TVA asks customers to conserve power during arctic blast - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

TVA asks customers to conserve power during arctic blast

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UPDATE: Many are trying to stay warm as temperatures plummet into single digits.

John Pless with EPB says extreme weather, like the cold, isn't the only thing that puts stress on power systems.

“They also get stressed out when generation is at an unusually high point and demand is at a high point,” he said.

Which is why the utility is asking customers to keep demand low through conservation measures. Pless suggests bumping your thermostat down a couple degrees and not using major appliances.

“If you don't have to wash clothes tonight, dry clothes. Put that off for a day or so,” he said.

And turning off lights that aren't needed.

“Essentially these measures are designed to make sure everyone in the community as reliable power. That's the bottom line,” he said.

Some may remember last year when systems started to fail during the polar vortex. Pless doesn't believe that will happen this time.

“It was more extreme. We were seeing temperatures in our area zero or lower and that was putting a strain on some of the equipment in the field. It was causing some minor scattered outages. We're not seeing it at this time,” Pless added.

But this is another way to make sure all systems are a go.

For more tips on energy conservation, click HERE.


The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking for voluntary reductions in electricity use until Thursday afternoon as the southeast's largest supplier of power works to keep the grid powered during the frigid temperatures.

Excessive demand could lead to brownouts or blackouts in the TVA's service area of seven states.

The TVA supplies power to Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia.

READ MORE | Channel 3 Storm Alert Weather forecast

Wednesday's peak power demand is expected to occur Wednesday evening as regional temperatures are forecast to drop into single digits causing electricity demand to exceed 31,000 megawatts.

A second peak demand will occur again Thursday morning with electric loads peaking around 32,600 megawatts. In comparison, demand was just below 32,500 megawatts during the height of the cold wave on January 7, 2014.

“When it's below freezing, each time the temperature drops one degree another 400 megawatts of electricity is needed for our system,” said Jacinda Woodward, senior vice president of TVA Transmission and Power Supply. “Setting your thermostat 2-3 degrees below normal this evening and Thursday morning can really help TVA manage the high power demand during this challenging time.”

Consumers can reduce their power consumption and lower their power 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


TVA and the region's 155 local power companies are cutting back on power usage in their own facilities by adjusting thermostats, reducing lighting and taking other steps to reduce electricity consumption.

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