Chattanooga, TN (November 8, 2019) – EPB of Chattanooga has become the first local company to earn the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification at the Gold level for an existing building. The certification reflects EPB’s successful efforts to dramatically reduce its environmental impact through energy efficiency, reduced water use, diverting waste from landfills through composting and recycling, and other measures. LEED, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the most widely used green building rating system and a symbol of international excellence.
“EPB has shown tremendous leadership in making its own operations more sustainable while providing environmental expertise and sustainable energy options like the Solar Share community solar program to its customers,” said Rhiannon Jacobsen, Vice President, Market Transformation & Development at the U.S. Green Building Council. “This LEED certification represents their commitment to moving beyond the status quo and operating their space in a manner that supports human and environmental health.”
EPB celebrated the announcement by hosting the EPB Green Business Expo to share expertise and resources with other local companies interested enhancing their sustainability and optimizing their operations.
“We know that protecting our environment for future generations is critical to the success of this community,” said City of Chattanooga Mayor Berke. “That’s why we’ve made resilience a top priority and worked with EPB to save 45 million kilowatt hours of energy and more than $5 million dollars over the last six years through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge.”
Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger also expressed his support for enhanced environmental efforts like the measures EPB has taken. “Slowing our use of landfill space saves our community money and reduces the need to find new places to develop landfill facilities so that our land can be put to more productive use,” said Mayor Coppinger. “Through these efforts, EPB diverts 63% of their downtown building’s waste to recycling and compost—that means tens of thousands of pounds that don’t end up as trash.”
“Reducing waste and optimizing our operations saves money to help us keep costs down for the benefit of our customers while also preserving the beauty and healthiness of our natural environment,” said David Wade, EPB President & CEO.
According to Christy Gillenwater, President and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce who also serves on the national Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy National Advisory Council, Chattanooga has a long-standing national reputation for leading on environmental issues. “Chattanooga’s business community has a long track record of working alongside community leaders and residents to help recover and preserve our community’s rich and beautiful natural environment,” Gillenwater said. “The Chattanooga Chamber is proud to partner with EPB to engage local companies as we continue to raise the bar on our commitment to sustainability.”
During the EPB Green Business Expo, the Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga State Community College, and The Bright School committed to completing the green|light sustainability designation over the next year. Greenllight is an independently verified certification administered by local nonprofit, greenlspaces. These businesses and others that join by January 2, 2020 will participate in the EPB green|light Accelerator, a ten-month program designed to expedite the transition to environmentally and socially responsible operations. Greenlspaces Chattanooga and EPB have partnered on the accelerator, and the monthly program will support leaders as they implement greenllight criteria into their workplaces. To learn more, visit greenlightchattanooga.com or contact Kelley Cureton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPB’s Solar Share is Chattanooga’s only community solar installation which allows residential and business customers to benefit from solar power generation without having to install panels or make a long-term commitment. To learn more and sign up go to: epb.com/solarshare.
EPB LEED Gold Fast Facts
Over the last year, EPB:
EPB serves the greater Chattanooga area by providing world-class energy and connectivity solutions as a means of promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life for our community. We deliver electricity to more than 170,000 homes and businesses across our 600 square mile service area which includes most of Hamilton County as well as parts of surrounding counties in both Tennessee and Georgia. In 2010, EPB Fiber Optics, which offers internet, TV, and telephone services, 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 which is accessible 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.
EPB is an independent board of the City of Chattanooga which began serving customers in 1939. For more information, go to epb.com.