TVA won’t raise power rates next year #Tennessee_ValleyAugust 12, 2019
Tennessee Valley Authority President Jeffrey Lyash speaks with…
Jeff Lyash, who became president of TVA in April , said the federal utility has improved its balance sheet over the past six years and, with ongoing operational improvements, should be able to avoid any wholesale rate hikes — and could even cut some electric rates — over the next 10 years.
Lyash will recommend to the TVA board next week that rates remain unchanged in fiscal 2020 — the first time in six years that TVA will not increase its base rates .
When Johnson came to TVA in 2012, the agency’s debt exceeded $28 billion and was increasing close to the $30 billion cap set for it by Congress.
Under Johnson, TVA cut annual operating and maintenance expenses by more than $800 million, spent $15 billion on finishing new power plants and cleaning up old ones, and adopted and implemented the first six years of a 10-year plan to cut the debt by nearly $7 billion by 2023.
TVA’s operating costs now rank the utility among the top 25% of U.S. electricity producers, but Lyash wants TVA to be among the top 10% in its costs of operations.
“Our members anticipate that this development should improve their competitive position which supports prosperity in the Valley, including more and better-paying jobs.”
Doug Peters, president of the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association, which represents the municipalities and power co-ops that distribute TVA power, said the local power companies support the proposal to the board to both suspend the 2020 scheduled rate increase and adopt a 10-year plan for stable rates.
The Government Accountability Office said TVA initially failed to meet a debt reduction plan proposed in 2006 to cut borrowings by $7.1 billion and was forced to make deeper cuts to bring down its debt.
Among the 100 biggest U.S. electric utilities, the Tennessee Valley Authority had the seventh-lowest industrial rates and the 23rd-lowest residential rates last year, according a report to the agency’s board last year.
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