green Power.” It goes on to say

Green Power Switch customers have purchased over 827,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy since the program started, keeping almost 1.6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions out of our atmosphere and supporting local jobs.
Last year alone, the program had the same positive impact as:
140,588 acres of trees removing carbon out of the Tennessee Valley region.
Keeping 35,733 passenger vehicles (in bold type) off the road.

There is nothing here that tells you how the program works, who administers and/or monitors it and where it is. How do we know all that had a good impact? Because they say so!

The top of the page has a block saying “YES! I want to buy Green power!” There are check off boxes of 12% (1 block-$4), 25% (2 blocks-$8), 37% (3 blocks-$12) and 50% (4 blocks-$16).

They very “kindly” enclose a business reply mail envelope so you don’t have to pay postage.

If you go to the green power switch site, it has the names of local suckers, er “visionaries” as they refer to them, who have chipped in for this nonsense or been coerced. It includes Askew Nixon & Ferguson Architects, Center City Commission, City Center Commission, Memphis Light, Gas & Water, Mid-Town Yoga, Rhodes College, River Inn of Harbor Town Landing, The Daily News and a few others.

Yes sir! Right here in River City! Even P.T. Barnum would be surprised.

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