Chattanooga, TN (August 21, 2018) – EPB announced today that it will continue its Home Energy Upgrade (HEU) program for an additional two years through a partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
Since launching as a pilot program in 2015, HEU has provided customers living in 165 limited income households with upgrades that have reduced energy usage and significantly enhanced quality of life. With this new funding from TVA, EPB and its contractors plan to perform additional upgrades on 92 homes this year.
“EPB is thankful for the continued support from TVA and our partners, as we work together to build a stronger community,” said EPB President and CEO David Wade. “The power of partnerships provides opportunities for us to help our neighbors realize the most value from the electricity we depend on every day.”
HEU recipients have realized average household energy usage reductions of 26%, exceeding the program’s goal of 20% reductions. Additionally, many report improved health, comfort and quality of life including the ability to apply their savings from reduced utility bills to other household needs.
“With these kinds of results, we are strengthening families that are the bed rock of our city,” said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. “TVA’s generous support of the Home Energy Upgrade partnership is a wise investment that ultimately pays big dividends for the entire community.”
“Thanks to our community partners, we have the opportunity to work together and support our neighbors with home improvements that are life-changing,” said Chattanooga City Councilman Russel Gilbert. “I am happy to see the Home Energy Upgrade program continue with a solid record of success.”
EPB’s Home Energy Upgrade program is a partnership supported by TVA, United Way, The Salvation Army, Causeway, Habitat for Humanity, green|spaces and the Benwood, Footprint and Lyndhurst Foundations.
Following a vetting process for applicants, EPB’s Energy & Communications Services team members performed detailed energy analysis of selected recipient’s homes that included a plan for improvements. Through the HEU program, participants received home upgrades valued at up to $10 per square foot for upgrades 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.
“Chattanooga’s Home Energy Upgrade represents a great opportunity for TVA to partner with EPB and community organizations to help limited income residents save money on their utility bills while making their homes healthier and more comfortable,” said Cindy Herron, Vice President of TVA EnergyRight® Solutions.
While EPB helps residents get new HVAC systems and weatherization, TVA is conducting a field study of energy efficiency and improved quality of life that could ultimately improve the health of residents.
“We’ve seen in the past that weatherization improves more than just the structure of the home – it improves people’s lives,” said Herron. “This is the first analytical study TVA has conducted on the far-reaching benefits of home weatherization."
Neighbors in limited income households can apply for assistance through the HEU program by going to epb.com/home-energy-upgrade.
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.