Chattanooga, TN (June 12, 2019) – EPB announced that it has completed its 250th Home Energy Upgrade (HEU) since the program started in 2015, and will continue the program for approximately 100 additional homes with an additional $1-million in financial support.
Home Energy Upgrade provides customers living in limited income households with renovations that have reduced energy usage and significantly enhanced quality of life. Thanks to additional $500,000 in support provided by The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and $500,000 from The Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati and Pinnacle Bank, EPB will be able to continue to work with green|spaces Chattanooga to continue the program through 2020.
“EPB is committed to helping our customers maximize the value of the electricity they use every day,” said EPB President and CEO David Wade. “We are proud of the opportunities we have with our partners to help neighbors who would otherwise not be able to afford these renovations that make their homes more energy efficient and improve indoor health quality.”
“We’re pleased to support programs like Home Energy Upgrade across the Valley while helping people feel safe and comfortable in their homes,” adds TVA President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Lyash. “TVA is proud to be part of the team that reduces our neighbors’ energy bills and lifts up our community as a whole.”
EPB’s Home Energy Upgrade recipients have realized average household energy usage reductions of at least 26%, or more than $500 annually, exceeding the program’s initial goal of 20% reductions. Additionally, most customers receiving upgrades report improved health, comfort and quality of life including the ability to apply their savings from reduced utility bills to other household needs. All participants have said they would recommend Home Energy Upgrade to family, friends and neighbors.
“We noticed an immediate improvement in the quality of our indoor air and health,” said EPB Home Energy Upgrade recipient Hazel Benford. “We appreciate the renovations, and I encourage my neighbors to apply for an opportunity to receive their own Home Energy Upgrade.”
“The Home Energy Upgrade renovations empower our families to realize additional resources for a variety of household needs,” said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. “We are building the strength of our neighborhoods one family at a time.”
Home Energy Upgrade was created as a partnership between EPB, TVA and green|spaces Chattanooga. In a true Chattanooga-Way style, the pilot program began with initial partners United Way, The Salvation Army, Causeway, Habitat for Humanity, Benwood, Footprint and Lyndhurst Foundations along with area residents and neighborhood leaders giving input into the pilot’s structure, creating a community designed program that benefits the community.
Building on the four-year success and new partnership for 2019, EPB is seeking qualified applicants to be considered for the next phase of the program. After a vetting process for applicants, EPB’s Energy & Communications Services team members will perform a detailed energy analysis of selected recipient’s homes and include a plan for improvements.
“Over the past five years, our Empower Chattanooga program has helped thousands of local families who are eager to learn ways to reduce their utility bills,” said Michael Walton, Executive Director of green|spaces Chattanooga. “We are thrilled to partner with EPB’s Home Energy Upgrade program to provide additional resources to families as the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati program sponsor through Pinnacle Financial Partners.”
Home Energy Upgrade participants receive home upgrades valued at up to $10 per square foot for work including insulation, HVAC and duct repair or replacement, energy efficient LED lighting and repairs such as weather-stripping to improve the house’s ability to maintain a comfortable indoor environment.
To qualify for the next round of Home Energy Upgrade, EPB customers who own their own home need to meet specific requirements including household income of less than $24,700 for a family of two individuals with priority given to applicants with special needs. Neighbors in limited income households can apply for assistance by contacting green|spaces at email@example.com, or by calling (423) 648-0963. Green|spaces will provide assistance for the application process with EPB.
Established as an independent board of the City of Chattanooga in 1935, EPB is a municipally-owned utility that provides electric power and fiber optic communications services as a means of promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life across the local area.
EPB serves more than 170,000 homes and businesses in a 600 square-mile area that includes greater Chattanooga, as well as parts of surrounding counties and areas of North Georgia.
In 2010, EPB became the first provider in the United States to deliver up to 1 Gig (1,000 Mbps) internet speeds utilizing a community-wide fiber optic network that provides access to every home and business in its service area. In 2015, EPB became the first, and to date, only American ISP to make up to 10 Gig (10,000 Mbps) internet speeds accessible to all of its residential and commercial customers as a standard offer.
EPB has also utilized its community-wide fiber optic network to deploy the most advanced and highly automated smart grid power management system in the nation. In recognition of EPB’s groundbreaking infrastructure, the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are utilizing EPB’s smart grid as a national model for researching and developing best practices. EPB is also the first major power distribution utility to earn the USGBC’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid. For more information, go to EPB.com.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.
About green|spaces Chattanooga
Since 2007, green|spaces has been serving Chattanooga through a variety of educational and innovative programs promoting sustainable living, working and building. Since inception, over 2,000 local residents have learned energy savings techniques through their Empower Chattanooga classes. In 2017, green|spaces expanded outreach to local schools through the Chattanooga Green Prix. Today, over 34 local student-led teams design, build and race electric power cars in Chattanooga and across the Southeast. Additionally in 2018, green|spaces started a workforce development program supporting at- risk young adults with soft and technical training for careers in construction and energy services.
green|spaces also services local businesses through green|light, a third-party sustainability certification addressing eight categories of sustainable operating practices. All sizes and types of businesses including the Strand Hair Salon and EPB have completed the program with a total of 43 businesses registered.
Based on their experience with the first Net Zero energy development in Chattanooga, green|spaces consults with local residential and commercial developers with the goal to meet the sustainability demands of the market.
For more information on monthly educational programs and project updates, visit www.greenspaceschattanooga.org