Chattanooga, TN (May 22, 2015) – EPB has asked its Board of Directors to consider a 3.5% increase to monthly electric power charges for customers, effective July 1, 2015. The Board is scheduled to vote on the measure in June.
This is EPB’s first rate increase since 2011 because revenues from EPB’s Fiber Optics division have allowed the utility to defer rate increases that would have totaled 5% over the last four years.
This rate increase is driven by a continuing trend over several years of higher-than-normal costs associated with the greater frequency of devastating storms and by large peak energy demand charges that EPB pays to TVA for power generation. These demand charges are not covered by regular power sales during months with extreme fluctuations in temperature, particularly when there are a few days of extreme temperatures and the rest of the month is much milder. The new rates will apply to EPB’s residential, commercial and smaller industrial customers (excluding B, C, D Industrial Customers).
For residential customers who use 1,000 kWh of electric power in a month, this adjustment will reflect an increase of about $3.50 on their monthly bills. The 3.5% change includes increases to EPB’s base energy rate and the monthly customer charge.
“EPB is committed to delivering reliable energy and the best possible value to our customers,” said president and CEO Harold DePriest. “With this rate increase, we are committed to holding the line on additional rate increases for several years.”
According to DePriest, EPB’s investment in innovative technology and infrastructure are largely responsible for the utility’s ability to keep rates consistent for several years despite inflation. “Our customers have realized great value from EPB’s Fiber Optic system, in both world class communications and the benefits of offsetting our rising costs of providing electric power,” DePriest said. “Our community is well positioned to minimize the rising costs of providing power going into the future.”