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Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA)

Congress enacted the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to promote conservation of energy, efficient use of facilities and resources, and equitable rates to customers.

Title I of PURPA set forth electric utility standards for consideration by state regulatory authorities and non-regulated utilities. The Act tasked state regulatory authorities and non-regulated utilities with considering whether to adopt the proposed standards in furtherance of the Act’s objectives.

Over the years, PURPA has been amended to include additional standards related to electric utilities. TVA has considered those standards under the PURPA procedural requirements.

In 2009, the TVA Board of Directors considered adopting standards regarding integrated resource planning, energy efficiency rate design, smart grid investments, and smart grid information. TVA adopted two of the standards as written, and two of the standards with modifications.

Currently, TVA staff is working with the public and distributors of TVA power to gather information on two additional standards that Congress promulgated in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in November 2021.

The standards under consideration are Demand Response Practices (hereinafter “Demand Response”) and Electric Vehicle Charging Programs (“Electric Vehicles”). A brief description of each standard is below. Please see our filing in the Federal Register for more detailed information.

Standards Currently Under Consideration

Demand Response Practices

Each electric utility shall promote the use of demand-response and demand flexibility practices by commercial, residential, and industrial consumers to reduce electricity consumption during periods of unusually high demand. To that end, each State regulatory authority shall consider establishing rate mechanisms allowing an electric utility with respect to which the State regulatory authority has ratemaking authority to timely recover the costs of promoting demand-response and demand flexibility.

Electric Vehicle Charging Programs

Each State shall consider measures to promote greater electrification of the transportation sector, including the establishment of rates that—

  • promote affordable and equitable electric vehicle charging options for residential, commercial, and public electric vehicle charging infrastructure;
  • improve the customer experience associated with electric vehicle charging, including by reducing charging times for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles;
  • accelerate third-party investment in electric vehicle charging for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles; and
  • appropriately recover the marginal costs of delivering electricity to electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Public Comments

TVA is the party authorized to make the final determinations on the suitability of these standards for implementation for itself and for the distributors of TVA power. In considering these standards for implementation, TVA will create an official record upon which the TVA Board will base its determinations. The official record shall consist of oral, written, and electronic comments submitted to the official record, including TVA staff’s recommendations for each standard. In making its determination on each standard, the TVA Board has the option of adopting the standard as written, adopting the standard in a modified form, or finding the adoption of the standard not necessary or appropriate. If the TVA Board finds that the adoption of the standard is not necessary or appropriate, its reasons for such determination must be stated in writing.

For Demand Response, email or mail comments to:

Troy Eichenberger
Tennessee Valley Authority
1101 Market Street, BR 5B-C
Chattanooga, TN 37402
[email protected]

For Electric Vehicles, email or mail comments to:

Andrew Frye
Tennessee Valley Authority,
1101 Market Street, BR 5A-C
[email protected]

Comments must be submitted no later than March 31, 2023. Comments will become part of the official record, and the official record will be available on this webpage when the comment period is over.

Additional Information

Below you will find additional background information about TVA’s demand response and electric vehicle programs. Please continue to visit this page for updates on TVA’s PURPA consideration process.

Does TVA have any demand response (DR) programs?

Yes. TVA operates several DR programs to manage power system needs throughout the year. More information about these programs can be found at the links below.

Does TVA have any policies relating to electric vehicles (EVs) or charging stations?

Yes. TVA supports the adoption of electric vehicles and the availability of EVs and the availability of EV charging stations through several programs and rate offerings. Across the seven-state service region, EVs support high-quality jobs, improve air quality and lower fueling costs for EV drivers. The growth of EVs will also generate additional off-peak electricity loads and lower rates for all customers.

Does TVA have any EV rates now?

TVA offers an optional, wholesale public EV charging rate to local power companies (LPCs) for use in retail electric rates designed for public EV charging stations. Retail EV rates are specific to each LPC, but typically they are an energy-only rate. By not including demand charges, which are difficult to mitigate on public fast charging sites, the energy-only rate helps lower the financial risk of operating public EV charging stations. To date, more than 50 LPCs have adopted the wholesale EV charging rate.

Does TVA have any EV programs that promote development of EV charging?

TVA works with state agencies and LPCs through its Fast Charge Network program to develop a foundational network of EV fast chargers located at least every 50 miles along interstates and major highways. The program reimburses LPCs for 80% of eligible costs associated with siting, purchasing, installing, and operating EV fast charges along major travel corridors. As of September 30, 2022, TVA has executed 29 contracts with LPCs, covering 32 individual fast charge sites across TVA’s service territory. Four of these charging sites are operational now.

Where can I find more information about TVA’s support for EVs and EV charging stations?

Information about TVA’s electric vehicle programs can be found on our website.