CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (October 20, 2023) – This morning, the EPB Board of Directors approved a $125 million bond issuance. Funds raised will be devoted to capital improvements to further enhance the reliability and resilience of the local electric system for customers while accommodating the cost of building out new infrastructure to support rapid growth in the Chattanooga area.
"One of Chattanooga's greatest assets is our advanced electric grid that delivers reliable power at rates lower than most places around the U.S.," said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. "Combined with recently announced funding from the Department of Energy, EPB's upcoming bond issue will continue investments that make our city a highly competitive destination for investment and innovation."
“Issuing bonds will help EPB spread out the cost of needed capital investments that will serve customers over the next several decades. This is a standard practice for many utilities across the country because it means current customers pay only for the cost of the power infrastructure in place today and are not responsible for bearing the costs of improvements that don’t benefit them directly,” said EPB Executive Vice President CFO Greg Eaves. “Our focus remains on providing reliable energy services. Building out resources is an essential part of that commitment.”
EPB expects funds raised through the bond issue to be used for a range of operational needs to serve customers:
The bond issue will be presented to the Chattanooga City Council at an upcoming meeting, which will have final approval before the bond is issued officially by the City. Although the City is responsible for issuing bonds on EPB’s behalf, the debt is secured by EPB revenues and remains completely separate from City finances.
EPB maintains strong bond ratings from previous issuances, including AA+ from Fitch Ratings and an Aa1 rating from Moody’s Investor Service at the time of EPB’s last bond issue in 2021.
EPB operates an independent board of the City of Chattanooga and does not receive any local tax money. EPB’s operations are funded solely through the sale of its products and services. The municipal utility is the largest contributor to local tax coffers, paying a combined total of more than $21 million each year to the City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, and other local governments in EPB’s service area in support of public education and services.
With the mission of “enhancing quality of life in our community,” EPB is a municipal utility that delivers world-class energy and connectivity services to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the surrounding area. In 2010, EPB completed a 100% fiber optic network accessible to all its customers as the basis for launching America’s first community-wide Gig speed internet. The company still operates the world’s fastest community-wide internet service today at speeds up to 25 Gig. EPB also utilizes Chattanooga’s fiber optic network as the communications backbone for the most advanced and highly automated power distribution system in the United States. In 2022, EPB continued its commitment to keeping Chattanooga on the cutting edge by establishing our nation’s first commercially available quantum network — EPB Quantum Network℠ powered by Qubitekk, which aligns local job creation efforts with the national priority to accelerate the commercialization of quantum technology.
Since switching the lights on for its first electric customer in 1939, EPB has grown to serve a 600-square-mile service area with cutting-edge infrastructure that integrates power distribution and telecommunications. At the same time, EPB keeps customer benefit at the center of all its efforts, earning recognition from J.D. Power as the #1 Mid-Sized Utility in the South for the last seven consecutive years based on customer satisfaction ratings. Learn more at epb.com.
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