Leaders with TVA are asking heads of the agency’s organizations to look at the possibility of voluntary layoffs in an effort to reduce costs.
“Just as a business decision to position TVA for 2014 and be more efficient, every TVA organization has been asked to identify areas where expenses can be reduced,” TVA spokesman Mike Bradley said Tuesday.
A large part of controllable spending includes labor and benefit costs, he also said.
TVA employs a total of 12,762 people. There are 8,422 TVA employees who live in Tennessee.
In August, TVA Chairman Bill Sansom said that TVA CEO Tom Kilgore, who was the utility’s first CEO, would retire soon.
Johnson started his new position at the beginning of January and since has been visiting TVA’s different organizations and plant sites, taking inventory of the overall situation with “eyes wide open,” Bradley said.
Then, on June 18, he updated employees about cost-cutting efforts in various organizations, Bradley said.
“Our TVA president and CEO, Bill Johnson, updated everybody on actions that TVA has taken to reduce spending; and this is because of reduced energy demand and lower revenues due to the economy, mild winters and a bunch of other factors,” Bradley said.
Not every organization will necessarily have voluntary layoffs, but leaders are looking at this as a possibility. Attrition may take care of some cost-cutting efforts, Bradley also said.
The TVA offices in Chattanooga could be impacted, but Bradley said this isn’t a blanket TVA-wide initiative, and there is no hard number of people that could leave the organization.
He said benefit packages for people who chose to voluntarily retire would vary depending on which organization within TVA they worked at.
“The efforts are being made to minimize impact to employees as much as possible,” Bradley said. “The bottom line is we are focusing on being safer, better, faster and leaner and making the adjustments to keep rates low and reliability high.”
Bellefonte changes announced earlier this month
Earlier this month, leaders announced that budget cuts would impact operations at the Bellefonte nuclear plant in Scottsboro, Ala.
The budget for that nuclear plant will be cut from about $182 million in fiscal year 2013 to $66 million in fiscal year 2014. And that means the on-site TVA and contractor staff will be cut from about 540 people to about 140, according to a TVA news release.
Bradley said the deadline for those staffing cuts is Sept. 30.
There are currently 60 TVA employees and 480 on-site contractors, with an additional 130 contractors in satellite offices. By Oct. 1, there will be 25 TVA employees and 115 on-site contractors associated with the Bellefonte effort, also according to the news release.
“That’s not an end to that project; it’s a slowdown for now,” Bradley said. “The work will continue to go on there.”
Bellefonte activities that will continue in 2014 include performing core maintenance, protecting plant records and documentation, gathering information to support the integrated planning process, security and using the Integrated Resource Planning process to determine how Bellefonte best supports TVA’s overall efforts to continue to meet customer demand with low-cost, reliable power, according to the news release.
“Reducing spending at Bellefonte next fiscal year will help TVA focus resources, people, money, time and energy on nearer-term priorities,” Mike Skaggs, Tennessee Valley Authority’s senior vice president for nuclear construction, said in a prepared statement. “Some decisions are harder to make because they don’t affect just what we do every day; they affect people.”