KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This month's arctic blast of bone-chilling weather produced some of the highest demands for electricity on record for the Tennessee Valley Authority.
On Dec. 14, a peak load of 31,436 megawatts was the highest December peak in TVA history, coming at 8 a.m. EST with the temperature hovering at 15 degrees. It also was the highest winter peak since Jan. 16, 2009, which was 32,572 megawatts.
On Dec. 13, TVA met a new December record for daily electricity demand of 674.9 gigawatt-hours. This is TVA's third highest amount for a 24-hour period ever. Daily demand on Dec. 14 was 663.5 gigawatt-hours, seventh highest of all time.
TVA's 24-hour demand record is 701.4 gigawatt-hours set last Jan. 8. A gigawatt-hour equals 1 billion watt-hours. (For comparison, if you have 10 100 watt light bulbs running for one hour it equals 1,000 watt-hours.)
"The cold temperatures caused people to use more electricity as they turn up their thermostats and turn on space heaters," said Kim Greene, TVA's group president of strategy and external relations. "Using more electricity means electric bills will likely be higher for this month."
TVA and local power distributors are partnering to provide the In-Home Energy Evaluation program to help consumers save money on their electric bills and reduce how much power TVA must generate. More than 11,000 home energy audits have been conducted in the program, with TVA paying more than $2 million in incentives for home energy efficiency improvements. Consumers can contact their local power company to arrange a visit from a TVA-certified auditor.
Here are some other ways you can help reduce your electric bills during the colder months:
- Keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees. Your heating costs increase by about 3 percent for every degree above that.
- Install a programmable thermostat.
- Make sure doors and windows are properly sealed with caulk and/or weather stripping. Also make sure you have adequate insulation in your attic, where much of the warm air can escape.
For more information, go to www.energyright.com
"TVA can supply more than 34,000 megawatts of electricity, not including what we get from power purchases," Greene said. "TVA's power system is operating well. Our employees are working hard to keep the power plants running to keep the lights and heaters on."
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 that can produce about 34,000 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.
SOURCE Tennessee Valley Authority