EPB During Snowstorm Had Highest Peak In Its History; Storm Was Costly To Utility

Friday, March 21, 2014

The recent snowstorm brought the highest peak power use in EPB's history, Finance Director Greg Eaves told EPB board members Friday.

The extremely high usage brought EPB the higher kilowatt usage it has been wanting to help balance its budget, but he said the usage was so high that TVA charged EPB and other affected utilities a demand charge.

Also, it cost EPB $4 million to get everyone's power back on. There were 182 crews and nearly 800 contractors involved for several days in clearing lines and getting them back online.

Mr. Eaves said the cleanup could have been much more costly except for EPB's Smart Grid. He said it automatically switched power back on for 40,000 customers.

David Wade, EPB executive, noted that the power line problems, unlike in most storms, were not in the mountainous areas. He said that was because, due to a slight temperature variation, the weight of the snow was heavier in the valley - causing limbs to break. 

EPB at this point in the fiscal year is $7.4 million below budget. Operations are $3.4 million over budget - manly attributable to the storm cleanup.

Mr. Eaves said the utility should begin to get back on track over the next several months.

He said the utility has had to deal with four of the six worst storms in area history in just the past three years.

Harold DePriest, president, noted that, "Five of the top six have been on my watch."

The fiberoptic side continues to be a much brighter story.

The video, phone and Internet service has made $9.8 million for EPB thus far this fiscal year.

Mr. DePriest said EPB needed to get 43,000 customers to make the TV operation profitable. He said it recently signed up the 56,000th customer. He said he projects it will get at least 75,000 - maybe within a year.

EPB just signed 560 units at Alexian on Signal Mountain.

The utility now has 3,900 customers on its gig service.   


The Spice & Tea Exchange Coming To Hamilton Corner

The Spice & Tea Exchange will offer more than 140 spices, over 80 exclusive hand-mixed blends, 16 naturally-flavored sugars, an array of salts from around the world, and more than 30 exotic teas. Owners, Mike and Diane Tobin relocated from Vermont to open the store here in Chattanooga.  They fell in love with the Hamilton Corner location, with its diverse upscale stores ... (click for more)

Miller & Martin Attorney Honored As Fellow Of Chattanooga Bar Foundation

Miller & Martin attorney Ward Nelson has been recognized for his professional achievements and for his commitment to the Chattanooga community with an invitation to become a fellow of the Chattanooga Bar Foundation. Each year the CBF invites a select few to join the ranks of the local fellows. The fellows work to improve the study of law, improve the administration of justice, ... (click for more)

County Commission Gives Up Fight On $900,000 In Discretionary Funds

County Commission members have given up the fight for the annual $900,000 in discretionary funds. Commission Chairman Chester Bankston said there was not enough money available after requests from a number of agencies and departments were cut to balance the budget without a tax increase. Commissioner Sabrena Smedley said the fact that commissioners can no longer allot the ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed And Several Others Injured In 2 Wrecks Near Ooltewah Exit Of I-75

One person was killed and several others injured in two wrecks early Wednesday morning on I-75 northbound at exit 11.   Northbound lanes were closed while emergency crews worked both accidents. Traffic was rerouted to Old Lee Highway to avoid the accident scene.   Traffic was backed up for an extended time before it eventually re-opened.   The initial ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What You Leave Behind

Randy Travis, one of the best at singing country songs that has ever been, had a song about three people who got killed when an 18-wheeler missed a stop sign. There was a farmer and a teacher, a hooker and a preacher on this bus and Randy tells us: “One's headed for vacation, one for higher education, An' two of them were searchin' for lost souls.” In that wonderful song, the ... (click for more)