UPDATE: EPB responds to lawsuit about lights - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: EPB responds to lawsuit about lights

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE:  The president and CEO of EPB sent out a response to the lawsuit Friday, saying, in part, "EPB remains committed to working together in good faith to find a fair solution for both citizens and customers.."
EPB also says they can't comment on the claims right now pending litigation.
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New details have emerged regarding a lawsuit involving EPB and the City of Chattanooga over the over-billing of lights.
Don Lepard of Global Green Lighting filed the lawsuit July 3.

READ MORE | EPB conducting independent audit over billing fiasco

The lawsuit, which was unsealed Friday, claims EPB overcharged the city for the municipal lighting system due to the bills reflecting energy charges for lights that did not exist for at least 20 years.

READ MORE | Berke cancels deal with Global Green Lighting
The charges are in the ballpark of $5.9 billion over a 20 year period. The filing also states that due to the false claims made by EPB, "plaintiffs are entitled to a civil penalty of not less than $2,500 and not more than $10,000 for each claim."

The suit alleges to at least 240 false claims, which could result in damages of more than $10 million.

"I simply want the issue of street light billing vetted once and for all by an independent court," says Lepard.
READ MORE | EPB: our customers were never over billed

Lepard made the over billing discovery when his company deployed a new lighting system containing a utility-grade residential meter for the City of Chattanooga. Lepard says he discovered the city was billing for more costly lights when less costly lights were on the poles.

EPB says it told the city last year about the misclassification of street lights, which resulted in over billing. But it says the city was also under billed for the cost of buying the lights that were actually on the poles, so the costs canceled each other out.

RELATED ITEM | Global Green Lighting response

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