04 June 2021 · 3 min. read

Fitch rates EPB Bonds AA+ & Moody’s gives Aa1 rating. Both rating agencies forecast stable outlook.

Chattanooga, TN (June 4, 2021) – Two of the nation’s leading rating agencies recognized EPB of Chattanooga’s strong financial health and stewardship by issuing very favorable bond ratings as the utility moves forward with a plan to fund $75 million in electric system capital improvements through a bond issue by the City of Chattanooga.

In reaffirming EPB’s AA+ bond rating, Fitch Ratings noted that the utility demonstrated a “Very Strong Financial Profile through Stress Case” and said “EPB’s capital planning and management is very strong.”

Citing similar considerations, Moody’s Investor Service gave EPB a Aa1 Bond rating. Moody’s analysis stated, “[EPB’s] strong service area and stable customer base, well managed financial operations with healthy debt service coverage and moderate but affordable debt profile.” Moody’s report also concluded that “Governance considerations are material to EPB's credit profile however the board benefits from strong fiscal management with long-term operational and capital planning.”

Earning such high bond ratings is another positive milestone as EPB continues the bond issue process as part of its regular cycle of capital financing.

“The rating agencies benchmark our financial performance against other companies and provide us with an independent verification of EPB’s efforts to serve as a good steward of our community’s infrastructure,” said Greg Eaves, EPB executive vice president and chief financial officer. “By maintaining a healthy financial course, we continue to serve our customers with some of the nation’s most advanced smart city technology while keeping customer costs as low as possible.”

Eaves also noted that with interest rates at historic lows, this is a particularly advantageous time for a bond issue because it will help keep costs down for our customers.

Because the bonds will be issued through the City of Chattanooga, the measure will come before the City Council for a vote on June 8.

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. In fact, EPB is the largest contributor to local tax coffers, paying a combined total of more than $20 million each year to the City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, and the other local governments in the service area in support of public educations and services.

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 community-wide 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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