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29 August 2022 · 2 min. read

EPB and TVA Commit $300,000 to Chattanooga’s United Way Bridge Fund

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (August 29, 2022)— As households continue to face high electric bills due to global energy prices and high temperatures, EPB invested $150,000 into United Way of Greater Chattanooga’s Bridge Fund, matched by TVA, for a joint partnership of $300,000 to provide neighbors utility and rent assistance. The investment is EPB and TVA’s largest investment in the fund to date. “As the cost of essentials remains high, people already living paycheck to paycheck are squeezed even tighter to meet their monthly obligations,” said David Wade, EPB President and CEO. “Our neighbors continue to need help, and we’re proud to work with TVA and the United Way to support them through the Bridge Fund.”

According to a Bankrate survey, more than half of Americans are not prepared to cover three months of expenses in an emergency; 25 percent report having no emergency fund. United Way’s Bridge Fund provides direct support for those who find themselves in a moment of immediate need for food, health services, transportation, crisis relief, housing, utility payments or childcare.

“Though we hoped for economic recovery to gain momentum beyond the pandemic, new forces continue to make it difficult for some to make ends meet,” added Lesley Scearce, CEO & President of United Way of Greater Chattanooga. “Confronting these challenges would not be possible without the support of our community partners.” This is EPB and TVA’s third round of support for the Bridge Fund, bringing their total investment to $720,000 since spring 2020. Additionally, EPB employees donated $20,000 in personal contributions to the fund. TVA has supported 668 charities with $15.6 million in assistance since the beginning of the pandemic through the Community Care Fund in partnership with local power companies in its seven-state service area. TVA also extended an additional $5 million in matching funds through fiscal year 2022. “We are proud to partner with EPB and the United Way to support our friends and neighbors,” said Jeff Lyash, TVA President & CEO. “The United Way Bridge Fund provides direct support and resources to those who need it most.”

Formerly known as Restore Hope, United Way of Greater Chattanooga created the Bridge Fund in 2020 to support the needs of those directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, it has:

  • Raised $1.3 million to assist 1,208 households, including
    • 1,764 adults
    • 1,623 children
  • Supported 14 Chattanooga nonprofit agencies, including La Paz, Boys and Girls Club of Chattanooga, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, Rock Bridge Community Church, Helen Ross McNabb Center, Clinica Medicos, Bethlehem Center, Chattanooga Area Command, Northside Neighborhood House, Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, Signal Centers, United Way of Rhea County and the Walker County Heartbeat Fund.

About United Way of Greater Chattanooga

At United Way of Greater Chattanooga, we envision a community where everyone achieves their full human potential through education, stability, and health & well-being. Our mission is to unite people and resources in building a stronger, healthier community. Together, we drive measurable, lasting impact for our community. None of us can do it alone. UNITED, we can. For more information, visit our website www.unitedwaycha.org.

About TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies 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 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 communitywide 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. Visit EPB.com for more information.

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