THE ISSUE

The Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) has been a long-time, trusted community partner, yet the rules governing KUB have facilitated a drift away from the people KUB serves. 

HERE'S WHAT KUB'S DONE LATELY

Increased its mandatory monthly electrical fixed fee from $6 in 2010 to $20.50 in 2020. All utility fixed fees on customers' bills now exceed $85 per month. 

Rushed signing a 20-year long-term contract with power provider TVA, with no meaningful opportunity for public comment even though customers’ dollars are on the line, which has put customers at risk.

Spent hundreds of thousands of customers’ dollars on public relations consultants to boost KUB’s image, even though KUB is a public-power monopoly without competition

These things have happened because the 'public' has too often been left out of 

KUB’s role as a public utility

Knoxville: It’s time for the public to ensure more accountability, cost-savings, and transparency FROM KUB, THE UTILITY WE OWN 

HERE'S WHAT WE'RE ASKING FOR

Saving customers money and promoting lower bills by discouraging unjustified fees and customer charges and ensuring charges do not exceed KUB’s actual cost of providing service and are subject to public input at a hearing before enactment

Shortening KUB commissioners’ terms from seven years to four years, and from fourteen to eight years for a two-term maximum

Providing an opportunity for a BROADER slate of community members to serve on the KUB board by stopping the board’s current practice of self-selecting its preferred candidates

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HOW DO THE PROPOSED CHANGES STACK UP TO KUB'S CURRENT PRACTICES? 

 PROPOSED CHANGES

 CURRENT PRACTICES

 MANDATORY FEES AND CUSTOMER CHARGES

  • Any increase in mandatory fixed fees do not exceed the actual cost of providing service, as determined by a cost of service study, and must have a public hearing before enactment. Preventing unnecessary fees can help lower bills and make energy more affordable.

  • KUB can raise customer fees without proper justification and without a public hearing

 COMMISSIONER TERMS LENGTHS AND LIMITS

  • Four-year terms

  • The two-term limit caps total lifetime service on the board at eight years

  • Seven-year terms

  • The two-term limit caps total lifetime service on the board at fourteen years

 COMMISSIONERS' ELECTIONS

  • All applications to be a KUB commissioner will be sent to the mayor for consideration for nomination

  • KUB self-selects by screening applicants and sending only their five preferred candidates for consideration for nomination by the mayor

HOW WE PUSH FOR CHANGE

 ACT on KUB is supporting an amendment to the Knoxville City Charter to enact reforms to be more accountable, promote cost-savings, and prioritize transparency to the people KUB serves. Residents of the City of Knoxville would vote on the amendment in the general election this fall. Before that happens, Knoxville City Council must first vote to allow placement of the amendment on the ballot.

WHY DOES THIS MATTER?

Knoxvillians deserve to be in touch with the people who serve them and they deserve to make decisions and have an opportunity to meaningfully engage with the public utility they own, and who serves them. 

WHO WE ARE

We are a coalition of bill payers and community groups seeking more Accountability, Cost-Savings, and Transparency from the Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) and are campaigning for an amendment on November’s ballot to achieve these goals.
See the list of endorsers of the KUB charter amendment below.

 

 As many Knoxvillians are struggling to keep the lights on and bills paid, the 'ACT on KUB' coalition wants KUB to be looking for solutions to lower bills while prioritizing the “public” in their role as a public utility. 

SUPPORTERS

 elected officials

Seema Singh, Knoxville City Councilmember

Amelia Parker, Knoxville City Councilmember

Lauren Rider, Knoxville City Councilmember

Gloria Johnson, Representative for U.S. House, District 13

 Knoxville organizations + Individuals

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

One Knox Legacy Coalition

Appalachian Voices

Community Voices' Affordable Utilities Council

Sierra Club - Harvey Broome Group 

Statewide Organizing for Community Empowerment (SOCM)

Tennessee American Promise

Underground Ground Collective / Battlefield Farms

Marshall Stair, Knoxville City Councilmember (2011-2019) and Candidate for Knoxville City Mayor (2019)

 candidates

Matthew Park, Candidate for Tennessee State House

Renee Hoyos, Candidate for U.S. House, District 2

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 one knox Legacy Coalition

“We join SACE and the other community advocates, appeal to KUB for more accountability, transparency, and lower costs. As KUB and our elected officials move on these reforms, all of our communities in Knoxville may be in a better position to thrive.”

Reverend Calvin Taylor Skinner

Co-founder, Convener

 

RESOURCES

ACT on KUB is part oRenew TENNESSEE - a regional campaign to push our leaders to recommit to expanding access for all to affordable, clean energy that creates jobs, powers communities, and improves lives throughout the entire Tennessee Valley.
 

© 2020 Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

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