Board of Directors authorised TVA’s funds and lengthy-time period useful resource plan as we speak. The funds stops annual fee will increase, at the least within the close to time period, but doesn’t handle excessive bills. The useful resource plan guts energy effectivity, slows carbon reductions, and continues reliance on fossil fuels for the subsequent 20 years.

Maggie Shober and Kate Tracy | August 22, 2019 | Alabama, Energy Policy, Tennessee, Utilities

TVA Board Members 8/31. Board members are nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. Each Board member serves a time period of 5 years.

Today the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Board of Directors, TVA’s regulatory physique, held their quarterly assembly in Knoxville to approve two future plans that may have a sweeping influence on the lives of everybody within the Tennessee Valley. These two plans had been largely developed by TVA employees behind closed doorways, with the significant dialogue from the Board occurring throughout committee conferences which might be closed to the general public. Catch-up on our live-tweet coverage of the board meeting.

Budget retains rates flat, doesn’t handle clients excessive bills.

Bills = Consumption (kWh) x Rate ($/kWh) + Fixed charge ($)

Source: SACE, knowledge US EIA

The funds pulls again a protracted parade of base fee will increase, but TVA has not made a long run dedication to decrease clients bills. In reality the other is true: Tennessee households pay the 12th highest energy bills within the nation. The dialogue on the TVA Board assembly as we speak stays tone deaf to the struggles of TVA’s clients by continuing to focus on low rates with no mention of bills.

TVA’s abandonment of energy effectivity together with increasing fixed fees across the TVA territory are driving bills up for households and small companies. For instance, Knoxville residents have been victims of this pattern because the Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) has tripled its fundamental necessary service cost, or fastened charge, since 2010. KUB solely lately relented to freeze deliberate will increase on fastened charges for the subsequent 3 years after receiving pressure from customers.

Low-income and stuck-earnings households battle to pay their bills and face excessive energy burdens. TVA is leaving energy financial savings on the desk as a substitute of investing in low-price assets like energy effectivity, main us into the second main plan the TVA Board authorised as we speak.

TVA’s IRP guts energy effectivity, gives little steerage on different assets.

Energy effectivity is the most affordable, quickest, and cleanest method to handle energy burdens that disproportionately influence low-earnings, fastened-earnings and minority communities. TVA is well below the regional average on energy efficiency investments and energy savings, but their latest Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) or long-term resource plan calls for even decrease investments in energy effectivity going ahead.

TVA’s transfer away from energy effectivity is much more evident within the face of the response from CFO John Thomas to a query from a Board member concerning the potential monetary impacts to TVA if Memphis Light, Gas, and Water (MLGW) leaves TVA. MLGW is TVA’s largest customer, representing roughly 10% of TVA’s income in accordance to Thomas. MLGW is currently evaluating the economics of leaving TVA. Thomas went on to declare that TVA could lose up to 10-15% of its load with out important monetary penalties. This fully contradicts their pull again on energy effectivity. If there are not any monetary penalties to load discount up to 15%, TVA ought to give you the option to push out important energy effectivity packages throughout the Valley. We would love to see a aim to save 10-15% of load over the subsequent 10 years.

If TVA can lose up to 10-15% of its load with out experiencing important monetary consequence, why are energy effectivity and rooftop solar handled as such a menace to TVA’s monetary nicely being?


Energy effectivity can be key in tackling the problem of a altering climate by decreasing greenhouse gasoline emissions.

The assembly presentation touted the truth that TVA has decreased CO2 emissions 51% since 2005, but a couple of slides later appeared to rejoice a goal to cut back CO2 emission depth (tons of CO2 emitted per MWh of power generated) by 70% from 2005 ranges by 2038. That represents a severe gradual-down within the fee of emission reductions.

The slides and CEO Lyash’s presentation additionally point out a possible to construct “up to 14 GW” of solar within the subsequent 20 years. However, the funds the Board authorised solely contains 5.5 GW of solar by 2030. While these two figures usually are not apples to apples, if I used to be a betting individual I might guess on the funds figures over these introduced within the IRP any day.

IRP slide (high) exhibits 14 GW of solar by 2038, Budget slide (backside) exhibits 5.5 GW of solar by 2030. Source: TVA August 2019 Board meeting presentation

Lots of transparency discuss, little transparency stroll.

The public is now barred from speaking to Board members throughout their assembly, and as a substitute is relegated to talking to the Board the day earlier than at a “public” listening session. These periods are held in the course of the work day, not dwell-streamed, and lead to no significant outcomes as a result of choices are made upfront on the committee degree hidden from the general public eye. We are still boycotting these sessions, and as a substitute submitted a formal letter to the TVA Board on the IRP.

Additionally, we help the bipartisan invoice within the House (HR 881) calling for extra transparency in how TVA makes their choices and requiring open committee conferences, launched by Representative Burchett (R-TN-2) and co-sponsored by Representatives Cohen (D-TN-9) and DesJarlais (R-TN-4). Forcing impacted events to take further time from work in the course of the day to attend a separate assembly so as to handle the TVA Board stifles significant public participation. TVA’s burdensome listening sessions are not a form of meaningful public interaction, but on the assembly Lyash touted TVA as “one of the most transparent utilities.”

Join us as we proceed to push for clear energy choices, reasonably priced fee constructions, and participatory utility oversight.

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