Con Edison has invested a record US$1.75 billion to keep its electric delivery system safe and reliable this summer, while continuing to support customer solar projects, help the transition to cleaner transportation and offer robust energy efficiency programs.
The investment added new cable, transformers, network protectors, switches and other components to a delivery system that is already industry-leading when it comes to reliability. See a video on Con’s Edison’s preparations for summer.
Con Edison also continues to make progress in its drive to create a clean energy future that will keep the region safe and sustainable. The company is working with New York City to install publicly available vehicle charging plugs at curbside, providing incentives for charging infrastructure, deploying battery technology and increasing its energy efficiency investments.
“Our investments in our electric delivery system add reliability and resiliency during extreme weather such as heat waves and the storms that often follow those heat waves,” said Matthew Ketschke, the president of Con Edison. “While investing to maintain the safe, reliable service our unique region needs and that our customers deserve, we are also leading the transition to a low-carbon future and helping to meet city and state clean energy goals.”
Con Edison is encouraging customers to use energy judiciously this summer and consider enrolling in an energy efficiency program to help offset higher energy costs and help the environment.
The company expects bills to be higher than they were last summer due to higher supply costs, which are affecting energy customers across the United States, and a delivery rate increase the New York State Public Service Commission approved in 2020.
Electricity supply costs for Con Edison customers are driven mainly by the cost of natural gas, since the plants that generate the electricity run on that fuel. Energy costs are volatile and can rise or fall suddenly based on international events, economic trends, weather, demand and other factors.
Con Edison does not make a profit on electricity supply charges, which have increased across the United States in recent months. The company buys power on the market from generators and provides it to customers at cost.
A typical New York City residential customer using 350 kWh/month can expect an 11.5% increase from US$ 104.05 in 2021’s June-to-September period to US$ 116.02 this year. A typical Westchester residential customer using 500kWh/month can expect an average increase of 15.6% from US$ 133.02 in 2021 to US$ 153.79.
A New York City business customer using 10,800 kWh with a peak demand of 31 KW can expect average monthly summer bills to increase from US$ 2538.83 in 2021 to US$ 2868.80 this year.
Improvements Across the Region
Con Edison’s reliability improvements covered all five boroughs of New York City and Westchester County. Crews installed 44 new network transformers,110 overhead transformers, 125 sections of underground cable, 181 spans of overhead wire and 68 utility poles in preparation for the summer.
In addition to those traditional upgrades, the company is deploying new strategies to keep its service reliable.
The company recently placed a battery system into service at a customer property in Woodside, Queens. The system can store 1 MW — or 1 million watts — of power.
The system will help take stress off the local grid this summer when temperatures soar and the demand for power is high. Con Edison will charge the battery from the grid when demand for power is lower.
The project will directly benefit customers in the southern part of Woodside and northern part of Maspeth. Similar installations, which are part of the same demonstration project, are on City Island in the Bronx and on the North Shore of Staten Island.
The company has a 2-MW battery system in Ozone Park, Queens that is separate from the demonstration project and plans to install a system in the Fox Hills area of Staten Island.
In another reliability initiative, the company has placed certain overhead lines underground to protect them from tree and wind damage during severe storms. Information gathered from these projects in Yorktown, which is in northern Westchester County, and in Middle Village, Queens will guide the planning and execution of future undergrounding projects. The planning will incorporate key consideration to include areas of the system that serve disadvantaged communities.
Con Edison has also developed technology and deployed switches to enhance overall management of the grid to reduce the number of customers impacted following an equipment failure.
Con Edison projects that demand for power this summer could peak at 12,570 MW under design weather conditions. Last summer’s peak of 11,997 MWoccurred at 4 p.m. on June 30. The record is 13,322 MW, which occurred at 5 p.m. on July 19, 2013.
A Clean Energy Future
Con Edison supports the environmental goals of New York City and New York State, as it makes clear in its Clean Energy Commitment.
Con Edison has several programs to make driving and charging electric vehicles more convenient. Electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions and will play a big role in a sustainable environment.
The company’s PowerReady program offers incentives covering up to 100% of the infrastructure costs of installing new chargers. The program, one of the most aggressive of its kind in the country, will support installation of around 19,000 charging plugs by 2025.
The program has already supported the installation of 434 EV charging plugs, including the largest publicly accessible universal charging hub in the Americas, operated by Revel in Brooklyn.
Con Edison encourages customers to consider whether solar energy might be right for them and helps them complete the installation process. Customers have installed 45,500 solar arrays on their homes and businesses. Those panels have the capacity to produce 425 MW of renewable power.
Also underscoring the company’s commitment to clean energy, Con Edison has begun construction on transmission projects that will carry the increasing amounts of renewable energy that will join the state’s portfolio. The projects — one each in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island — will make it possible to retire inefficient peaker plants that run during times of high demand for power.
Save Money and Earn Rebates with Energy Efficiency Upgrades
Customers can save money by using less energy. Con Edison offers customers incentives to make money-saving upgrades to their homes and businesses. Customers who conserve energy at times of high demand help Con Edison keep service reliable while also saving on their bills.
For this summer, Con Edison is offering residential customers a US$ 50 discount for buying an eligible smart thermostat and another US$ 85 for registering it with Con Edison’s Bring Your Own Thermostat (BYOT) Program. Con Edison is also offering residential customers a US$ 1000 rebate to weatherize their home with new air sealing and proper insulation.
Con Edison is offering incentives for commercial and industrial customers. They include cash incentives for installing high-efficiency, ultra-low temperature freezers, lighting incentives, and instant rebates for new natural gas and electric food service equipment.
Small and medium-size businesses can get a free, no-obligation energy assessment of their facility. Con Edison will pay about 50 percent of the cost for qualified lighting, HVAC, refrigeration and gas upgrades. Con Edison is also offering financing with rates as low as zero percent and no money down for eligible energy-efficiency upgrades.