Project Leads

Adam Schiabor,
Urban Green Council

Sean Brennan,
Urban Green Council

Development and Design

James Troxel

Data and Modelling

James Perakis,
Elementa Engineering

Julia Sokol,
Integral Group

Project Consultant

Klaar De Schepper,
Flux Tailor

Project Support

John Mandyck,
Urban Green Council

Chris Anjesky,
Urban Green Council

Sheena Thiruselvan,
Urban Green Council

Jack Archambault,
Urban Green Council

Blake Mills,
Urban Green Council

This tool is possible through generous support from:


Research Methodology

To reach NYC’s climate goals, we must electrify most of our energy use. This conversion will require a new generation of technologies. Transitioning to these technologies, like heat pumps in buildings, will be challenging. But there is a critical underlying issue that must be addressed concurrently: Is our grid ready to power building electrification?

The research presented in this tool—and companion report—shows that NYC’s local grid is ready. The results show how power demand changes as New York City’s one million buildings replace today’s heat and hot water systems that use fossil fuels with air-source heat pumps. These power demand predictions were reached through a multitiered analysis. Engineers created a series of energy models, calibrated them against measured data, then electrified heat and hot water loads and aggregated the results citywide. Citywide power demands were then compared against capacities from Con Edison’s public data for network areas.

The general methodology of this process is as follows. For a more detailed description, reference the Appendix in the report starting on page 40.

  • Categorize all NYC buildings as one of 27 unique typologies and model energy use of each
  • Calibrate energy models to match 2019 monthly benchmarked energy use
  • Update energy models to use heat pumps to deliver all heating, cooling and hot water
  • Apply energy efficiency and demand flexibility upgrades for each typology
  • Sum each building’s hourly power demands within geographic zones—with the 90th percentile demand chosen to represent maximum possible demand
  • Analyze results in increments of 10 percent of citywide building area. Building electrification was sequenced at different rates based on typology - see building electrification section of report starting on page 18.

Map Guide


This mapping tool highlights some of the ways building electrification will increase and shift power demand across New York City. Electrification will be a revolutionary change, and capacity upgrades will be needed inside buildings and on the local grid to accommodate it. This tool is designed to show where winter peaks will occur first and the capacity for electrification given NYC’s current grid.

You can select two different geographical zones: zip code or network area. Network areas are the most relevant geography to compare power supply and demand since each network has a specific capacity. Con Edison maintains 70 network areas with underground cables, as well as much smaller non-network systems. The network areas serve more than 80 percent of customers and account for almost 90 percent of electricity delivered, so they are the focus of our analysis.

Power supply does not follow zip code boundaries, so identifying capacity for electrification is not available in the zip code view. Instead, the summer or winter peak and change in peak demand metrics show the relationship between electrification and power demand at this level. The timing of each zip code’s flip to a winter peak depends on which of its buildings electrify and how much energy efficiency and flexibility is included. The grid must be built out to meet peak power demand, so forecasting peak seasons can help plan infrastructure upgrades to support electrification.

Improvements at every level of the grid will be required once 20 percent of NYC’s total floor area electrifies their heating and hot water. But the amount of energy efficiency, load flexibility and storage installed alongside heat pumps will make those improvements manageable and will be essential to ensuring a reliable power supply.


    Network Area
  • Most of NYC’s grid is split up into 70 network areas. Each network area has its own specific capacity, which is the maximum amount of power that can be supplied to the area given its current configuration.
    Zip Code
  • Explore the change in power demand in each zip code for each specific electrification scenario.


    Capacity for Electrification
  • Electrification increases power demand. Heating impacts winter demand most, so this metric gives an estimate of each network area’s ability to accommodate more electrification given a scenario’s winter peak demand. Heat pump installations may require building and standard local grid upgrades, and bigger capital upgrades may be needed if network capacity is exceeded.
    Change in Peak Demand
  • This metric shows the percent change in the peak power demand, after upgrades, from the current peak power demand. Over the last decade, peak demand occurred on the hottest summer days due to cooling loads in buildings.
    Summer or Winter Peak
  • This metric shows when peak power demand occurs in each zone — summer, winter or varying year to year. Every zone peaks in summer today, but electrification will change that.

Electrification Adoption:

Choose the percent of NYC's total building area where heat and hot water get converted from fossil fuel systems to air-source heat pumps.


    Energy Efficiency
  • Simple energy efficiency measures like sealing air gaps in walls, adding roof insulation, installing LED lights and Energy Star appliances and controlling plug load controls are included in every electrified building.
    Demand Flexibility
  • Demand flexibility allows buildings to shift electrical loads to time periods when the grid is less stressed. Batteries, thermal storage and advanced controls are included in every electrified building.

See Table 4 on page 44 of the Grid Ready Report for a full list of the energy efficiency and demand flexibility measures.

Data Stats:

    Peak Season
  • This metric shows when peak power demand occurs in each zone— summer, winter or varying year to year. Every zone peaks in summer today, but electrification will change that.
    Change in Winter Demand (MW)
  • Added power demand in winter due to electrification of heat and hot water systems in buildings.


What is the overall scope of this research project?

This research explored how building power demand will change as heating and hot water systems are converted to heat pumps. We focused only on buildings both for simplicity and because they use most of NYC’s energy today. Their electrification is likely to have the biggest influence on future power demand.

We compared current and future power demands to explore how many buildings could electrify before networks exceed today’s peaks. This is the first step in understanding community infrastructure needs, but there will be upgrades needed block by block that we cannot yet predict. Future rate cases will address these upgrades and other major capital investments to advance beneficial electrification and continued reliability and resiliency needs due to the evolving dynamic electric grid.

Electrifying NYC buildings is a multi-decade challenge. NYC’s local distribution grid currently is reliable and has a process for gradual upgrades and long-term planning to meet evolving system needs. Our findings are not a substitute for a detailed distribution upgrade plan that considers the factors above and others to identify capacity investment needs in specific locations on Con Edison’s network system.

Were other types of electrification considered in this analysis (EVs, Cooking, etc..)?

This work serves as a starting point to understanding how electrification will affect NYC’s grid. Other factors that will impact its reliability but are not part of this current research include:

  • Cooking: gas stoves will be replaced by induction stoves that use electricity for cooking
  • Transportation: electric vehicle charging, for cars, trucks and buses, will increase power demand
  • Expansion of cooling: it’s unclear how summer demand will change as heat pumps bring cooling to buildings without it. That expansion, along with higher temperatures caused by climate change, may outweigh more efficient cooling from heat pumps

Where can I find out more about the electrical service near my building?

Con Edison maintains a Hosting Capacity Platform that is designed for customers to identify opportunities for private generation within Con Ed’s local distribution network. This platform includes detailed data on the capacity and demand within each network area.

Does this analysis consider the electrical service capacity at the block or feeder level?

No, not explicitly. This analysis assumes that the buildings within a network area can access power up to the capacity of that specific network area. This is true when you aggregate all building power demand up to the network area, but each network area is made up of lower-level infrastructure—primary feeders, low-voltage transformers and other wires—which could temporarily limit the power supply to a specific set of buildings within a network area. Standard upgrades to low-voltage equipment—on the local grid and inside buildings—will be required to accommodate electrification. Many of these upgrades are already part of Con Edison's standard processes, so they’ll take place incrementally and will not limit electrification in the same way as the overall capacity of a network area.