Chattanooga, TN ( November 9, 2017) – Citing several key rating drivers, Fitch affirmed EPB’s AA+ rating on revenue bonds issued by the City of Chattanooga on behalf of the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga. The AA+ rating was instrumental in helping EPB “refund” existing infrastructure bonds in 2015 that reduced the utility’s interest costs by about $19.8-million.
Fitch, a leading credit rating agency, notes several factors used in affirming the AA+ rating: EPB’s large distribution system; stable financial metrics; manageable capital and debt levels and an increasingly stable and diverse service territory. Additionally, Fitch has determined that EPB’s stable financial results are expected to continue.
“Every day EPB strives to deliver excellent value and financial management in ways that benefit our customers and the communities we serve,” said EPB executive vice president and chief financial officer Greg Eaves. “By maintaining a steady and healthy financial course, we can continue our efforts to keep electric rates as low as possible.”
Fitch notes that it “…expects EPB to maintain stable financial outcomes going forward based on management’s most recent fiscal 2018 - 2022 financial forecast.” This will strengthen EPB’s position to finance ongoing capital projects through 2022 that will enhance Chattanooga’s gigabit-speed fiber optic network infrastructure and deliver value-added energy and communications services.
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.