In late July 2020, Knoxville's City Council unanimously passed a resolution presented by Knoxville City Mayor, Indya Kincannon. The Mayor’s resolution, crafted in consultation with KUB management, contains some of the changes the ACT on KUB coalition sought and is a positive step forward in addressing the serious energy issues Knoxville faces. The resolution’s longevity, however, remains a concern.
Additionally, responding to years of advocacy and thousands of KUB customers like you speaking up, in August 2020, the KUB Board of Commissioners formally frozen the monthly fees on all KUB services for five years beginning in 2021 and running through 2025.
Further, in December 2020, Claudia Caballero was appointed to KUB's Board and will be a voice for low-income Knoxvillians.
Read more about this decision and sign up to stay involved with our efforts to Renew Tennessee and push for affordable energy bills. The work to 'ACT on KUB' continues with the efforts of Knoxville Water And Energy for All who are pushing for KUB to end utility shutoffs for nonpayment and implement more equitable rate structures through a percentage of income payment plan (PIPP).
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
HOW WE PUSH FOR CHANGE
In the summer of 2020, the ACT on KUB campaign supported an amendment to the Knoxville City Charter to enact reforms to KUB, that would promote more accountability, cost-savings, and transparency for the people KUB serves. If the proposed charter amendment, presented by Councilmembers Seema Singh and Amelia Parker, had passed through City Council, city-residents would have had the opportunity to vote on the amendment in the fall 2020 general election. Read the amendment factsheet.
In response to our campaign, Mayor Kincannon asked City Council to pass a resolution that partially addressed concerns raised by the ACT on KUB coalition, in lieu of the coalition's proposed changes to the City's Charter. The Mayor's resolution was unanimously passed by City Council on July 28, 2020.
On August 20, 2020, the KUB Board of Commissioners formalized the agreement struck by Mayor Kincannon and KUB executive staff in the form of two resolutions:
The first resolution freezes residential basic service charges, or fixed fees, on all KUB services for five years beginning in 2021 and running through 2025.
The second resolution establishes a community advisory panel that will serve as a channel of communication between community representatives and KUB concerning major policy issues.
WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
Many Knoxvillians are faced with energy costs that are disproportionately high compared to their income, which is sometimes referred to as energy burden.
All Knoxvillians deserve clean and affordable utility service at the lowest possible cost and held accountable by transparency and participation in decision-making.
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) who in the summer of 2020 campaigned for an amendment to Knoxville's City Charter to achieve these goals.
The ACT on KUB coalition will continue to remain vigilant in our commitment to address energy issues in Knoxville.
Seema Singh, Knoxville City Councilmember
Amelia Parker, 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)
Renee Hoyos, Candidate for U.S. House, District 2
Matthew Park, Candidate for Tennessee State House (no longer running for office)
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
Knoxville Council denies push for KUB charter referendum, but approves compromise plan
Fixed Fees, Makeup of KUB Board at heart of proposed amendment
Move to revamp KUB board raises questions | Victor Ashe
Environmental, social justice groups pushing for change to KUB Board makeup
KUB Reforms Proposed
Groups Launch ‘ACT on KUB’ Campaign to Ensure More Accountability, Cost-Savings, and Transparency from Local Power Provider
'ACT on KUB' Town Hall
July 9, 2020
Kate Tracy, Communications Coordinator, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Stan Johnson, Executive Director, Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development (SEEED)
Bri Knisley, Tennessee Field Coordinator, Appalachian Voices
Reverend Calvin Taylor Skinner, Co-Founder, and Convener, One Knox Legacy Coalition
Dr. Stephen A. Smith, Executive Director, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Watch our virtual town hall to learn more about the newly-launched ‘ACT on KUB’ campaign to bring more Accountability, Cost-Savings, and Transparency to our local utility, KUB through a proposed City Charter Amendment that Knoxvillian's could have the opportunity to vote on the general election this fall. With the campaign kickoff last week and the news coverage of City Council taking up the ACT on KUB initiative, make sure you have the facts you need to understand the campaign and hear questions from community leaders and coalition members.