published Friday, June 17th, 2011

EPB board approves 5 percent rate increase

EPB is set to raise electric rates 5 percent for Chattanooga-area customers beginning July 1 if the measure is approved by its regulator, TVA.

The rate increase will refill the utility’s coffers, which were drained substantially by damage done to its grid by two large storms this year, one of which in April cost the power distributor $30 million, according to Greg Eaves, chief financial officer and executive vice president.

The rate hike assumes that such storms will not strike again next year, and is based upon continued revenues from EPB’s fiber optic services and repayment of some 60 percent of the cost of storm damage by the federal government within two years.

Without revenues from the utility’s telecom, TV and video divisions, the rate hike would be at least twice as much, said Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, and additional tornadic storms next year could lead to yet another rate increase.

If current conditions hold constant, it will take roughly four years to refill EPB’s cash reserves through the proposed rate increase, he added.

About 80 percent of EPB revenues are paid directly to TVA, which supplies EPB with electricity. TVA rate increases and monthly fuel cost adjustments are passed on directly to residents and businesses.

For more information, pick up a copy of Saturday’s Times Free Press.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
dao1980 said...

Why wouldn't they? I approve of a 5% raise for myself..

Just sayin.

June 17, 2011 at 11:26 a.m.
dave said...

Oh gee...electric bills going up AGAIN? Surprise, Surprise...

June 17, 2011 at 12:03 p.m.
Selah said...

Why not cut the top 10% of the top salaried people at EPB first? Don't we all have to pull together in tough economic times? Apparently, only the struggling middle-class have to do that and make up for everyone else.

June 18, 2011 at 2:19 a.m.
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