KNOXVILLE, TN (AP) - Hot weather from April to June, including a heat wave that sent temperatures soaring above 100 degrees for four straight days, led to a five percent increase in operating revenues for the Tennessee Valley Authority this quarter.
But officials at the federal utility say it still wasn't enough to overcome the loss TVA suffered earlier in the year amid the mildest winter in decades combined with a sluggish economy.
TVA reported a $290 million net loss in the first nine months of 2012. Last year the federal utility reported a $35 million loss during that same time period.
The announcement came Friday with the release of TVA's third quarter report.
Officials said they were committed to low rates but would not be able to say whether there will be plans to increase utility rates until after its board meets later this month.
TVA chief financial officer John Thomas III said officials did not expect to see similar losses next year.
"We're planning for normal weather so you wouldn't expect to see that $500 million shortfall that you're seeing this year."
Because of the losses earlier in the year, TVA officials have instituted a cost-cutting program that calls for the elimination of 1,000 positions in addition to delaying some capital projects.
The utility had planned total operating revenues of $12.1 billion for 2012. Operating revenues were 7% below the planned amount during the first nine months of the fiscal year, officials said.
In spite of the shortfall, TVA officials said the system continued to prove itself reliable under intense demand for electricity during record highs in the summer.
TVA's power system hit record demand on June 29 and then for the weekend of June 30-July 1 because of temperatures in the triple digits.
TVA provides electricity to about 9 million people in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.