TVA: Drought Could Affect Your Power Bill

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

Knoxville (WVLT) - The drought's affecting your lawns, flowers, farmers crops, the prices you pay for groceries and now it may even affect your energy bill.

The low numbers for rainfall could mean higher numbers on your bills.

The Tennessee Valley Authority says lack of rainfall means they can't use as much hydroelectric power, and that could mean an adjustment to your bills.

Lack of rain has caused TVA to cut the amount of hydroelectric power they use.

"We're only able to generate a small amount of power, about half of what we would ordinarily get,” says Gil Francis from the TVA.

That means the cheaper form of power needs to be replaced by a more expensive one.

"Coal, natural gas, purchasing power, and the price of fuel goes up, there's a fuel adjustment to cover increased cost of fuel,” Francis says. "Consumers will see that reflected in their future bills."

An exact figure is still about two months from being determined, but for some, any increase hurts.

"We're actually sending out those 4,000 applications to help serve those families in an effort hopefully the rising cost of utilities,” says Cecilia Waters from CAC.

The Knox County Action Committee tries to be proactive, more than 6,000 applications will go out to families who need assistance.

"It does put an extra burden on those low-income families who have limited income,” says Waters.

But a drought is something you can't predict, and more applications could be stamped and sent out.

"It does impact our vulnerable households, those are families on fixed incomes, the disabled and families with small children,” Waters says.

And unless we see some heavy rainfall soon, you'll see extra dollars on your bills.

"You need sustained rains of 2 inches or more at least 2 to 3 times to move these elevations in the reservoir system so we need a lot more rain than we're getting,” Francis explains.

The quarter ends September 30th, that's when TVA will be able to determine, if you'll see a few more dollars tacked on to your bill.

It will also be discussed at the TVA board meeting scheduled for next Wednesday.


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