EPB Finding Ways To Reduce Expenses; Just 3% Of Customers Now Pay At Branches So They Will Close Saturdays

  • Saturday, February 24, 2024
  • Gail Perry

Ryan Keel, president of EPB’s energy and communications business, has been working on ways to keep costs down at EPB. He told the EPB Board that, in addition to EPB’s own linemen, there are also “go-to” linemen that EPB has contracts with who are used every day and during large storm events. He said that for the past few years there has been an aggressive search to find others.

A Request for Proposal was put out to find additional contractors in and around the area. The purpose is to give EPB some control over costs. There are now contracts that are good for one year with 16 companies, which establishes rates if the contractors are needed.

The contract with one established company, that provides EPB with crews who are already working every day, recently expired and was bid out again. The work was awarded to the low bidder, Service Electric Company. And a minority-owned business won the bid for work that is done during the second shift.

Another cost saving measure involves EPB’s service centers, where customers can make payments and return equipment. Currently, there are three - the main office downtown, at 83 Eastate Loop and 2124 North Point Boulevard in Hixson. Now 90 percent of customers make payments electronically, and just three percent are using the branches for payments. The branches are now open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.. on Saturdays. They will now be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will be closed on Saturdays. This will reduce overtime pay, said Mr. Keel.

Later this summer, there are plans to revise payment processing and for adding more locations where bills can be paid such as retail businesses. Eventually, the branches may be removed, he said.




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