ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / EPB's corporate headquarters is at Market Street and M.L. King Boulevard in downtown Chattanooga.

EPB was the top utility in the Tennessee Valley in helping customers save energy on their electric bills last year through the Tennessee Valley Authority's EnergyRight program.

Among the 153 local power companies that distribute TVA power across its seven-state region, EPB accounted for nearly one fourth of all the energy savings realized by residential and industrial customers through the energy savings audits, loans and assistance programs offered by TVA in fiscal 2020. Buoyed by the virtual energy audits EPB started during the pandemic, EPB helped its customers save more than 18.5 million kilowatthours of electricity through its EnergyRight programs.

In the annual awards to participants in the TVA EnergyRight program, Chattanooga's EPB was recognized as one of the top performers in 12 categories related to electrification, energy efficiency and renewables.

"EPB provides the staffing, promotion and resources to ensure that customers are aware of and can participate in energy efficiency measures to save money on their electric bills," said Cindy Herron, vice president of TVA EnergyRight. "We are very proud of this great accomplishment and are very excited about what lies ahead in this rapidly changing energy marketplace."

The Knoxville Utilities Board, which contracted last year to buy 20% of its electricity by 2023 from solar farms under TVA's Green Invest program, was recognized as the top utility for carbon reduction in the Tennessee Valley. KUB reduced its carbon output by 173,664 tons in 2020, or more than three times EPB's carbon reduction of 58,221 through all of the EnergyRight programs.

TVA's EnergyRight programs help local power companies pay for audits, educational materials and targeted assistance programs in low-income neighborhoods to make energy efficiency upgrades in homes. The smart energy technologies the program helps support also helps stabilize TVA's power loads to limit peak electricity demands.

TVA said its energy efficiency savings measures helped save a total of 50.8 gigawatthours of electricity last year, marking 13 years that TVA has exceeded its load management targets with its energy efficiency programs.

Despite those gains, however, environmental groups have criticized TVA for not doing as much as some neighboring states and for abandoning some of the incentives, loans and rebates provided in the past by TVA for energy efficiency measures. A study by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy found that TVA provided less than 3% as much aid for energy efficiency as the U.S. average in 2019.

TVA said it discontinued its premium prices paid for purchased solar as the technology improved and it has targeted more of its direct grants for energy efficiency to low-income areas through its Home Uplift program.

For its part, TVA has been the most active local power company offering free Home Energy Workshops, which last year helped save residential customers 428,823 kWh.

"This year we worked together to make them virtual, making it possible for residents to learn about home energy use remotely," said John Watts, EPB Energy Pro. "When more people know about all the money-saving tips and energy conservation assistance to them, everyone in the Tennessee Valley wins."

EPB also helped its industrial customers by saving 29.4 million kWh after learning information through the TVA EnergyRight Industry — Smart Energy Technologies program.

"EPB and TVA EnergyRight work with industrial users to create customized, plantwide approaches that help them control expenses, boost their bottom lines and use energy more efficiently."

EPB was also recognized for helping its customers save 127,696 kWh through our Home Uplift program and 141,143 kWh through our DIY Home Energy Assessments.

EPB's Energy Pros analyze home energy use and provide detailed recommendations on how to improve energy efficiency. They can also do a free energy bill analysis to help customers learn how to track costs, levelize their bills and take advantage of available rebates.

More information about the energy pros is available at epb.com/energypros, or by calling 423-648-1372 to schedule an in-person or virtual visit.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6340.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT