NEW YORK, January 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Con Edison is seeking new electricity and gas rates in 2023 to fund clean energy investments in support of New York State climate goals and make infrastructure upgrades that will help keep customers in service in severe weather.
The proposal to New York State The Public Service Commission would continue its unprecedented investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric vehicles and clean heat. The proposal also aims to fund investments in battery storage and new transmission lines to maximize the environmental benefits of renewable energy. New York State will add to his portfolio.
Con Edison plans to explore future uses and fuels – such as clean hydrogen – for its natural gas distribution system. The company is proposing investments to finance the continued replacement of gas lines with durable high-density plastic lines, which reduce leaks and methane emissions and improve safety, while the switch from fossil fuels takes place .
Con Edison works with its customers to help them find alternatives to natural gas, such as air-source and geothermal heat pumps, to meet their energy needs. The company is committed to increasing its efforts to reduce the use of fossil natural gas. Con Edison is exploring new ways to use its gas distribution system to serve its customers.
“Con Edison is in a unique position to lead the transition to a clean energy future with better public health, a vibrant economy and greater equality of opportunity for all,” Matthew Ketschke, said the president of Con Edison. “That’s why we want to dramatically increase our incentives for energy efficiency, make electric vehicle charging more convenient and encourage heat pumps as an alternative to gas heating.”
The sustainable investments offered by Con Edison are in line with the company’s commitment to clean energy.
The brief also recognizes that intense storms and heat waves are becoming more frequent and destructive. The six worst storms in the company’s long history, measured by the number of customer outages, have all occurred since 2010.
Investments would include undergrounding some vulnerable overhead power cables and other equipment to prevent outages during severe storms. Particular attention will be paid to areas of the system that serve disadvantaged communities.
Reliability and resiliency improvements would build on the $1 billion Con Edison invested to protect its systems after Hurricane Sandy, which hit in 2012, and another $100 million the company has since invested a pair of destructive storms in March 2018.
“The improvements we’ve made to our systems reduce the number of customers who lose power during extreme weather conditions and allow us to restore service more quickly for those who experience outages,” Ketschke said. “We want to continue these investments because reliable and resilient energy service is especially important in our densely populated region which is home to the world’s financial capital, leading medical, educational and cultural institutions and entertainment venues.”
Con Edison estimates that its clean energy investments will save about 2.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next three years, the equivalent of taking more than 500,000 cars off the road for a year.
The company will also continue to invest in cybersecurity to stay ahead of current and evolving threats.
Although the filing proposes one-year rate plans for electricity and gas, Con Edison intends to discuss multi-year plans with PSC staff and other parties. A multi-year plan would result in lower annual increases and provide greater cost certainty for the company’s 3.5 million electric customers and 1.1 million gas customers.
Impact on the invoice
The proposal aims to complement $1.2 billion revenue to upgrade and operate the company’s electrical distribution system and $500 million for the gas system. Overall customer electricity bills would increase by 11.2%, while overall customer gas bills would increase by 18.2%. Increases will vary by customer category.
Property taxes, approximately 90% of which will be paid by the company to New York Citywill be $2.5 billion for 2023. Property taxes represent approximately $180 million the proposed increase in electricity revenues and $75 million of the proposed increase in gas revenues.
Other factors in the increase include the recapture of money the company has already spent providing the service, but the deferred recapture and the expiration of certain federal income tax credits.
Con Edison is committed to affordability for customers who need help and recently increased discounts for low-income customers. The company also implements energy efficiency programs for low- and middle-income customers.
The proposed new rates would provide additional benefits to low- and middle-income customers, including:
- Con Edison owns 200 megawatts of new solar generation as part of a 1,000 megawatt project that will reduce bills for low-income customers, in addition to our new capital investments to facilitate access to solar energy for our clients.
Currently, large solar farms in New York State are owned and operated by private developers who sell electricity under fixed-term, variable-price agreements.
But Con Edison can operate these assets for the benefit of its customers over the life of the equipment at lower cost and has considerable experience in managing large, complex energy projects.
- A solar program for low and middle income customers.
- Increased outreach to low-income and at-risk customers to help them understand the resources that may be available to help them pay their bills.
- A rebate program for small businesses, which have been particularly affected by the economic crisis following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The proposal calls for upgrades to Con Edison’s overhead and underground electrical distribution systems in all five boroughs and Westchester County.
Investments will ensure reliability and help integrate solar and wind energy. They will also ensure that the system can handle the charging of the growing number of electric vehicles in the region.
For electricity, the company’s plan includes:
- Completed three reliable clean city projects by constructing new transmission lines to enable the removal of the city’s most polluting fossil fuel power plants. This will help integrate renewables into the region’s mix and reduce emissions while supporting reliability.
- A portfolio of building heating electrification programs that will reduce emissions by facilitating the transition away from natural gas and other fossil fuels and reduce the cost for customers to heat their homes and businesses using clean electricity.
- Construction of a new substation in the southeast brooklyn to improve reliability, enable the delivery of offshore wind energy to brooklyn and queens and support other future clean energy additions.
- Added four sets of batteries that will improve reliability, resiliency, operational flexibility and serve disadvantaged communities. The batteries allow the company to store electricity during times when demand for electricity is low and to discharge when demand is high. This relieves the electrical delivery equipment upstream of the battery.
- Increased number of substation transformer replacements from three to six per year. The company believes that climate change will make it necessary to accelerate the pace of replacements.
Safety is the company’s top priority in operating its gas delivery system, which includes more than 4,300 miles of pipeline and service and serves customers in manhattanthe Bronx, Westchester County and parts of queens.
The initiatives and programs in the company’s proposal focus on system security, not expansion. Over the next three years, approximately 85% of the investment in the gas system will be devoted to making the system safer. Due to the company’s commitment to clean energy and moving away from fossil fuels, the proposed gas rate plan is not a “status quo” case.
For gas, the company plans to:
- Replace more than 85 miles of distribution lines per year. The program aims to replace steel and cast iron pipes with durable, high-density plastic pipes. The company also replaces transmission lines and service lines, that is, the lines that connect the street to the customer’s property.
- Interconnect a renewable natural gas facility to Mount Vernon to its gas distribution system. The gas comes from food, yard and other waste and sludge and is used to reduce carbon emissions.
- Modernize its liquefied natural gas infrastructure. The company vaporizes and injects gas into its delivery system on the coldest days when the need for gas is greatest.
Customer Service Improvements
Con Edison seeks to continue to upgrade the systems used by its customer service staff. The company plans to:
- Complete a new customer service system that will improve billing and customer service.
- Create a customer relationship management system that will allow staff to see all interactions with a customer in one place and better tailor solutions to customer needs.
- Develop tools that will provide customers with information on clean energy options that would benefit them.
For a copy of the rate brief and additional information, see Rate plan information.
Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED]one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the country, with approximately $12 billion in annual income and $63 billion in assets. The utility provides electricity, natural gas and steam to 3.5 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York State For financial, operations, and customer service information, visit conEd.com.
SOURCE Con Edison’s new York