Cold Weather

ISO-New England

The nonprofit that runs New England's electric grid says it will need more fuel and flexibility in the coming years to keep the lights on without prices spiking.

ISO-New England gave its annual "State of the Grid" briefing Tuesday.

CEO Gordon van Welie says New England now has more new wind capacity in the works than new natural gas capacity for the first time – and solar is also on the rise.

U.S. Fire Administration

Firefighters and emergency management directors around New Hampshire are urging Granite Staters to take home-heating precautions while dealing with frozen pipes and possible snow drifts around houses.

Recent house fires underscored the danger, including the New Year's Day death of Sandra Devito, 68, in Seabrook.

Though the State Fire Marshal could not definitively conclude it was the cause of the fire, investigators confirmed the residence was experiencing frozen pipes during the cold weather and attempts were made to thaw them out.

Kim Carpenter via Flickr CC

As the record cold continues, programs in New Hampshire that help people pay their heating bills are seeing more demand.

In Sullivan and Cheshire counties, Southwestern Community Services chief operating officer Beth Daniels says they have about as many enrollees so far this year as normal – around 3,500, with at least 5,000 expected by the end of winter.

But she says the cold is having an impact:

"All last week and already today has been phenomenally busy, just people calling us out of heat, out of fuel, or very [close] to being out,” she says.

via NEPGA

New England's electrical grid is working overtime to keep up with power demand during this record cold spell – but analysts say recent upgrades to the system's safety net are paying off.

Dan Dolan is president of the New England Power Generators Association. He says his members learned their lesson from 2014's Polar Vortex, when fuel prices spiked as power suppliers scrambled to meet demand.

As temperatures hover in the single digits or lower across New Hampshire, communities are opening up public buildings as warming shelters for anyone who needs a place to go during the cold.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Temperatures will drop to single digits for the rest of this week, so break out the long underwear, the wool sweaters, and those down jackets.

"Or your flannel-lined jeans."

That's what one DOT worker told the press last year when asked for his secret on bearing the extreme cold while required to work outside.

(The National Weather Service has issued a winter chill advisory for northern New Hampshire.)