BrightRidge reports 30th clean independent audit


JOHNSON CITY – For a 30th straight year, BrightRidge financial statements drew a clean opinion from its independent auditor as the company closes the book on its 2020 fiscal year.

Independent auditors Blackburn, Childers & Stegall determined BrightRidge’s financial statements “present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position” of the company.

“Amid the pandemic and all of its challenges, BrightRidge again demonstrated excellence in financial reporting and control, giving testimony to our customers that we are putting their rate dollars to work in a transparent and efficient manner,” BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes said.

“We are proud of our employees, from our finance department to our personnel who keep the lights on and the broadband network running. They all approach their daily tasks with accountability foremost in mind.”

In FY 2020, BrightRidge more than doubled the dollars available to assist struggling customers, ended non-pay disconnections for four months, extended funding to support local businesses through the Region AHEAD effort, and boosted the reach of broadband services.

BrightRidge finished the fiscal year with a 4.8 percent increase in net position, with much of the increase due to $7.42 million in added BrightRidge Broadband fiber optic infrastructure.

Kilowatt hour electric sales fell 3.7 percent, due to mild weather and the economic constraints of the pandemic. Following the sales trajectory, operating revenues also declined by $6.63 million. This decline was more than offset by a $10.61 million reduction in purchased power costs.
BrightRidge also paid $5.6 million in lieu of taxes to the City of Johnson City, Town of Jonesborough, Washington County, Sullivan County and the City of Kingsport. BrightRidge is by far the largest single taxpayer in Johnson City and Washington County.

“Like all businesses in 2020, BrightRidge faced a challenging year, making a positive net position even more remarkable,” Dykes said. “We are fortunate to have the Tennessee Valley Authority as our partner and wholesale power provider. They are working non-stop to assist local power companies.”

Long-term trends continue to indicate flat to mildly declining power sales, both locally and around the country. These conditions led to the creation of BrightRidge as an independent energy authority in 2017 that can respond rapidly to new opportunities and challenges, as well as the creation of BrightRidge Broadband in 2018, which will broaden revenue generated by the company over time.

“For 75 years, BrightRidge has been a cornerstone of growth in our region,” Dykes said. “This year alone, we have expanded assistance to low-income customers and small businesses, while developing plans for our next 9 MW solar farm. We work daily to deploy technologies valued by our customers, while exploring potential new services as the region’s trusted energy service adviser.”

BrightRidge provides electric services to 79,860 customers in Washington, Sullivan, Carter and Greene counties. It is the 10th largest local power company in the TVA system.