TVA: $120M Drop In Power Sales The Start Of A Long-Term Trend

The Tennessee Valley Authority says its customers are using a lot less power. Mild weather means people aren’t running their air conditioners as much. But the federally owned utility says it’s starting to see a long-term downward trend.

TVA's Widows Creek plant in Stevenson, Alabama. Two coal generators there were shut down at the end of July. The entire plant will be taken offline in 2015. Image: TVA

TVA’s Widows Creek plant in Stevenson, Alabama. Two coal generators there were shut down at the end of July. The entire plant will be taken offline in 2015. Image: TVA

TVA says electricity sales were down more than $120 million in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year. The utility lost its biggest industrial customer, a massive uranium enrichment plant in Paducah, Kentucky.

Overall, CEO Bill Johnson says customers are using less power. Johnson says the difference is large enough for TVA to take a second look at its long-term projections.

“Now, we have to focus our spending trends to match our sales and revenues. For the past several years, our expenses have increased, while demand for electricity and subsequent revenues have declined. Now, TVA is not alone in this among utilities. But we are looking to live within our means, our current means.”

Johnson says TVA has already found $100 million in cost savings. The utility is offering buyouts to workers at it some of its coal-fired power plants. TVA has committed to shut down 18 by the end of the decade. Last month, it idled two coal generators in Alabama.

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