April 25, 2013 - On Tuesday, April 30 at 10:30 a.m. in the Main Assembly Room, Mayor Madeline Rogero and other City officials will welcome and introduce the members of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge team who will be spending the next three weeks in Knoxville. The six IBM employees from around the world are here to help analyze and recommend ways for the City and its partners to reduce residential emergency utility bills through weatherization and energy education services.
Last November, IBM announced that Knoxville had been selected for a Smarter Cities Challenge grant. Launched in 2011, the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a three-year, 100-city, $50-million competitive grant program. The program, which is IBM's single-largest philanthropic initiative, assigns a team of six top IBM experts to each winning city to study a key issue identified by the city's leadership. The grant provides consulting services valued at $400,000.
A video of Mayor Rogero discussing the City's application at the IBM Smarter Cities Summit last November
Knoxville's application asked 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 those in older, inefficient buildings.
During their three weeks in Knoxville, the IBM Smarter Cities team members will meet with dozens of local stakeholders. At the end of the process, the team will present a report with findings and recommendations.