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23 June 2023 · 4 min. read

EPB Board approves electric rate increase set for October billing

First local increase in 8 years

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (June 16, 2023) – The EPB Board approved a 4% electric rate increase which will be effective beginning with the October billings, pending TVA approval. This is the first time in more than eight years EPB has sought a rate increase across any of its electric rate offerings.

“EPB has been able to avoid rate increases for years longer than expected, but inflationary pressures and other factors make it necessary to make this decision at this time,” said EPB President & CEO David Wade. “We remain focused on enhancing the reliability and resiliency of power for our customers, while keeping rates lower than many other places across the country.”

For residential customers who use a monthly average of 1,136 kWh of electric power, this adjustment will reflect an increase of about $5.00 on their monthly bills.

The last increase in EPB’s portion of the electric rate was in 2015, and it was only expected to remain at that level for three to five years. Many factors contribute to the necessity of this increase including:

  • Inflation and economic conditions: Since EPB’s last rate increase in 2015, the Consumer Price Index has increased 26.5%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reflects the increase in nearly all costs of doing business.
  • Supply chain challenges and price increases: Key electric industry materials such as transformers, poles, conduit, wire and cable have seen price increases in excess of 100% in some cases. Common delays of one year or more over scheduled deliveries for these materials have also complicated budget planning.
  • Unreimbursed storm recovery costs: EPB has spent a combined total of about $49 million in restoration costs from major storms over the last three years and only recently received $30 million in reimbursement for the 2020 Easter tornado.
  • Expiration of Pandemic Recovery Credit: TVA’s Pandemic Recovery Credit is set to expire this September. Through this program, EPB has received a 2.5% wholesale power cost credit since October 2020. The loss of this credit contributes to the need for the rate increase.

The electric rate for EPB customers includes components to cover TVA’s cost for power generation and transmission to our community as well as components to cover the cost for EPB to deliver electricity to customers. In addition, TVA charges a fuel cost adjustment, which fluctuates monthly to cover the current market cost of natural gas, coal and other fuels used to generate power.

About EPB

EPB delivers advanced smart city infrastructure and world-class energy and connectivity solutions, including the most resilient smart grid power distribution system in the United States and the fastest internet in the world. EPB gained national notice when it deployed America’s first community-wide Gig-speed internet in 2010, later expanding the ubiquitously available service to 10 Gig in 2015 and 25 Gig in 2022. Ever committed to keeping Chattanooga on the cutting edge, in 2022, EPB established EPB Quantum NetworkSM powered by Qubitekk, America’s first industry-led, commercially available quantum network designed for private companies as well as government and university researchers to run quantum equipment and applications in an established fiber optic environment.

EPB utilizes its fiber optic network as the communications backbone for more than 200,000 smart switches, sensors and other devices. As a result, the Chattanooga area’s power distribution system is the most advanced and highly automated smart grid in the nation. This led the U.S. Department of Energy to name EPB a living laboratory for pioneering smart grid technologies. Since then, EPB has partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and more than 20 other national research partners to play a critical role in more than $155 million in smart city research, earning such recognitions as the R&D 100 Award for its work to apply quantum technologies to securing America’s electric grid. EPB was also the first major power distribution utility to earn the GBCI’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid in 2015 and followed up in 2021 by re-certifying at PEER Gold.

EPB is an independent board of the City of Chattanooga which began serving customers in 1939 and today reaches a 600-square-mile service territory that includes the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the surrounding area. Visit for more information.


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