published Friday, May 20th, 2011

Chattanooga-area power bills set to rise five percent

  • photo
    EPB operator O'Fair Brooks, left, and EPB lineman Charles Sales replace a utility pole near the intersection of Mountain View Avenue, and Crest Drive after a severe storm uprooted trees and damaged area homes. Staff Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press

EPB is set to increase its electricity rates effective July 1, according a proposal submitted to the Chattanooga-area utility’s board Friday morning.

The proposed five percent rate hike will help to make up for more than $30 million in storm expenses for 2011, compared to EPB’s storm budget of $2 million.

Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, said that he originally planned to raise rates four percent, but the severity of the storm forced him increase it.

“Little things like $30 million storms have a way of taking away any spare cash,” he said.

On the other hand, DePriest would have had to implement the increase in 2010 had it not been for increased revenues from the his new fiber optic services, he said.

The last rate hike was four years ago, when the company publicly said that it would last three to five years, DePriest said.

“We think this one will last five to eight years,” he said.

The increase must be approved by EPB’s board and TVA to become effective. There are no public hearings.

For more information, pick up a copy of Saturday’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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we shouldn't have to pay for something we could not control...

May 20, 2011 at 11:31 a.m.
chatttn said...

Agree with Cashing. Also, did he have to be sarcastic about it?... “Little things like $30 million storms have a way of taking away any spare cash,” he said.
How pompous! He should be in politics.

May 20, 2011 at 12:12 p.m.
NorthChatter said...

They could have not called in other companies to help (that would have saved millions)...and they could have just worked each day from 8 to 5 and not spent any money on overtime (that would have saved a ton of money too).

Of course, if they did that, half of Chattanooga would still be without power.

I am a small business owner who has struggled in a bad economy, so I am never happy to hear about any increase. But, this is the reality of a catastrophic event. EPB did a great job restoring power and if it costs 5% to recoup from the largest restoration in their history, well, so be it.

If you don't like it, you can always go to solar (or the like) and get off the grid. Or you can sit in the dark (literally and metaphorically)

May 20, 2011 at 12:24 p.m.
mrredskin said...

wait, wait... this has to be TVA's fault :o

^sarcasm

May 20, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
dat42 said...

So what NorthChatter is trying to say it is okay for EPB to increase our rates on every major storm does this kind of damage.To me it needs to be left alone.He say's he is a small business owner and who has struggled.What would happen to your business if nobody come in.With this increase who can afford your business.

May 20, 2011 at 2 p.m.
NorthChatter said...

Actually, no I didn't say that...this was the largest and costliest storm in the history of EPB.

And considering how poorly constructed your sentences are, I'd really appreciate you not putting words in my mouth.

I pay, on average, about $200 a month for my electricity. So this is going to cost me an extra $10 a month. If $10 is going to break you, you probably aren't coming to my store to begin with, so no big loss.

I just have trouble getting too upset with EPB considering they are the only company I have ever dealt with that will actually adjust prices down when they can (if they are paying less, they charge less). No one else I deal with ever does that (TAWC, Chattanooga Gas, Comcast, City of Chatt, etc, etc). Quite frankly, EPB provides excellent service for a fair price (we pay some of the lowest electric rates in the country).

However, I know I am talking to a brick wall. If you are mad about this, nothing I say is going to change your mind. Your welcome to your opinion as I am welcome to mine.

May 20, 2011 at 2:16 p.m.
Leaf said...

EPB really is one of the best companies I've dealt with. Their customer service is excellent and their rates reasonable. I have phone, cable, power and internet with them because they treat their customers right. You can't say that about many large companies.

May 20, 2011 at 2:56 p.m.
dat42 said...

I don't have to put words in your mouth,You are doing a good job of that.Yes everybody does have there own opinion,Like chatttn and Cashing Reality Checks,and you told them if they didn't like it they could go solar or get off the grid.I't don't bother me eitherway,I pay mine on time when it is due.And ten dollars isn't going to break me.

May 20, 2011 at 3:04 p.m.
dat42 said...

I agree with you Leaf.They do treat there customer's right.I have cable,power and internet with them.

May 20, 2011 at 3:24 p.m.
chatttn said...

northchatter: no need to call anyone out on their opinions. I was only talking about his sarcasm, nothing more. But it does hit hard to people on a tight budget. Also, there is no need to call anyone out on their sentence structure either. Jeez, can't we all just get along. Oh wait, I guess we're in the dark on that too.

May 20, 2011 at 4:48 p.m.
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May 20, 2011 at 9:09 p.m.
NoMyth said...

EPB and other power companies need to charge higher rates for customers in more rural areas...those properties significantly increase the cost of providing service, transmission, etc...and charge lower rates for customers living in densely populated areas and apartment complexes that have a lower operation and maintenance expense for the company.

May 20, 2011 at 11:05 p.m.
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