Did You Know?
The letter doesn't include details about the rolling blackouts. Can you help us understand the likelihood and severity of the blackouts?
Excellent question. For the last six months, I have been trying, to no avail, to get ISO-NE to answer that. So, I’ll give you my best guess. Currently, New England is in acceptable shape regarding electricity, but the real challenge will be any extended periods of time where the temperature drops below 10 degrees. The critical issue is the duration of the cold snap, every day longer the situation gets worse and worse. My expectation is that in a long cold snap they would keep the blackouts as short as possible to avoid freezing pipes, probably on the order of three hours rotating throughout New England until the temperature moderates.
Would there be notice?
In theory, yes, there would be adequate notice. First there should be a call for all of New England to engage in voluntary load reduction (see definition below). Then there would probably be a call to shut down the manufacturing that is left in New England. Then there would be other steps that GELD would administer, before blackouts would occur.
Will lowering electric use today help?
Short answer is no. It is still beneficial for us economically to move as much of your use as possible out of the peak evening hours (4pm-8pm). The problem with this winter is electric generation during an extended cold snap.
How long would a blackout last?
It is expected that rolling blackouts would NOT exceed four hours in duration, probably on the order
of three hours at a time.
What is Voluntary Load Reduction or conservation?
Voluntary Load Reduction would be a call, probably via major media outlets asking customers to avoid things such as laundry, running the dishwasher, charging electric vehicles, reducing heat, turning off humidifiers, turning off holiday lights etc. during incident, then return to normal activities once incident has passed.
Where can I get information regarding generators?
You can start with our generator flyer at:
Where can I get more information about the energy situation in New England?
Some great articles:
Basic outage information can be found at: