TVA Study Shows Regional Energy Efficiency Potential

Feb 07, 2012, 14:12 ET from Tennessee Valley Authority

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Tennessee Valley Authority's energy efficiency plans are within the achievable range of potential energy savings for the region, a study commissioned by TVA shows.


The study by Global Energy Partners said the Tennessee Valley could reduce energy use over five years by 2.2 percent to 5 percent by taking advantage of energy efficiency programs offered by TVA and local distributors, such as compact fluorescent lighting and heat pump heating and cooling systems.

Global Energy Partners, a California firm that has performed similar reviews for other utilities and government organizations, estimated the region's achievable savings potential at 3,256 to 7,494 gigawatt-hours by 2015. The high end of this range would roughly equal the amount of electricity produced by a large coal-fired power plant in a year; or the amount of electricity used annually by 500,000 Tennessee Valley homes.

The findings are consistent with TVA's Integrated Resource Plan, the agency's 20-year energy roadmap, and TVA's plans for Energy Efficiency and Demand Response programs. The IRP suggests TVA could achieve combined energy savings of 5.4 percent of TVA's sales by 2020. The five-year plan calls for combined annual energy efficiency and demand response savings of 2.9 percent by 2015.

"The study's results will help us refine and focus our path forward as we team with local power distributors to achieve TVA's vision to lead the Southeast in energy efficiency by 2020," said Bob Balzar, TVA vice president of Energy Efficiency and Demand Response. "Working with our distributor partners to reduce energy consumption and peak demand is a key part of our business strategy to keep rates low by avoiding the need to build more power plants."

The Global Energy Partners study says homes have the most energy savings potential, followed by businesses and industry. Energy efficient lighting and water heaters offer the greatest potential savings to residences. More efficient interior lighting, office equipment, ventilation and cooling delivers the most savings potential for the commercial sector.  Industrial sector savings potential comes from energy efficiency improvements in machine drives and motors, fan and pump systems, and equipment upgrades.

The study also shows the region's potential savings from lowering peak power demand through TVA programs is more than 1,500 megawatts in 2012, and between about 3,900 megawatts and 4,600 megawatts in 2030.

Balzar said TVA is completing a full technical review of the study data and sharing study findings and assumptions with TVA's local utility partners.

"By highlighting challenges and opportunities in both planning and execution, we believe this study will ultimately help to inform future Energy Efficiency-Demand Response program planning, as well as TVA's IRP process for years to come," Balzar said.

Other recent TVA energy efficiency program achievements include:

  • In fiscal year 2011, TVA reduced peak power demand by 374 megawatts and electricity consumption by 559 gigawatt-hours, a one-year increase of 270 percent.
  • TVA's energy efficiency investment in 2012 ranks among the top five utilities in the country.
  • Two TVA states, Tennessee and Alabama, were recognized by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy's 2011 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard as among the nation's most improved states in energy efficiency.
  • TVA has launched a new TVA EnergyRight Solutions suite of energy efficiency programs for homes, businesses and industries, with a new website at

The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for business customers and distribution utilities that serve 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.

SOURCE Tennessee Valley Authority