EPB Plans To Hold Electric Rates Steady Without Increase; Working To Add More Solar Generation To Keep Future Electric Rates Low

Friday, May 20, 2022
In a presentation to the EPB Board, David Wade, EPB president & CEO, unveiled a budget that does not include an increase in EPB’s portion of the electric rate for at least a year. The community-based provider has held its electric rates steady since 2015. During the same meeting, the EPB Board authorized the municipal utility to negotiate the final points of a contract with a private solar operator that would save a little more than $1 million in wholesale purchased power costs on an annual basis.
 
“At a time, when our customers are facing inflation and much higher fuel costs, we will continue to work hard to steward our community’s resources to keep electric rates as low as possible for the people we serve,” Mr.
Wade said. “Utilizing locally generated solar power gives us a new option for reducing the need for future rate increases.”
 
In response to EPB’s request for private solar companies to submit proposals for local solar generation, EDF Renewables has submitted a plan to construct and operate two solar deployments with a generating capacity of 15 MW. If EPB and EDFR can reach final terms, EPB would purchase the solar power and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) EDFR generates through the project.
 
Officials said, "EPB has operated the Solar Share community solar field since 2017. The opportunity for EPB to utilize additional local power generation resources is part of EPB’s Power Supply Flexibility Agreement with TVA which was established in 2020. Under that agreement, EPB has the flexibility to own or locally source up to 5 percent of the Chattanooga area’s power generation.
 
"The proposed project with EDFR would represent a little less than one-fifth of EPB’s total power generation flexibility under the agreement."
 
“This is a small but important step in our effort to keep costs lower for our customers,” Mr. Wade said. “It also represents the opportunity to further reduce carbon emissions. In addition to helping keep our air cleaner, more and more companies are investing and creating jobs where they have the best access to electricity generated without carbon emissions.”
 
According to TVA, its power generation mix provides more than 55 percent of its power with no greenhouse gas emissions.
 
“Utilizing more locally sourced solar, allows us to further improve our record on reducing carbon emissions with the aim of attracting new business activity as part of our mission to support growth in our local economy and enhance our community’s quality of life,” Mr. Wade said.
 
"EPB offers a number of resources for customers interested in learning more and supporting local solar power generation," officials said. "The EPB Energy Pros provide free, expert guidance to customers who are considering their own solar installation. They will also recommend reputable solar companies with a proven track-record for credibility and review the proposals local people receive from solar contractors to help them understand the proposal and ensure accuracy. Request a free expert guidance on solar and everything else related to energy efficiency and savings at epb.com/energypros.
 
"EPB customers can also participate in Solar Share, the easy way to go solar—no rooftop required. At a cost of $3.50 per panel each month, customers can license locally generated solar energy and receive credits on their energy bill. Find out more at epb.com/solarshare."

Police Blotter: Neighbors Argue Over Kids Damaging Car With Basketball; Man Passed Out At Waffle House Is Just Tired

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A man on Alexis Circle told police the kids across the street were playing basketball and hit his vehicle, denting it. He said he confronted the father of the kids about the incident. The father ... (click for more)

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Breaking News

Police Blotter: Neighbors Argue Over Kids Damaging Car With Basketball; Man Passed Out At Waffle House Is Just Tired

A man on Alexis Circle told police the kids across the street were playing basketball and hit his vehicle, denting it. He said he confronted the father of the kids about the incident. The father said it was not possible due to the damage of the vehicle being on top of the trunk, not the front of the trunk. However, if the man could show him video footage of his kids damaging his ... (click for more)

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We send out headlines each week day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com. In addition, ... (click for more)

Opinion

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Sports

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