MLK 50: Our First Family March in Memphis with NAACP

It is hard to describe what I felt in Memphis, TN on April 4th, 2018. This date marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To start, this was my first “march”. I have always wanted to march, but never did. I was born and raised in Nashville, TN, a [...]

Is TVA ignoring how a proposed new fee could put vulnerable customers at risk?

SACE has already revealed how TVA’s existing mandatory fees favor industrial customer at the expense of residents. Now, a new policy change could make this problem even worse. TVA is proposing a grid access charge that would disproportionately harm low-income households. Adding this charge to the rate structure could worsen income inequality in the Valley by making [...]

Can Southern Company really eliminate its carbon pollution?

Southern Company’s CEO Tom Fanning made a bold statement yesterday, announcing that the company he leads is now working to “take down carbon emissions to zero.” Speaking at the Bloomberg Global Energy Summit in New York City, Fanning provided limited details but said that Southern Company will use “technology solutions” to achieve “low to no carbon” by 2050.

How will TVA’s Grid Access Charge Affect Your Rates?

TVA has done it again. They’ve misled the public on a key economic decision. TVA has proposed a discriminatory rate structure change and is hiding its real intent in a desperate measure to limit new technologies and customer freedoms. Public comments for TVA’s new Grid Access Charge policy proposal closed yesterday after just 30 days. Thanks to [...]

The Heavy Hand of FPL Changes Law; Preempting Local Governments

Money in politics typically never leads to good outcomes for utility customers. Case in point: a bill recently signed into law by Governor Scott helps power companies – in particular FPL – build new high-voltage transmission lines by preempting local governments’ ability to apply zoning and environmental protection laws to new power line development. FPL exerts [...]

Damning Report by Inspector General Exposes the Truth About TVA’s Luxury Jet

After watchdog groups raised questions about the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) purchase of seemingly unnecessary and exorbitant aircraft, TVA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report summarizing its own audit of the purchase and use of two of TVA’s most recent luxury toys, a 2015 Cessna Citation 560 XLS+ jet and a 2015 Beechcraft King Air 350i. Strangely missing from this TVA OIG audit is a review of the second jet, a 2017 Cessna Citation 560 XLS+ and a EC 145 Mercedes-Benz style helicopter, both purchased under CEO Bill Johnson’s “life style of the rich and famous” tenure at TVA. The OIG audit clearly shows that TVA could not justify the 2015 purchase of one jet, and yet Johnson went out and bought a second jet in 2017.

In the audit the majority of justifications communicated by TVA executives for the 2015 jet purchase were systematically shown to be imaginary at the best and dishonest at worst. These purchases follow a growing pattern of extraordinary salary and bonuses paid to TVA’s top executives including CEO Bill Johnson as the highest paid Federal employee in the nation current receiving over $6.5 million dollars annually.

The OIG findings come on the heels of a TVA proposal to increase costs for residential and small business customers, adding fixed fees to already inflated residential small business rates that have been increased over the past few years as TVA gave large industrial customers big rate cuts.

Where Does the Florida PSC Stand on Expanding Rooftop Solar?

Where does the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) stand on expanding the benefits of rooftop solar to more Floridians? The 5-member commission, appointed by Governor Scott, failed to approve a proposed solar equipment lease structure for Sunrun at its March 1st Agenda Conference; but the issue could be back before the PSC in the next month. [...]

Guest Blog: Everyday Climate Vulnerability in Places like Memphis

This is a guest blog written by Shelley Poticha with NRDC. To read the original post, click here. Big storms like Harvey in Houston and Katrina in New Orleans garner weeks of headlines. But each American city has a climate story to tell—one that affects people every day and that can be just as devastating [...]

How Students in Memphis are Uplifting Their Community…and How You Can Help!

SACE’s intern, Jazzmyn Davenport, and her fellow college students wanted to find a tangible way to do something to help these struggling residents right now. Last week, they kicked off a one-month giving campaign across multiple campuses called One Less for Plus One, to raise money for a program that helps pay high utility bills for families in need.

Honoring Black History Month: Cornelia Crenshaw, Unsung Hero of the Civil Rights Movement

As Black History Month comes to a close, we wanted to take the time to recognize a woman who had a significant impact on the Civil Rights movement and was one of the pioneers of the Energy Justice movement. We acknowledge and honor Cornelia Crenshaw and all of her endeavors, particularly her commitment to Memphis’ African American community. Thanks to her dedication and tireless work, Memphis’ utility, Memphis Light, Gas, and Water (MLGW), instituted partial payment on utility bills. By allowing partial payments, versus requiring full payment for utility bills, lower-income customers and those on a fixed income are able to keep their lights on, even if they are unable to pay the full amount due.