Front Porch Blog

Knoxville community groups call for affordable utilities

The Knoxville Water and Energy for All (KWEA) campaign is made up of community and faith groups with a mission to bring solutions to the root problems of unaffordable bills and utility disconnections in Knoxville.

The campaign launched this past Thursday with a press conference and release of data findings showcasing the notable racial disparity of utility disconnections and energy burdens in Knoxville. For instance, communities of color were found to be 200% more likely to be disconnected from their utilities than white neighborhoods served by Knoxville Utilities Board, and communities of color also owed twice as much utility bill debt.

KWEA is calling for a Percentage of Income Payment Program, or PIPP, as a potential solution to the high utility burden problem at KUB. A PIPP would cap a low income customer’s utility bills at 10% or less of their income.

See more of the data findings and a proposed solution to the problem in this short video below. Coverage of the event can be found here. KWEA has a website and a Facebook page with more information on the campaign!

Bri was born to a family of eight in a small southern Ohio village struggling with economic, social and environmental problems. This experience developed her passion for finding rural solutions to these issues that she uses in her work as our Tennessee Field Coordinator, bringing Energy Democracy to the Tennessee Valley area.


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