TVA reports $12 million loss in quarter due to drop in power sales

Arkansas-St. John's Live Blog

Milder temperatures and economic growth across the Tennessee Valley lowered TVA power sales this spring by 5 percent below year-ago levels, generating a $12 million quarterly loss and pushing the federal utility to pare expenses again this year.

The Tennessee Valley Authority reported today a net loss of $12 million on revenues of $2.6 billion in the fiscal quarter ended June 30. In the same period a year ago, TVA lost $23 million on revenues of $2.74 billion.

For the first nine months of its fiscal year, TVA said it lost $203 million on sales of $7.92 billion. In the same period of fiscal 2012, TVA $290 million on sales of $7.95 billion.

In response to such losses, TVA implemented a "diet and exercise program" last year and is cutting its staff this year.In a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, TVA officials said they "continue to focus on reducing costs in response to lower electricity sales. TVA has asked for voluntary resignations and retirements in coal division and some other utility departments.

"Both sales and revenues were down in the third quarter," TVA President Bill Johnson said today. "This was offset largely by our efforts to reduce operating costs. We are focused on making sure TVA lives within our mans to continue to keep rates low for our customers."

TVA blamed the $122 million drop in electricity sales this spring on both the weather and economic activity in the second quarter of 2013.

But rainy weather and cheaper fuel helped cust TVA's fuel expenses in the quarter.

"Weather patterns produced less cooling degree days in the spring and early summer of 2013 as compared to the same periods of 2012," TVA said in its quarterly report. "This resulted in lower sales to local power companies that distribute TVA electricity during the three months ended June 30, 2013 as compared to the same period of 2012, but TVA had higher sales during the nine months ended June 30, 2013 as compared to the same period of 2012 due to greater heating degree days during the fall and winter of 2013."

Sales to industrial customers also lagged this spring primarily due to a slower economy in the TVA service region and the loss at the end of May of TVA's largest directly served customer - the U.S. Enrichment Corp. plant in Paducah, Ky.