EPB Cuts Debt, But Facing Weather-Related Woes

Friday, July 18, 2014 - by Gail Perry

Members of the Electric Power Board of directors met Friday morning to hear the year-end financial report. Greg Eaves, chief financial officer, said that enough revenue was produced to cover costs this year, but not to the level that had been anticipated. The weather had a direct effect on the profitability of the utility.

TVA bills the EPB for the energy that  it supplies, based on the highest load that is registered during any month. That means if the temperature is extremely high for one day only during the month, the cost of energy that TVA charges is based on that peak level for the entire month.

This practice pushes risk to the distributors such as EPB, officials said.

Operating costs were higher in 2013-2014 than had been expected. In the past, EPB was in the practice of budgeting $2.5 million per year for costs related to storms. Because of the Smart Grid that has now been in place for one year, people are not feeling the consequences of bad storms as much as they did in the past; however the cost to deal with them is still high. In the last four-five years storms that have moved through the area have been more severe and caused extensive damage. This has prompted the company to increase the amount allotted to take care of weather related problems to $4.2 million. This increase still did not make up  the difference for increased costs over the past year. Mr. Eaves said that operating expenses were reduced where possible but that weather did negatively affect financial results of the electric system.

For the year the electric system had sales of $567 million. Profits on that revenue yielded $2.1 million, which is $5.4 million under the $7 million that had been expected in the budget.

The Fiber Optics division of the business has now been in place for five years. The profitability that it has provided has helped the electric system portion of the business to remain profitable. The electric division owns the system and the Fiber Optics division pays to use it. During the past year, Fiber Optics revenue was $99.8 with a net income of $15.2 million.

Mr. Eaves noted that the company made more money with the Fiber Optics portion of the business than was made from the electric system portion, despite the much smaller dollar amount in sales.

One of the biggest announcements made at the board meeting concerned debt created by the Fiber Optics network. Last year the debt was $62.2 million. During 2013-2014, EPB was able to pay $11.8 million on that debt leaving $50 million that is owed.

It is projected that the EPB Telecom division will be debt free by spring 2015. This system that was put in place in 2007 has generated $33 million.


UT & TSU Extension – Hamilton County Offers Workshops And Seminars

The  UT & TSU Extension – Hamilton County office in Chattanooga will offer several workshops and seminars: Farm to School Food Safety Workshop presented by UT Extension - Hamilton County will be held Dec. 10, at Orchard Knob Elementary, 2000 East 3 rd St., Chattanooga, Tn. 37404. The workshop will cover Meet and Greet, Tour School Facilities, Food Safety for Growers, ... (click for more)

Local Vapor Store Expands; Creates Premium Chattanooga-Inspired EJuices

After opening on June 12, the locally-owned Chattanooga Vapor Company has continued to thrive at its North Shore locations off of Frazier Avenue and in Soddy Daisy, at the corner of Dayton and Thrasher Pike. No matter where one falls within the company’s three-step process, they ensure each individual’s needs are met. Its focus on helping people quit smoking and using tobaccos is ... (click for more)

County Schools Have Plan To Put Security Cameras At Every School

The Hamilton County Schools have a plan to put security cameras in every school, Supt. Rick Smith told the County School Board Thursday night. He said the money would come from the $2,201,000 the schools received last year from the sale of the old Ooltewah Elementary School property. The proposal must get approval from the School Board at the December meeting, then from the ... (click for more)

Lookout Mountain, Ga., Raises Sewer Rates; Joins In Kudzu Fight

The Lookout Mountain, Ga., City Council on Thursday night approved an increase in sewer charges. The council approved ordinance 281 increasing sewer rates to $6 per 100 cubic feet of water from the previous rate of $4.77.  The new increase will be in effect in January 2015.    City Manager Brad Haven said the town will be replacing the flow meter for ... (click for more)

Don't Allow Us To Be Overrun By People Who Do Not Belong Here - And Response (2)

Thank you, Senator Corker, for your clear, concise evaluation of the president's attempt to bypass Congress and personally and independently establish national policy that violates our current immigration laws.   Our long-standing failure to enforce our laws to control illegal immigration across our southern border has made this country less safe and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Quick! Arm Our Guards

When I learned last Wednesday that Chattanooga’s leading hospital, in a ridiculous attempt to be more “family friendly,” planned to disarm its security guards. I was aghast but decided to wait for the proper “incident” to illustrate how stupid members of our “free thought society” can sometimes be. It took exactly one week. A bit after midnight on Thursday morning a gunman appeared ... (click for more)