Knoxville, TN — With above-normal temperatures expected throughout the summer across the Southeast, the Tennessee Valley Authority is encouraging consumers to use electricity wisely.
“While we understand air-conditioning is a necessity, increasing your thermostat a few degrees can still keep you comfortable while saving you a few dollars each month,” said Robert Balzar, vice president of Energy Efficiency and Demand Response. “Also, turning off unnecessary lights and appliances will help considerably in reducing peak energy demand across the region.”
Other energy-saving tips include using the “sleep mode” on computers, keeping curtains closed during the day, and operating dishwashers and laundry machines only with full loads and only after 8:00pm.
Residential electricity use in the TVA region ranks among the highest in the nation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 2008, Tennesseans ranked No. 1, consuming an average 1,302 kilowatt-hours a month, compared with a national average of 920 kilowatt-hours.
EIA surveys suggest 97 percent of the homes in the TVA region have electric air conditioners, 86 percent have electric ranges and 69 percent have electric water heaters.
Summer energy use is usually highest between 2:00pm and 8:00pm, during the warmest part of the day and when people arrive home from work.
TVA met a demand of more than 30,000 megawatts on the afternoon of June 22nd. The TVA system has a summer capacity of more than 36,000 megawatts of available power.
The all-time record demand on the TVA power system was 33,482 megawatts on Aug. 16th, 2007, when temperatures averaged 102 degrees.
“TVA has a diverse portfolio of resources available to reliably meet the need, including nuclear, fossil fuels, hydropower and wind,” Balzar said.
TVA is working to reduce peak demand and improve energy efficiency through a number of programs such as TVA’s In-Home Energy Evaluation program offered through participating local power companies. Consumers can schedule a home energy audit by a TVA-certified evaluator and get up to $500 in cash rebates when they make recommended improvements such as replacing windows, repairing ducts, improving insulation or tuning up a heating and air conditioning system. TVA also is expanding its Efficiency Advice and Incentives program 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 www.energyright.com.
About the Tennessee Valley Authority
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 36,000 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA’s service territory are below the national average.