KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -

The Tennessee Valley Authority is once again preparing for colder-than-normal temperatures that will create greater demands on its electric system.

Consumers can be preparing, too. TVA's power system remains secure and stable at this time, and steps are being taken to keep it that way.

On Monday, TVA issued an internal "Conservative Operation Alert," which delays any non-emergency maintenance activities at its generation and transmission facilities to minimize risks to the power supply.

It is also working with the region's 155 local power companies and TVA's directly served industrial customers to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity to the 9 million residents of the Valley.

Consumers are also encouraged to take proactive steps that can lower their power bills by reducing their own electricity use.

In addition to the tips on TVA's EnergyRight Solutions website, one of the simplest ways is turning down the thermostat.  Lowering the temperature just one degree can result in a savings of up to three percent on a monthly bill.