KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The City of Knoxville received the results of a survey done to find better ways to help low income residents reduce their needs for utility bill assistance.
It was all a part of the $400,000 grant the city received from the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge Team.
"We have a lot of homes in Knoxville that were built in the forties and fifties when energy was cheap, and energy efficiency was not a concern for the people who were building those homes or the people who were living in them," said Erin Gill, Director of the Office of Sustainability for the City of Knoxville.
Mayor Madeline Rogero says the city spends nearly $6 million annually helping residents pay their high utility bills, many of whom still live in those outdated homes.
"If we could start moving some of that money to help actually start fixing up their homes so next year they won't have the same high utility bills then we're really getting to the root of the problem rather than every year just putting a band aid on it," said Rogero.
That was the idea presented behind the Smarter Cities Team.
"They provided a roadmap," said Rogero. "They came up with their best ideas. Now it's up to these stakeholders to review their recommendations and decide what will work for us."
The stakeholders are made up of contractors, along with utility groups like TVA and KUB and organizations like the Community Action Committee who provide assistance. They will now spend the next 8 months figuring out how to implement the plan and begin those weatherization efforts.
"A lot of folks are in need and we want to help them, but let's do it in an even smarter way," said Rogero.
If you would like to view the full Smarter Cities report click here.