Power Suppliers Reducing Voltage


Emergency conditions have caused a tight power supply situation, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), 4-County Electric Power Association and other power companies in the Tennessee Valley began reducing the voltage on the power system by five percent this morning.

The five-percent voltage reduction will reduce the power being consumed by household appliances, lighting, and other uses of electricity. Reducing the voltage level of electricity is similar to the effect of reduced water pressure in that the amount or volume travels through the system slower but will continue to meet customer needs.

Reducing voltage across the TVA power system will result in about 220 megawatts of reduced demand, which is enough to supply about 75,000 homes during a peak demand hour.

TVA and 4-County are urging consumers to voluntarily conserve electricity to the maximum extent possible. Residential consumers should:

(1) Postpone using electric appliances such as dishwashers, dryers, and cooking equipment.

(2) Reduce the use of air conditioning or heating by adjusting thermostats to 85 degrees F during summer and 60 degrees F during winter.

(3) Turn off non-essential lights, appliances and other electrical equipment.

Status reports on the power situation will be provided on local radio and television for the duration of the power shortage.

TVA and 4-County also have cut back on power usage in their facilities by adjusting thermostats, reducing lighting, and taking other measures to reduce electricity consumption.

TVA is the nation’s largest public power provider and is completely self-financed. TVA provides power to large industries and 158 power distributors (including 4-County) that serve approximately 8.5 million consumers in seven southeastern states. TVA also manages the Tennessee River and its tributaries to provide multiple benefits, including flood control, navigation, water quality and recreation.

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