Chattanooga, TN (Aug. 18, 2022) – As global energy markets push up local electric bills, EPB and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) have completed their 600th Home Uplift energy renovation for people in need and announced the investment of another $1,068,146 to keep the program going strong during this critical time.
Through Home Uplift, the EPB Energy ProsSM and TVA EnergyRight® work with neighbors in need to provide substantial home energy upgrades at no charge to reduce their energy bills and improve the air quality. Both homeowners and renters can apply for the program.
Through the Home Uplift partnership, the EPB’s Energy Pros provided Joyce Threat with a new HVAC to replace her propane furnace along with complete insulation, air sealing throughout her home and more. According to Threat, the program saved her thousands of dollars when the price of propane spiked last winter with the likelihood of even higher prices during the next cold season. “I got my Home Uplift just in time,” said Threat. “I’m very happy with the job they did and the service they gave me. My daughter has asthma, and she doesn’t cough anymore when she visits me.”
Eligible Home Uplift participants may receive duct replacement, water heater and pipe insulation, wall insulation, HVAC clean and tune, windows and door replacement, and replacing heat pumps, water heaters and refrigerators. On average, EPB’s Home Uplift participants save more than $400 on their energy costs each year with those who have the highest energy burden saving much more.
“Home Uplift participants understand that this program is about more than just energy efficiency,” said Cindy Herron, Vice President, TVA Energy Services & Programs. “We’re strengthening their quality of life by lowering their monthly power bills and improving home comfort, health and safety.”
“As global forces drive up local energy bills, EPB is placing a priority on supporting our community through our EPB Energy Pros programs which include Home Uplift, free EPB Home Energy CheckupsSM for all EPB customers and other offerings designed to help our neighbors get the most value for the energy they use,” said David Wade, president & CEO of EPB. “In recent years, we have accelerated the number of Home Uplift energy renovations we complete each year while also providing free expert guidance from the EPB Energy Pros to all of our customers in-person, virtually, by phone, through our at Home with EPB Energy Pros video series and more.”
EPB and TVA first partnered in 2015 to provide high-impact home energy upgrades to qualified homeowners with the goal of helping them enhance the energy efficiency of their residence. Those who qualify receive home improvements at no cost to help them dramatically reduce their power bills. Since then, EPB, TVA, the City of Chattanooga and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) have invested a total of $7.4 million locally. Across the Tennessee Valley, TVA has invested more than $21.68 million in the program.
Analyzing Smart Grid weather-normalized energy data, EPB found each of the 600 homes will save more than 4,000 kWh on average each year, for a total of two million kWh each year.
Savings translate to approximately 1,800 metric tons of avoided greenhouse gas creation, an environmental impact that equals avoiding the use of 1.9 million pounds of coal or more than 4,000 barrels of oil.
“Some Hamilton County residents have to make difficult decisions about what bills they can afford to pay, a harsh reality for more people as energy costs remain high,” said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger. “Home Uplift gives families the peace of mind and better quality of life that comes from being able to address their needs."
“By lowering energy bills for some of our most vulnerable residents, Home Uplift is helping people stay in their homes, while also improving their health and reducing our greenhouse-gas emissions,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. “As Chattanooga continues to grow, programs like Home Uplift are key to preserving affordable housing and ensuring a more sustainable future for our city.”
In addition to joining other partners in funding the program, EPB also staffs Home Uplift with EPB Energy Pros who work with eligible Home Uplift participants to identify the home energy renovations that will provide them with the best cost-savings on their monthly bills.
The EPB Energy Pros provide free expertise and services that are available to all EPB customers. For example, they provide free EPB Home Energy Checkups, in-person assessments of customers’ homes and provide them with personalized recommendations about the most cost-effective ways to make their homes healthier and more energy efficient.
EPB Energy Pros can also provide guidance to help customers plan solar installations, install EV chargers and make home energy renovations. They’ll even inspect the contractor’s work when the project is done to ensure optimal customer benefit. In addition, EPB Energy Pros are available for phone consultations on all home energy related topics from questions about buying major appliances, what kind of insulation will provide the most cost-effective savings, to whether it’s time to buy a new hot water heater.
All of these services are available to both homeowners and renters at no charge to help them get the most value from the energy they use. Customers can call our EPB Energy Pros at 423-648-1372 or book an appointment at EPB.com/energypros.
EPB, TVA, and the City of Chattanooga encourage neighbors in need to apply now for Home Uplift by going to: epb.com/homeuplift. Renters can also apply to the program with consent from their landlord.
EPB serves the people of the Chattanooga area with advanced smart city infrastructure to enable world-class energy and connectivity solutions that include 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 a community-wide fiber optic network accessible to all its customers and used it to launch America’s first Gig-speed internet in 2010 (beating Google Fiber by 4 years) as well as the first 10 Gig internet service available as a standard offer to all residences and businesses in 2015.
EPB also utilized the fiber optic network as the communications backbone for deploying more than 200,000 smart switches, sensors and other devices to establish the most advanced and highly automated smart grid in the nation. As a result, the U.S. Department of Energy named 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. 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. Visit epb.com for more information.
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.
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