Spring And Summer Rains Bring Savings For TVA

Jul 4, 2013

Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

Heavier use usually translates to higher power bills over the summer. But the Tennessee Valley Authority’s part of your fuel bill this summer may actually be a little lower than usual. TVA spokesman Scott Brooks says rainfall this summer has put more water over the Tennessee Valley Authority’s 29 hydroelectric dams.

“We’re about 138 percent above normal hydrogeneration, which means 38 percent above normal generation for hydro,” he says.

Brooks says hydroelectric power is the cheapest form of power, and more hydroelectric power lets the utility cut back on other sources, like coal or nuclear power. With a cheaper source, TVA’s fuel cost this month is 10-percent lower than the same time last year.

“Normally the total fuel cost goes up in July, because when demand increases then our fuel costs usually increase, but July is actually going down, which is fairly unusual for it to decrease during the peak month,” Brooks says.

But the savings doesn’t necessarily translate to consumers in the same way - each community’s power company sets its own rates.