ISO New England’s preliminary 2011 long-term load forecast suggests that economic recovery is starting in New England. Electricity demand is an indicator of economic health, and ISO New England reports that New England demand grew in 2010. Moreover, ISO New England’s preliminary projections for 2011 through 2020 predict modest growth in demand in New England. The preliminary energy forecast for the 2011-2020 period is for a compound annual growth rate of 1.1%, from about 135,460 gigawatt-hours (GWh) this year to 149,150 GWh in 2020. Adjusted for factors such as energy efficiency, energy is forecasted to grow about 0.8% annually, from 131,130 GWh this year to 140,980 GWh in 2020.
Peak demand (the most amount of electricity used in a single hour in New England) is projected to grow by about 1.4% per year, from a forecasted peak of 27,550 megawatts (MW) this year to about 31,215 MW in 2020. Adjusted for factors such as energy efficiency, peak demand is forecasted to grow about 1.2% annually, from 26,766 MW this year to 29,917 MW in 2020.