As a 2013 IBM Smart Cities Challenge recipient, Knoxville, Tennessee, will soon be receiving outside perspective and expertise on connecting emergency utility bill payments to follow up weatherization measures. The grant provides Knoxville with access to IBM’s top experts in April of 2013, who will analyze and recommend ways to improve systematic connections in a currently fragmented system. To apply for the grant, interested cities from around the world send in an application with a key issue they would like to improve on and if selected, IBM experts spend three weeks in that city researching and analyzing relevant data. They leave the city with a roadmap when they go, which is vetted by relevant stakeholders and ready to implement.
Knoxville’s application asks for advice on the most effective way to connect weatherization and energy education services to residents who receive emergency utility bill assistance. This will help reduce the demand each year for emergency assistance with utility bills for low-income ratepayers, particularly in older, inefficient buildings.
The IBM team will visit Knoxville for a three-week consulting engagement. Starting with data the city has collected, the IBM team will solicit the input of local agencies and advocacy groups. Finally, IBM will provide detailed recommendations for how Knoxville might efficiently and effectively address the issue.
Smarter Cities Challenge Grant News Release