The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking consumers to cut back on their power usage to help the utility cope with frigid temperatures that could push electricity usage to a new winter high Friday morning.
TVA issued a voluntary appeal for customers to limit their power use to help to both lower their own bills and to help TVA respond to the second Arctic blast of cold temperatures this month.
"When it's below 20 degrees, each time the temperature drops one degree another 400 megawatts of electricity is needed. That's almost as much as one of our larger hydroelectric dams," said Tim Ponseti, vice president of TVA Transmission Operations and Power Supply in Chattanooga. "Setting your thermostat two to three degrees below normal this evening and Friday morning can really help TVA manage the high power demand during this challenging time."
Today's peak power demand is expected to occur this evening when regional temperatures are forecast to drop into single digits and electricity demand is projected to exceed 31,000 megawatts. Another peak demand will occur Friday morning when electric loads are expected to peak around 33,000 megawatts. In comparison, demand was just below 32,500 megawatts during the height of the cold wave on Jan. 7.
TVA suggest consumers can limit their energy use and electric 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.