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
HOW DO THE PROPOSED CHANGES STACK UP TO KUB'S 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
The two-term limit caps total lifetime service on the board at eight years
The two-term limit caps total lifetime service on the board at fourteen years
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.
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
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)
Matthew Park, Candidate for Tennessee State House
Renee Hoyos, Candidate for U.S. House, District 2