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December 6, 2022, by Naureen S Malik of Bloomberg

“New England’s power grid operator is warning it may ask homes and businesses to curtail electricity use during bouts of extreme cold this winter.

ISO New England, which runs the system, said it could ask customers to cut back during prolonged cold spells or back-to-back deep freezes to reduce stress on the grid amid tight natural gas supplies, according to a statement Monday. The grid operator said it does not expect to have to resort to rolling blackouts.

The grid, spanning from Connecticut to Maine, should have adequate supplies to meet demand during mild and moderate weather, when temperatures hover near 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 Celsius), according to the statement.

Electricity is the primary heating source for about 1 in 6 New England households, US Energy Information Administration data show.

While blackouts appear unlikely, ISO New England says periods of high consumer usage could sap reserve energy supplies. The US is expected to see a warmer-than-average winter, but bouts of extreme cold “can wreak havoc,” Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard Glick said in an October briefing. Strained natural gas supplies are a primary concern and ISO New England says it has tools in place to identify any fuel or power supply issues early.

The operator expects peak demand this winter to increase 1.3% from last year to 20,009 megawatts under normal conditions. Electricity usage would climb to 20,695 megawatts in below-average temperatures of 5 degrees. Neither scenario would touch the usage record set in 2004, when severe snow storms and freezing conditions slammed the region.”

Read the full article from Bloomberg here: New England May Ask Residents to Curb Energy in Extreme Cold by Naureen S Malik

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