TVA Urges Conservation During Peak Power Demand Periods

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – With 100-degree temperatures expected this week, the Tennessee Valley Authority is encouraging consumers to use electricity wisely and efficiently.

Consumers can save energy, lower the impact on their power bills and reduce peak demand on the TVA system by simply increasing thermostat temperatures a few degrees during the day, turning off unnecessary lights and appliances and operating dishwashers and laundry machines at night and only with full loads.

“Hot temperatures are typical during summer in the South, and TVA is prepared to handle the extra demand,” said Bob Balzar, TVA vice president of Energy Efficiency and Demand Response. “But conserving during peak periods and shifting energy-use activities to evening hours can help consumers control their energy costs and TVA to operate its energy fleet most efficiently, which contributes to lower power bills.
“Air conditioning is a necessity in this type of hot weather, especially for those with special health issues and the elderly. But small changes in thermostat settings can go a long way in keeping homes comfortable and monthly power bills affordable.”
Balzar said summer energy use is usually highest between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., the warmest part of the day and when people arrive home from work.

On average, homeowners can cut power bills about 5 percent for every degree they set the thermostat above 78 degrees, Balzar said. Also, using a simple fan to move air across our skin has the net effect of lowering the thermostat four degrees.
Other energy-saving tips include using the “sleep mode” on computers and keeping curtains closed during the day.
TVA’s highest demand of 2012 was 29,675 megawatts on the afternoon of June 25. This is expected to be surpassed this week. The TVA system has a summer capacity of about 34,000 megawatts of available power.

The all-time record demand on the TVA power system is 33,482 megawatts, set on Aug. 16, 2007, when temperatures averaged 102 degrees.
“TVA has a diverse portfolio of resources available to reliably meet the need, including energy efficiency programs, nuclear, natural gas, coal, hydro and renewable energy,” Balzar said.

TVA and the 155 local power companies it serves are working together to reduce peak demand and improve energy efficiency through a number of initiatives. TVA’s In-Home Energy Evaluation program provides home energy audits by a TVA-certified evaluator and up to $500 in cash rebates for recommended improvements such as new windows, ducts, insulation or heating and air conditioning tune-ups. TVA’s Energy Right Solutions for business and industry programs offer several energy efficiency options to help commercial customers reduce their energy use.
For more information on these and other programs and a list of participating local power companies, visit
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The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for business customers and distribution utilities that serve 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.