To Beat the Summer Heat and Support the Transition to Clean Energy, Con Edison Puts $2.3 Billion Plan In Action

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Photos via Con Edison

Con Edison is investing $2.3 billion in infrastructure projects across New York City and Westchester County to keep its service safe and reliable and support the clean energy transition.

The annual expenditure – Con Edison allocated $2.4 billion for last summer – seems to amp up the utility’s reliability. Based on 2023 data, the typical Con Edison customer would experience an outage only once every seven years — one of the best performances in the country.

That industry-leading reliability is essential in New York City, which is home to the world’s financial capital, important government institutions like the United Nations, world class hospitals and schools, and a 24-7 mass transit system.

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Underground electric crew works in a manhole to rewire a damaged par of the electric network in the middle of a heat wave.

Con Edison’s research with Columbia University shows that climate change is accelerating. Heat waves are going to increase in frequency and severity faster than previous research showed, which is why Con Edison believes the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy is critical.

Con Edison is building an electric delivery system capable of delivering reliable clean energy from solar arrays, wind turbines and other renewable resources to help the region remain safe and sustainable for future generations.

Priorities: Reliability and Clean Energy

“These critical infrastructure projects support New York’s transition away from fossil fuels and improve the reliability of our grid by helping us meet the increased demand for power as buildings and vehicles become electrified,” said Matthew Ketschke, the president of Con Edison. “Our investments provide value for every customer and ensure that our grid remains resilient and reliable in the face of extreme weather such as heat waves and storms, which are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change.”

To help customers reduce their usage and reduce emissions, the company invests in robust energy efficiency programs, such as  transmission lines to bring renewable power to customers and substations that can be connection points for renewables.

Con Edison helps customers connect rooftop solar projects, install electric vehicle chargers, and invest in other clean technologies. The company supports New York State’s ambitious climate goals, as it makes clear in its Clean Energy Commitment.

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An overhead crew from Eastview Yard works to transfer services over from an old pole to a new one in the Bronx.

Con Edison has completed projects throughout the area to place overhead wiring underground. The company plans to continue strategically moving overhead lines underground in areas that are vulnerable to tree damage during storms.

The company continues to ensure that disadvantaged communities benefit from its clean energy investments in terms of improved quality of life and climate-resilient energy infrastructure.

Advanced Technology, a Dynamic Workforce

Con Edison’s technology, its expertise, and the talents of its diverse, unionized workforce demonstrate their value during the hot summer months when air conditioning usage increases the amount of power flowing through the system.

The company’s world-class reliability is due to the redundancy built into its electric delivery system. If a cable goes out of service, the power that component was carrying shifts to another cable and no customers lose service.

Con Edison’s ability to innovate also helps make the company’s reliability world class. This will be the third summer that the company’s Smart Meter System allows operators to shut off the flow of power in a targeted way in order to avoid longer and wider outages.

The targeted emergency shutdowns prevent larger outages that would take longer to restore. Also, operators can bypass gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies, and other businesses that are important for public safety.

But most importantly, the Smart Meter System can save lives. A household with a member on life support equipment can register with Con Edison. If the company has to conduct an emergency shutoff, it will not affect that household.

Another reliability-preserving technology is the ability for the company’s operators to open switches in certain areas of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. That keeps power from shifting from failed cables onto working cables, preventing those cables from becoming overloaded.

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Two HVAC systems in use at residence in Hastings on Hudson, Westchester County.

Customers can manage their bills by managing their usage. Customers who conserve energy at times of particularly high demand help Con Edison keep service reliable while also saving money and helping the environment.

Here’s a 3-step process to put a dent in your bills:

● Look for devices in your home that you can turn off and unplug for a few hours. Game consoles can use a lot of electricity if left on, even when the TV is off.
● Unplug these devices during Peak events (peak hours are between 8 a.m. and midnight from June to September. Super peak hours are between 2 and 6 p.m. on summer weekdays). Give the devices time to reboot afterwards. This can help extend the device’s lifetime and allow the software to perform updates.
● Plug a group of related devices, such as computers and printers, into a smart power strip. This makes it easier to turn off all electronics at once during Peak Events.

Con Edison is also offering residential customers incentives for clean heating and cooling technology.

Also an $85 rebate for enrolling their eligible smart thermostat in the Smart Usage Rewards program.

Additionally, Con Edison is offering residential customers up to $4,000 to upgrade their homes with air sealing and insulation.

The company is also offering several rebates and incentives for low-income customers, including discounts on efficient equipment and a free energy assessment to help identify energy-saving offerings.

For more information go to the Con Edison website here.