TVA Asks Customers to Conserve Power Amid High Demand
KNOXVILLE. Tenn. — Heavy snow and bitter cold temperatures are creating record high demand for electricity across the Southeast region. As a result, the Tennessee Valley Authority is asking customers to be aware of their power consumption, specifically between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday.
TVA is actively monitoring weather conditions, and our power system remains stable. Conservation requests are often used in the power industry to help lower demand during a specific time and does not indicate TVA is experiencing emergency conditions. If you are experiencing an outage, please check with your local electric provider for more information.
TVA employees and local power companies are working around the clock to keep the electricity flowing. Together, we are doing our part to reduce the strain on the power grid. TVA has lowered thermostats in offices and is keeping lights off in buildings and plants when it is safe to do so.
Why is TVA recommending power conservation?
- Extremely cold temperatures and near-zero wind chill cause an increase in power demand for heating over an extended period of time for more than 10 million people across the TVA seven-state region.
- Colder temperatures mean more people are turning to electrified heat sources, pushing demand higher to what is referred to as a “peak.”
- Winter limits the availability of solar generation in the morning hours.
What is Peak Demand?
Peak demand is the highest number of megawatts consumed in a specific period of time by power consumers all across the TVA system.
- The record for system load at this time is 33,482 MW set on August 16, 2007. The previous record load for a winter day was 33,427 MW set on December 23, 2022.
- In the past year, TVA has added approximately 1,500 megawatts of new natural gas generation — enough to power 878,000 homes.
What can you do to help?
- Set your thermostat to 65-68 degrees. You can save as much as 10% per year on heating and cooling by turning your thermostat down 7°–10°F for 8 hours a day in the fall and winter.
- Ensure your window coverings on the sunny side of your house are open.
- Unplug unused electronics
- Unblock your air vents
- Reduce your energy usage by turning off non-essential appliances and lights and refrain from using large appliances during the coldest part of the day.
- Postpone use of hot water and adjust water heater’s temperature.
- Weatherstrip doors and windows
- Commercial Business: Turn off any lights and office equipment (or place in sleep mode) when not in use and turn off air-conditioning/heating outside of business hours.
TVA will communicate further as conditions evolve due to continued freezing temperatures.
To help ensure power reliability, last year, TVA invested more than $123 million and completed 3,400 winter readiness activities to harden its system and enhance the reliability and resiliency at its coal, gas, and hydro-electric facilities. This year, TVA will invest an additional $120 million above regular funding levels to specifically focus on enhancing the reliability of the generation fleet. Learn more about the work of TVA employees in preparing for winter weather here.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation’s largest public power supplier, delivering energy to 10 million people across seven southeastern states. TVA was established 90 years ago to serve this region and the nation by developing innovative solutions to solve complex challenges. TVA’s unique mission focuses on energy, environmental stewardship, and economic development. With one of the largest, most diverse, and cleanest energy systems – including nuclear, hydro, solar, gas, and advanced technologies – TVA is a leader in our nation’s drive toward a clean energy future.
TVA is a corporate agency of the United States, receiving 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.