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Electricity use in New England expected to increase over the next decade, according to 2022 report

Power grid operator ISO New England is projecting the region’s annual net electricity use to increase by about 14% over the next decade as the heating and transportation sectors go electric. The findings were published in the 2022-2031 Forecast Report of Capacity, Energy, Loads, and Transmission (CELT), a primary source for assumptions used in ISO system planning and reliability studies.

The CELT provides a snapshot of the New England power system, including:

  • A long-term forecast for energy consumption and peak demand, including 10-year forecasts accounting for the impacts of energy efficiency (EE) and behind-the-meter (BTM) solar generation;
  • The number of megawatts (MW) with capacity supply obligations, as well as the total generating capability of resources in the region;
  • A breakdown of the region’s generators by fuel/unit classification; and
  • A link to the listing of transmission projects proposed, planned, and under construction.

New England Electricity Projections for 2022 to 2031

The ISO develops the gross long-term forecast for electricity demand using state and regional economic forecasts, years of weather history in New England, and forecasts for energy demand to power electric vehicles (EVs) and air-source heat pumps (ASHPs). This year’s Transportation Electrification Forecast includes school buses, transit buses, and other fleet vehicles in addition to personal light-duty EVs.

Results of the ISO’s EE forecast and solar photovoltaic (PV) forecast are applied to the gross forecast to develop a net long-term forecast.

Overall Electricity Use in New England

Gross annual electricity use is expected to grow by 1.8% annually over the 10-year period, while net annual use is expected to grow by 1.4% annually.    

EE is projected to reduce grid demand by 12,771 gigawatt-hours (GWh) this year and 16,468 GWh in 2031.

BTM PV is projected to reduce grid demand by 3,747 GWh this year, rising to 7,692 GWh in 2031.

EVs are expected to account for 5,934 GWh of grid demand in 2031, while ASHPs are expected to account for 3,056 GWh of demand that year.


Total Annual Use (GWh) 2022 2031
Gross Forecast 140,536 164,965
Net Forecast 124,019 140,805


Winter Peak Demand, Average Weather

Peak demand is a measure of the highest amount of electricity used in a single hour. Average weather is used to develop what is known as the 50-50 forecast, meaning there is a 50 percent chance that peak demand will be above or below the forecast.

Under the 50-50 forecast, winter gross peak demand is expected to rise by an average of 1.8% annually through the winter of 2031-2032, while net peak demand is expected to rise by 1.5% annually. The same rates are forecast for weather that is colder than average.

Transportation electrification is forecast to contribute 1,535 MW to the winter peak in 2031-2032.

Heating electrification is projected to contribute 1,899 MW to the winter peak under average weather in 2031-2032.

BTM PV does not reduce winter peak demand, because the peak typically occurs after sunset.


Peak Demand (MW) Winter 2022-2023 Winter 2031-2032
Gross Forecast 22,031 25,880
Net Forecast 20,009 22,852


Winter Peak Demand, Colder than Average

Heating electrification is projected to contribute 2,032 MW to the winter peak under colder than average weather in 2031-2032.


Peak Demand (MW) Winter 2022-2023 Winter 2031-2032
Gross Forecast 22,717 26,725
Net Forecast 20,695 23,696
Heating, Cooling and HVAC
Power Generation
Heat Pumps
ISO New England
July 2022

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