Tuesday December 1st, 2015 3:07PM

TVA to cut more than 10 percent of jobs

By The Associated Press
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Valley Authority says 750 employees have retired or resigned through a voluntary incentive program, another 1,000 vacant positions are being eliminated and more cuts are on the way.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports it will be the largest staff reduction at the federal utility in more than 20 years.

Cuts also are planned in TVA's nuclear program and involuntary layoffs are expected later this year.

The cuts are being made so staffing levels and electric rates will be more in line with other utilities as power consumption growth slows.

TVA President Bill Johnson says he wants a $500 million reduction in annual expenses by next year.

``We have had higher operating costs than some of our neighbors, so we're looking at ways to bring our costs down and operate more efficiently,'' TVA spokesman Duncan Mansfield said. ``It's all driven toward trying to keep our rates low.''

TVA said power demands peaked in 2007, but have dropped since then due to the economic downturn in 2008-09 and increased conservation and energy efficiency since then. It doesn't expect to reach peak demand again for another 10 years.

Johnson said TVA has had higher than normal budget and staffing because the utility needed to catch up on deferred maintenance and investments from when it tried to avoid rate increases in the 1990s and early 2000's.

``Generally, capital spending should be equal to amortization, but there were periods in the past when our capital spending was half of our amortization,'' Johnson said. ``Not raising rates for so long was a laudable goal, but it's like that Fram commercial, `Pay me now or pay me later.'''

TVA also had a large staff reduction in 1994, when it cut more than 2,400 jobs.

TVA supplies power to about 9 million people in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

The utility has opened centers in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to help displaced workers.

``We have folks in each center to help workers wanting help with writing resumes, searching for other jobs or making other career adjustments,'' TVA spokeswoman Gail Rymer said.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 11 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 11 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 10 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 11 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 11 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 11 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 11 months ago )
Local/State News
White House offers governors info on refugees in their states after Syrian migrants uproar
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is proposing to offer governors individualized reports about refugees in their states.White House chief of staff Denis McDonough says in letters to all 50 governors t...
9:08PM ( 17 hours ago )
Standoff at Planned Parenthood ends with suspect's arrest; 3 killed, 9 wounded
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A gunman who opened fire inside a Planned Parenthood clinic was arrested Friday after engaging in gun battles with authorities during an hourslong standoff that killed t...
1:13AM ( 3 days ago )
White House undergoes Thanksgiving Day lockdown after man draped in American flag jumps fence
WASHINGTON (AP) — A man draped in an American flag climbed over the fence at the White House on Thursday, prompting a lockdown as the first family celebrated Thanksgiving.The man was immediately appre...
10:11PM ( 4 days ago )
Obama grants reprieve to turkeys 'Honest' and 'Abe' during White House ceremony
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama spared two turkeys named for one of the nation's most admired presidents, continuing a White House tradition that provides a refreshing sense of amusement and...
9:18PM ( 5 days ago )
The Latest: UN Security Council strongly condemns 'horrifying' attack in Mali, urges probe
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The latest on the attack on a hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako. (All times local):___4:55 a.m.The U.N. Security Council is condemning "the horrifying terrorist attack" at the...
10:58PM ( 1 week ago )