CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking customers to reduce their power usage in an effort to deal with subfreezing temperatures that are causing a high demand for electricity across the southeast.
TVA said in a statement that it expects demand to peak Thursday night and again Friday morning. The nation’s largest public utility said it is using all generating resources to meet the demand.
TVA said its bulk electric system remains secure and stable, but any reductions in usage can help ensure a continued supply of power and avoid interruptions of service.
“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. “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.”
Other suggestions to conserve power include postponing the use of electric appliances, such as dishwashers and dryers, and turning off lights and other electronics that aren’t essential.
TVA is asking customers to reduce usage through Friday afternoon.
The utility supplies power to about 9 million people in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.