Population growth blamed for TVAs 4.5% rate increase

Published 12:36 pm Friday, August 25, 2023

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A release from the Tennessee Valley Authority points to the unprecedented population growth across its service area for the 4.5 percent bump in electric that users will soon see reflected in their bills.

The TVA Board of Directors approved the rate increase on Aug. 24. The board also set aside $15 billion for investing in additional electricity generation capacity. The power grid will also be upgraded with the agency expecting a “load growth” of 30 percent over the next decade, according to the release.

Some 1,250 megawatts of generating capacity at the Paradise and Johnsonville power plants are expected to be added within the next year as part of the current program to add 3,800 megawatts to the TVA system.

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Roger Ball, President of the Powell Valley Electric Cooperative Board of Directors, said PVEC customers will be affected by the increase but that no additional charges will occur. Ball said it will be a simple “pass through” of the 4.5 percent increase.

A typical home will see a rate bump of about $3.50 per month. According to TVA, this increase is the first to occur since 2019.

Jeff Lyash, CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority, says the agency is not immune to cost increases, inflation and ongoing supply chain challenges.

“We worked to minimize any impact on families while balancing our region’s growing energy needs, and these funds will allow us to invest in new capacity as well as invest in the reliability of our current assets,” said Lyash, in the release.

According to TVA, the service area is seeing a population growth triple the national average which Lyash says will likely demand huge growth within the next twenty to thirty years. This growth will kick into high gear a swift doubling or even tripling of the system unlike any other time in TVA history, according to Lyash.