CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The president of the nation's largest public utility says he will recommend suspending a plan to boost electric rates next year.

Tennessee Valley Authority President Jeff Lyash told the Chattanooga Times Free Press in an interview last week that the federal utility has improved its balance sheet over the past few years and with operational improvements, it should be able to avoid any wholesale rate hikes over the next decade.

He said increases had been planned over the next four years to reduce debt.

Lyash took his position in April. He says said his predecessor, Bill Johnson, greatly helped shore up TVA's finances.

The TVA board is scheduled to adopt rates and vote on its 2020 budget at its Aug. 22 board meeting.

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Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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