Tennessee Residents Paying Less Than Neighboring States For Electricity Even With Higher Fuel Costs

Image: Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Image Credit: TVA Web Team / CC

The Center Square [By Jon Styf] –

While energy and fuel prices have risen over the past year, the prices in Tennessee have been comparatively low.

While Tennessee is 22nd in energy consumption per capita, based on the latest numbers from 2020, the state ranked 41st in electricity prices and 35th in the cost of natural gas.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is federally owned and serves 10 million by providing electricity to 153 local power companies. TVA said that natural gas prices were 141% higher in June 2022 than June 2021 but TVA’s effective power rate, inclusive of fuel cost, is only 11% higher than a year before.

For the first time, electricity in Tennessee generated from natural gas topped the amount from coal-fired electricity generation for the first time. Nuclear power plants provided 47% of the state’s electricity while 20% came from natural gas and 18% from coal.

“We understand the impact that rising fuel costs and high energy demand can have on our customers,” said Jeff Lyash, TVA president and CEO. “However, our customers are seeing far less of a cost impact than the rest of the nation.”

TVA also provides electricity to portions of six surrounding states along with flood control and land management for the Tennessee River system.

TVA is the largest public power corporation in the country, generating 90% of the state’s electric generating capacity and three-fifth of its power plants.

Tennessee ranks 29th in total energy production.

The highest average retail electricity prices in the residential sector are in Hawaii, Connecticut, Maine, California and Massachusetts while the lowest are in Idaho, Washington, North Dakota, Utah and Montana.

Tennessee prices are lower than other states in the Southeast, such as Alabama (17th), South Carolina (20th), Florida (25th), Georgia (27th) and Mississippi (31st).

“TVA’s effective wholesale rate continues to run at the same rate as a decade ago, while our financial strength has allowed TVA to give back over $161 million in pandemic recovery credits to customers so far this year,” said TVA’s Chief Financial and Strategy Officer John Thomas.

Louisiana (2nd), Alabama (13th), Kentucky (15th), Mississippi (16th), Arkansas (17th) and South Carolina (20th) consume more energy per capita than Tennessee.

About the Author: Jon Styf, The Center Square Staff Reporter – Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonStyf.

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