The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking for a voluntary reduction in electricity use until Thursday afternoon as a result of frigid temperatures causing high demand across the Southeast. The request extends to all electric power consumers - residential, commercial and industrial customers.
The voluntary reduction will help ensure a continued supply of power to essential services throughout TVA's seven-state service territory and avoid interruptions of service. All of TVA's available generating resources are being used to meet the peak power demand. TVA's bulk electric system remains secure and stable at this time.
"When it's below freezing, each time the temperature drops one degree another 400 megawatts of electricity is needed for our system," said Jacinda Woodward, senior vice president of TVA Transmission and Power Supply. "Setting your thermostat 2-3 degrees below normal this evening and Thursday morning can really help TVA manage the high power demand during this challenging time."
Wednesday's peak power demand is expected to occur this evening as regional temperatures are forecast to drop into single digits causing electricity demand to exceed 31,000 megawatts. Another peak demand will occur again Thursday morning with electric loads peaking around 32,600 megawatts. In comparison, demand was just below 32,500 megawatts during the height of the cold wave on Jan. 7, 2014.
Consumers can reduce their power consumption and lower their power bills by:
· Turning down the thermostat. Lowering the temperature just one degree can result in a savings of up to 3 percent.
· Postpone using electric appliances such as dishwashers, dryers and cooking equipment.
· Turn off nonessential lights, appliances, electronics and other electrical equipment.
Additional tips for saving on your power bill and reducing electric demand can be found on TVA's EnergyRight Solutions website. TVA and the region's 155 local power companies are cutting back on power usage in their own facilities by adjusting thermostats, reducing lighting and taking other steps to reduce electricity consumption.
In preparation for the increased demand, TVA issued an internal "Conservative Operation Alert" on Monday, which delays any non-emergency maintenance activities at TVA's generation and transmission facilities to minimize risks to the power supply. As a further precaution, TVA initiated a "Power Supply Alert," which notes that demand could reach a level where an unexpected shutdown of a large generating unit or transmission system interchange could reduce TVA's power supply reserves.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.