Jun. 13—Due to extreme heat across much of the Tennessee Valley forecast for this week, the Tennessee Valley Authority is asking customers to reduce their voluntary electrical usage immediately.
The request impacts customers of Decatur Utilities, Athens Utilities and Joe Wheeler Electric Cooperative and other TVA distributors.
Turning thermostats up just a degree or two makes a big difference in both demand as well as cooling costs. TVA says 78 degrees is the optimal recommended thermostat setting for summer cooling, and that ceiling fans should be set to rotate counterclockwise to create a wind chill effect.
TVA asked that customers delay using large appliances like dishwashers, ovens, washing machines and electric dryers during the hottest part of the day.
"This is a precautionary measure," said Ray Hardin, general manager for DU. "Anytime we experience a prolonged period of extreme heat like this, it significantly increases the demand for electricity. TVA is being proactive by asking for these voluntary reductions in preparation to meet that demand over the next few days."
TVA is expecting its requested voluntary curtailment to remain in effect daily until Friday.
TVA spokesman Scott Fielder said that voluntary curtailment is standard policy during heat and cold waves and the regional power grid is stable. There is no immediate threat of blackouts or brownouts across the region.
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