Hartford Courant: Cold Wave Puts Pressure On Energy Suppliers

The cold snap of January 2018, which unleashed a period of single-digit and sub-zero temperatures throughout New England, drove up energy bills for residents amid unprecedented energy demands and dwindling natural gas supplies.

Officials at ISO-New England, operators of the region’s power grid, said energy demands during the recent arctic weather have placed major pressures on energy generators, forcing power companies to rely more on coal and oil to produce electricity.

Mitch Gross, spokesman for Eversource, said cold temperatures have “resulted in record-setting demand from Eversource gas customers here in Connecticut.”

“On Dec. 31, 2017, we delivered 414,133 MMBtu (millions of British thermal units, a measure of energy content) of natural gas to our Connecticut customers,” Gross said in an email. “The previous record of 402,944 MMBtu was set on Feb. 4, 2016,” he said, which was the last major Connecticut cold snap.

In Massachusetts on Jan. 1, Eversource saw its third-highest-ever demand for natural gas in that state, according to Gross.

Despite those pressures on Eversource, this state’s largest utility, Gross said the company’s system is managing to supply all its customers with their power needs. “We’re in good shape,” Gross said.

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