Article

03/02/12

Utilities Learn Best Practices at TVA Energy Efficiency Forum

Energy Efficiency is important to the Southeast United States, an area where some of the country’s hottest, most humid areas are responsible for a whopping 44% of the nation’s total energy consumption. That’s why the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) partnered with the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association (TVPPA) and Alliance to Save Energy to host an Energy Efficiency Forum in Nashville Feb. 21-22. At the forum, nearly 400 attendees representing public power utilities and investor-owned utilities in the Southeast shared best practices for deploying energy efficiency programs.

“The TVA Energy Efficiency Forum spurred enthusiasm for energy efficiency in the Southeast region,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “It engaged local utilities in the dialogue about how energy efficiency programs make sense for business and customer relationships.”

TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore echoed her sentiments: “Energy efficiency is an essential part of TVA’s vision to be a national leader in clean, affordable energy by the end of this decade,” Kilgore said. “The dialogue at this forum will help inform TVA, power distributors and consumers of the best path forward to a cleaner, more sustainable energy supply.” 

Experts Discuss Energy Efficiency Issues Facing Utilities Today

At Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort, the TVA Energy Efficiency Forum brought together a wide range of experts for candid discussions on the state of energy efficiency in the Southeast United States, with a focus on utilities. Attendees included 60 local electricity utilities or “local distribution companies” (LDCs).

The TVA Energy Efficiency Forum agenda was packed with sessions on emerging trends and obstacles to adopting energy efficiency programs at LDCs, as well as success stories and best practices from across the nation. TVA also provided perspective on its unique challenges and opportunities.

Customer Focus is Key Takeaway from the TVA EE Forum

Attendees said they learned much at the forum, and they especially heard TVA’s call for utilities to focus on their relationships with customers. A strong message Alliance Senior Vice President for Programs Jeff Harris heard was that when a utility has a long-relationship with a customer, “it is easier to arrange for efficiency upgrades to ‘piggyback’ on other capital improvements, such as replacements of older HVAC equipment, retooling of industrial processes, and periodic renovation or tenant improvements in commercial buildings.”

The theme of increased communication and partnerships echoed throughout the sessions at the TVA Energy Efficiency Forum. “The partnerships between TVA and the distributors within the Valley are unparalleled anywhere in the country,” said Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA)’s Clay Crownover. From his perspective as stakeholder communications manager at SEEA, Crownover saw that the forum exhibited great promise for TVA and power distributors to together achieve energy savings in the Valley while saving their customers money on their energy bills.  

More on the TVA EE Forum

For more details on the forum, read TVA’s Feb. 22 press release, “TVA Forum Promotes an Energy-Efficient Southeast.” To learn more about energy efficiency in the Southeast, view the presentations from the TVA EE Forum.

Photo by TVA's Damien Power.