Mayors' Energy Challenge


City of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. and Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr. have partnered with Pathway Lending, a non-profit commercial lender in Tennessee, as well as the State of Tennessee, MLGW, and TVA to present the Mayors’ Energy Challenge to business owners and residents in Memphis and Shelby County.  This public-private partnership is designed to provide the necessary tools and resources to motivate individuals in the community to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient.  This provides a threefold return to our community: individuals will be able to save money; contractors will have more business opportunities; and there will be less carbon emitted in our community.  We believe that this triple bottom line return to our community is the type of program that will reap long term benefits for Memphis and Shelby County.

The resources for this Challenge have been laid out in the sections below and have been categorized by Commercial & Industrial Business Resources; Residential Resources; and Renewable Energy Resources.


Commercial & Industrial Business Resources

Pathway Lending Low-Interest Loan Fund – Pathway Lending has set aside $10 million in funding through the Tennessee Energy Efficiency Loan Program to fund projects undertaken by businesses in Memphis and Shelby County. The organization will also advise businesses on other energy-saving programs and initiatives available to make projects more affordable. The low-interest loans (available in amounts from $25,000 to $2.5 million) are designed to maximize energy efficiency projects and the application and approval process has been streamlined for Memphis and Shelby County applicants so work can begin quickly.  Projects can include high-efficiency lighting, HVAC systems, improved insulation, building retrofits, projects which include renewable energy and more.  Access the Pathway Lending Application here

TVA Energy Right Solutions for Business/Industry - Energy Right Solutions for Business/Industry (ERSB/I) offers financial incentives for all commercial customers and small businesses such as schools, hospitals and government offices.  Various levels of energy assessment are offered depending on the size and complexity of the opportunities for energy efficiency savings.  Cash incentives are available for the replacement of certain types of equipment with more efficient models.  This incentive can pay up to 70% of project cost with NO cap. 

TVA Energy Right Solutions for Major Industry - Energy Right Solutions for Industry (ERSI) also has a program for Major Industrial Companies that have a power contract greater than 5 MW.  This program is for customers interested in a plant-wide, holistic approach to energy efficiency.  The financial incentive for this program can be a lump sum amount of $0.10/kWh reduced for first year or can pay 70% of project cost.  These incentives are based on post measurement results. 

TVA Valley Investment Initiative - The Valley Investment Initiative (VII) is an economic development incentive program jointly offered by TVA and participating distributors of TVA power.  VII offers financial incentives to qualifying power customers who contribute to the economic development of the Valley region and compliment TVA’s power system resources.  Award amounts are based on a customer’s five-year projections and actual performance in certain categories.  These incentives will be paid as monthly power bill credits over the award period. 

TVA MainStreet Efficiency Program - Business customers with a contract demand of no more than 50 kilowatts can receive a free lighting energy assessment with a report showing how their business could reduce energy use with specific efficient lighting upgrades. TVA is offering customers an additional incentive to offset the cost of recommended lighting retrofits.

MLGW My Account Tools – Gain access to your electricity, natural gas and water usage history, as well as import your billing data into do-it-yourself energy audit tools and more.  Visit the site often to see new information, plus create and update an energy plan for your facility.  To sign up for My Account, visit

MLGW Energy Edge Newsletter - Be among the first to know about new programs, incentives and other utility-related news by reading MLGW’s Energy Edge e-newsletter.  Find it online or send an email to to be added to the distribution list.

MLGW Business Energy Advisor - Consult our online advisor 24/7 when you need to find simple ways to save, evaluate energy upgrades, read objective information on new technologies and more. 

E3: Economy, Energy and Environment – E3 provides manufacturers with customized, hands-on assessments of production processes to reduce energy consumption, minimize their carbon footprint, prevent pollution, increase productivity, and drive innovation.    

Tennessee 3-Star Industrial Assessment Center - TN 3-Star IAC performs energy assessments at manufacturing plants across the state at no cost to the client.  Contact 901-678-3268 for more information. 

UT-CIS - UT's Center for Industrial Services will work with your company to help you grow the lean manufacturing, economic, energy, and environmental (E3) Solutions.

Residential Resources

eScore – Contact a contractor in TVA's Quality Contractor Network to help you receive instant rebates for qualified improvements or call 1-855-237-2673 for program details. 

eScore Self Audit - A free tool for homeowners to audit their house, receive a free customized report on energy savings, and a free energy conservation kit including CFL's, faucet aerators, furnance filter whistle and other items!

MLGW On Track program – MLGW offers assistance to limited income earners who are behind in their bills. 

MLGW My Account Tools – Review your energy and water use, analyze changes in your bills, view and pay bills, calculate your carbon footprint and find ways to save with this suite of interactive web applications.  Earn a free TVA energy kit when you complete the Home Profile and My Appliances questions under the Home Energy Center section. To sign up for My Account, visit

MLGW Energy Saving Calculators - Learn how much it costs to operate your refrigerator, how much you’ll save by using compact fluorescent bulbs and other helpful information with these interactive calculators.  The calculators also are available when you login to My Account.

MLGW EcoBUILD – If you are planning to build a home, consider this voluntary green building program to save on your monthly energy bills, enhance comfort and improve indoor air quality.  Builders follow a set of energy building standards then MLGW conducts inspections and tests each home to ensure performance.  EcoBUILD can be used by any builder, for any floorplan, on any property in Shelby County.

Shelby County's Weatherization Assistance Program - Eligible homeowners and renters who meet the income threshold can receive these services through Shelby County’s program. 


Renewable Energy Resources

TVA Green Power Providers - Green Power Providers offers financial incentives for consumer-installed renewable generation of more than .50 kW and less than 50 kW. There is a one-time incentive of $1000 to offset system cost.  Aside from the upfront incentive, TVA purchases 100% of the green power output for 20 years. Resources that qualify include solar, wind, hydro, and biomass.  Find information for local projects on MLGW's green power website

TVA Renewable Standard Offer  - Renewable Standard Offer is for developers of new small to mid-size renewable energy projects.  These projects have to be focused on solar, wind, biomass or methane.  Project has to be larger than 50 kW and less than or equal to 20 MW.  Seasonal and time-of-day prices for hourly delivered energy output are set as of the date of execution of the contract.  Prices per kWh differ based on season and time of day generation.  Long term contracts up to 20 years are offered directly with TVA.

TVA Solar Solutions Initiative - Solar Solutions Initiative (SSI) provides incentive payments for mid-size solar projects in TVA’s Renewable Standard Offer program (above) if the projects use local installers in the Valley Region.  SSI is a targeted incentive that aims to support the existing local solar industry, while also serving as a recruitment tool for new industry in the Valley region, adding investment and jobs. Projects that utilize this program will receive an additional incentive on top of the RSO program.

TVA Green Power Switch – When you choose Green Power Switch, you support Green Power Providers and other regional renewable energy projects using wind, solar and biogas sources.  The way this is done is by purchasing blocks of green power.  Purchase cost shown as an additional payment on monthly electric bill.  Green Power Switch is sold to residential consumers in 150 kilowatt-hour blocks.  This amount represents about 12 percent of a typical household’s average monthly energy use.  Businesses and organizations can sign up for Green Power Switch too.  Minimum number of blocks is calculated based on electricity use.  Each block adds $4 to the customer’s monthly power bill. 

Federal Tax Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency – This database can be used as a guide when searching for federal tax incentives to implement renewable or efficiency projects.