Fast Fact: New England was once a winter-peaking system

Electricity demand peaks in New England during the hot summer months. That means that over the course of the year, the hour when the greatest amount of electricity is consumed occurs when temperatures are high. It wasn’t always this way.

Until 1989, New England was a winter-peaking system. What changed? The growing use of air conditioning in the region pushes up electricity consumption during the summer months. There was a blip in 1992, when a very cold winter and mild summer resulted in a winter peak that was about 150 megawatts (MW) higher than the summer peak, but since then, the gap has been widening.

In 2011, the summer peak of 27,707 MW was 7,800 MW higher than the winter peak of 19,905 MW.