Citing several key rating drivers, Fitch affirmed EPB’s AA+ rating on revenue bonds issued by the city of Chattanooga on behalf of the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga. The AA+ rating was instrumental in helping EPB “refund” existing infrastructure bonds in 2015 that reduced the utility’s interest costs by about $19.8-million, said officials.
Fitch, a leading credit rating agency, notes several factors used in affirming the AA+ rating: EPB’s large distribution system; stable financial metrics; manageable capital and debt levels and an increasingly stable and diverse service territory. Additionally, Fitch has determined that EPB’s stable financial results are expected to continue.
“Every day EPB strives to deliver excellent value and financial management in ways that benefit our customers and the communities we serve,” said EPB executive vice president and chief financial officer Greg Eaves. “By maintaining a steady and healthy financial course, we can continue our efforts to keep electric rates as low as possible.”
Fitch notes that it “…expects EPB to maintain stable financial outcomes going forward based on management’s most recent fiscal 2018 - 2022 financial forecast.” This will strengthen EPB’s position to finance ongoing capital projects through 2022 that will enhance Chattanooga’s gigabit-speed fiber optic network infrastructure and deliver value-added energy and communications services, said officials.