EPB Releases Mauldin & Jenkins Report on Street Lights
By WRCB Staff
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
EPB has released a report by Mauldin & Jenkins, the independent accounting firm charged with analyzing processing errors that led to questions about billing for public street lights.
The Mauldin & Jenkins report shows that although process errors caused EPB to incorrectly bill for the energy usage of about 6,000 lights, these costs are largely offset by the fact that all 26,000 lights in Chattanooga's street light system as a whole burned 177 hours longer each year and used 5% more power due to line losses than previously reported.
“The analysis of the City of Chattanooga street light billings for eighty-nine months indicates a net overbilling of $17,049,” said Warren McEwen, a partner with Mauldin & Jenkins.
Despite the lawsuits, DePriest reaffirmed EPB's commitment to moving forward in partnership with the City of Chattanooga and the other municipalities. “Our goal is to find an agreeable solution for all parties,” DePriest said. “That's the only way to ensure the best result for citizens of our local communities who are also EPB's customers.”
“Although the City Auditor and Mauldin & Jenkins reached differing conclusions about some of the offsetting costs, we now have the information we need to sit down with our city partners and find a solution that takes into account all of the factors in this complicated situation,” said Harold DePriest, President & CEO of EPB.
EPB is also taking a number of steps to improve its internal processes. The utility has issued a Request for Proposals seeking bids from contractors to conduct a complete physical inventory of all street lights and private lighting in its service footprint. Once the initial inventory is complete, EPB plans to verify its total light inventory on a rolling three-year schedule.
To see the The Mauldin & Jenkins report click here and here.