Mild Weather Playing Havoc With EPB Power Budget

Friday, September 20, 2013

Chattanooga's mild summer is playing havoc with the power budget at EPB.

Revenue on the power side for the fiscal year to date is $103 million, but that is over $14 million below budget.

Executive Vice President and CFO Greg Eaves said, "We aren't panicking yet, but we may start diverting some capital projects."

Harold DePriest, EPB president, noted that the utility depends on air conditioners churning in the hot summer and the heat turned up in the winter.

Joe Ferguson, board chairman, said a frosty winter may help bring the budget back in line. He said the Farmer's Almanac is predicting an especially cold winter. But Mr. DePriest said he is not placing too much faith in that prognostication.

Mr. Ferguson asked Mr. DePriest, "What are you going to do about the weather?"

Mr. DePriest replied, "That's above my pay grade. It's board related."

Mr. Eaves said the burgeoning fiber optics side of the EPB business is helping take up some of the slack. It has contributed $1.7 million thus far in the fiscal year.

David Wade said the EPB for the first time has been gaining revenue from PBX hosting.  He said EPB now is able to function as "a virtual phone switch." He said in some cases the EPB team has been able to install a phone switch system for a local company in a single day.

He also said that EPB is now able to offer to large power users the ability to monitor their power usage in real time. He said they can use the tracking system to help manage their power usage.


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