EPB Budget Will Not Include Electric Rate Increase - Thanks To Fiberoptics; Utility To Begin Solar Sales In July

Friday, May 19, 2017

EPB's upcoming budget will not include an electric rate increase - thanks to the utility's highly successful fiberoptic program.

Greg Eaves, chief financial officer, said the phone, TV and Internet side of the business will transfer about $40 million to the electric side. That will leave electric with more than a $7 million positive gain.

That comes after the fiberoptic debt has been paid down to zero. Mr. Eaves said that was not expected to happen under the original projections until 2024. He said just two years ago it was not envisioned until 2020.

It is expected that fiberoptics will finish the year with about 98,000 customers - far above original projections.

Mr. Eaves said, "We have made $22.2 million on fiberoptics year to date."

Without the fiberoptics cash infusion, electric ratepayers would be facing a seven percent hike this year, it was stated.

David Wade said electric demand is expected to remain flat over the long term, causing distributors and others to look more closely at alternatives, such as solar.

He said EPB will begin selling output from its new solar installation on Holtzclaw Avenue in July. If it sells out quickly, the utility will begin to look at more solar options, he said.

Mr. Wade said EPB is also examining battery storage for power produced at Holtzclaw and at the Airport. He said such installations could be entirely self-sufficient grids - not connected with the main lines. He said the cost for the battery storage was lower than was expected.

Joe Ferguson, board chairman, said many major companies are taking a new look at solar as the cost comes down and improvements are made. He said many firms are going "off the grid" including Tesla's large battery production facility.  

Mr. Wade said solar "remains a very small part of our system, but it is growing."

Also, Mr. Wade said the combination of last year's drought and this year's heavy rain has brought down close to 500 large oak trees. He said the number was just about 50 last year.

The most recent storm cost EPB some $600,000 to clean up.

The EPB board approved a $50 million line of credit from SunTrust Bank - up from the current $25 million.

That is available just in case of unexpected heavy costs - such as the $25 million needed to clean up from the 2012 tornadoes.  

 

 


Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like us on Facebook ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ABSTON, ALICIA MICHELLE  534 CHERRY MILL LANE CATOOSA, 30755  Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- AMEY, MADELYN LANISE  518 LATTIMORE STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 19 years old Arresting Agency: ... (click for more)

Dr. Livesay Should Step Down From Bryan College Leadership - And Response (3)

I am writing in response to the July 25th article, "Online Petition Seeks Removal of Bryan College President, Board Chair".  As a graduate of Bryan College (1984), I am saddened by the response of Dr. Stephen Livesay and the Board of Trustees regarding the online petition.  The purpose of the petition really has little to do with the school’s “clarification” of its ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘No Sir -- It Stays Here’

To any of the millions who have served the United States on the field of combat, the most hallowed and prized distinction is our nation’s Medal of Honor. It is never given, it is always earned before it is ever awarded.  At least that’s the way it was up until a sun-splashed Wednesday three weeks ago in Vicenza, Italy. There is an Army base there that houses the 173 rd Airborne ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Team Wins 17U Division I AAU National Championship

Team NLP(TN) from Chattanooga won the 17U Division I AAU National Championship on Sunday with a 61-56 victory over the Miami Runnin' Rebels. The game was televised on ESPN. Team NLP(TN) program is coached by Brainerd High School Assistant Coach, Steve Cook Jr (Chattanooga Christian High School graduate), while E'Jay Ward (Brainerd High School graduate) serves as his assistant ... (click for more)

SEC Annouces Television Schedule For First Three Weeks Of 2017 Season

The SEC Office on Tuesday announced the start times for games on the SEC Network during the first three weeks of the 2017 season.   The SEC Network Saturday schedule opens with three games on September 2 .  The Network will air six games on the second week of the season and five games in Week 3.  The first Conference matchup of the year on the ... (click for more)