EPB Officials Say Bitterly Cold Temperatures Hard On Customers, But Should Help Revive Utility's Finances

Friday, January 24, 2014

EPB officials said Friday that the recent bitterly cold temperatures will be hard on customers, but should help revive the utility's "really disastrous financial start" to the fiscal year due to extremely mild temperatures.

Greg Eaves, chief financial officer, said EPB had an operational gain of $4.4 million last month.

He said it wound up with a $3.5 million profit on the electric side.

Mr. Eaves set EPB had gotten $12 million behind on its budget, and still may wind up about $2 million off the target.

Harold DePriest, president, noted, "For a lot of our customers, it is going to be a struggle" to pay the much-higher bills coming after months of cusomers getting a break.

But officials said EPB customers as a whole pay their bills at a much better rate than other utilities.

Mr. DePriest said, "We really strive to treat our customers with dignity and respect. We really work with our customers."

Joe Ferguson, board chairman, said, "We go the last mile before cutting them off, especially in weather like this."

Officials said the fiber optic business is still helping prop up the electric side. It had $8.2 million in revenue last month with a profit of $1.2 million.

Mr. Eaves said it has supplied $10 million to the electric side in the first six months of the fiscal year.  

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