Hot weather and high energy bills



Electric bills are higher for two reasons.

  • May 2022 was hotter than last year, and hot weather has a significant impact on energy usage.
  • The TVA Fuel Cost Adjustment is higher than the same period last year.


Tennessee experienced unseasonably hot weather in May.

  • Warmer outdoor temperatures require home cooling systems to operate longer to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. This is true even if thermostat settings are unchanged.
  • In May of 2022, the Memphis area experienced 9 days with temperatures of 90° or higher. In May of 2021, the Memphis area did not experience any day with temperatures of 90° or higher.
  • The National Weather Service uses Cooling Degree Days (CDD) to measure the energy needed to cool a home or building. May 2022 required 69% more cooling units than May 2021 (296 CDD for May 2022 vs. 175 CDD for May 2021 as measured at NWS Memphis)­.


The TVA Fuel Cost Adjustment is up due to higher natural gas prices.

  • Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation buys wholesale power from the Tennessee Valley Authority.
  • TVA uses a Fuel Cost Adjustment to manage changes in the cost of raw materials used for power generation, as well as energy purchases from other sources. These fuels include the uranium, coal, oil, and natural gas that TVA must purchase to run its power generation plants. TVA generates 25 percent of our power with natural gas, and the prices of energy and natural gas are up globally.
  • Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation has no control over the FCA, and we do not retain any portion of this rate.100 percent of the FCA goes to TVA.
  • While the actual impact depends on the amount of energy you use, the higher TVA FCA will add about $12 to the average residential electric bill.


Tennesseans should expect higher energy bills in coming months

  • Your bill is the result of the cost of energy and the amount of energy you use. By controlling your usage, you control your bill and your cost. You only pay for what you use.
  • Contact your co-op as soon as possible if you have difficulty paying your bill.
  • Co-ops are helping consumers set up payment arrangements and take advantage of assistance provided by local agencies.
  • Consumers may also consider enrolling in their co-op’s budget or levelized billing program to avoid seasonal peaks in their energy bills.
  • You can find tips to control your energy costs on our website at or in the June issue of The Tennessee Magazine.