Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Nashville’s Public Utility Promotes Electric Vehicles, but Now Urges Customers at Home to Reduce Power

High summer temperatures have prompted top-level brass at Nashville, Tennessee’s public utility, the Nashville Electric Service (NES), to tell customers to conserve the city’s power supply.

Too bad that those same people at NES spent the past four years promoting Electric Vehicles (EVs) and trying to incentivize customers to buy them. 

In a recent press release, NES officials warned about high temperatures. They told customers “to continue to help lower the heavy demand on the electric system during the ongoing heat wave by conserving energy.” NES officials then asked customers to, among other things, lower their thermostats and avoid using electric appliances.  

“Summer heat is expected to continue across the region this week, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has requested a voluntary reduction in customer electric usage,” the NES press release said.

“TVA [Tennessee Valley Authority] is asking both residential and commercial customers to voluntarily reduce their usage as a precautionary measure beginning immediately until further notice.”

NES officials purchase electricity from the TVA, which is federally owned and services residents in seven states.

In 2018, NES partnered with the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation to launch SmartCharge Nashville. This was a voluntary study to help Nashville prepare for a growing number of EVs.

The following year NES officials offered their customers a rebate on the all-electric 2019 Nissan LEAF. Public power customers and employees were eligible that year for a $3,500 rebate on the 2019 Nissan LEAF 40 kWh Standard and a $2,500 rebate on the 2019 Nissan LEAF 62 kWh ePlus.

RVIVR contacted NES’s communications team via email and asked the following:

• What would NES officials say to customers who rely on all-electric cars for travel? 

• Given the contents of the NES press release, does the utility not yet have the power grid to support all-electric cars? If not now, then when and after how much and how lengthy of an investment?

Unfortunately, NES officials did not respond to our query.

Nashville, according to Accuweather.com, had daily highs in June 2022 ranging from 84 to 101 degrees.