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COLD WEATHER IMPACT: TVA asks customers to use less power

Tuesday morning, the Tennessee Valley Authority asked its 9 million customers to voluntarily use less electricity during the 6-9am peak demand period.

Posted: Jan 2, 2018 7:40 PM

EDITOR'S NOTE: Because of the bitter cold and the way it drives up demand for energy, one of the country's biggest suppliers of electricity asked customers to use less of it Tuesday. WTVA'S Mike Russell spent much of the day looking into the nuts and bolts of this story and filed this report.

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - You might say it's the nuts and volts of the story. As temperatures have slipped down, to stay warm, people all over the region have been turning up their heaters -- and that's where the problem begins.

At just after 6:15am Tuesday morning, the Tennessee Valley Authority -- which provides power to 9 million customers, including those in North Mississippi -- asked customers to voluntarily lower their thermostats 1-2 degrees during the peak demand period from 6am to 9am. It's called the emergency load curtailment plan, a multi-stage strategy to help reduce the amount of electricity being consumed -- and it's usually put into play during high peak demand, especially during times of extreme cold weather.

"Dispatchers at TVA are watching the load, and watching the load increase into the night last night [Monday night]," said Johnny Timmons, Director of Tupelo Water & Light. "So it's a precautionary measure to do these curtailments."

Curtailments like these are not unprecedented, but Timmons says at no point did North Mississippi ever come close to a brownout. In fact, he says, there was plenty of cushion. On the other hand, that's not to say there won't be another curtailment request in the days ahead.

"Tonight [Tuesday night], they're liable to go right back in to this curtailment plan again and start the process again, said Timmons. "They will notify you [the media] and notify me. I hope they don't, but it could...yeah."

If that happens, according to TVA and Tupelo Water & Light, residential customers are asked to do three things:


(1) Postpone using electric appliances such as dishwashers, dryers, and cooking equipment.
(2) Reduce the use of heating by adjusting thermostats as low as possible. Dress warmly.
(3) Turn off non-essential lights, appliances and other electrical equipment.

We don't know if another curtailment request will be issued. But stay tuned to WTVA 9News Today at 4:30am Wednesday morning for the latest update.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31257

Reported Deaths: 1114
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds253640
DeSoto162016
Madison131434
Jones112849
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Forrest87842
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Tate28810
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Claiborne27910
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Pearl River25732
Clay25111
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Smith21811
Union2109
Clarke20724
Walthall2045
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Jefferson1083
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George893
Tishomingo831
Quitman780
Choctaw744
Alcorn712
Perry674
Stone651
Franklin452
Benton380
Sharkey380
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 45263

Reported Deaths: 1007
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5410152
Montgomery4158103
Mobile4129134
Tuscaloosa232142
Marshall172410
Madison14917
Lee141137
Shelby133423
Morgan11215
Walker97824
Elmore94314
Franklin89814
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Dallas8919
Etowah75013
DeKalb7375
Chambers64227
Butler63428
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Russell5650
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Unassigned50323
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Pike4375
Colbert4086
St. Clair4022
Escambia3966
Coffee3812
Calhoun3765
Covington3707
Bullock36910
Barbour3532
Talladega3177
Hale31421
Marengo31211
Dale2990
Wilcox2948
Sumter28512
Jackson2842
Clarke2776
Winston2633
Chilton2522
Blount2431
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Pickens2366
Marion23313
Conecuh2107
Randolph2099
Macon1999
Choctaw19512
Bibb1941
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Perry1791
Henry1363
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Washington1117
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Geneva830
Lamar781
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Clay692
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