Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is Con Edison seeking a rate increase?
A: Con Edison is seeking a rate increase to fund infrastructure investments that will give customers greater control over their electric usage and bills; improve electric reliability, and help integrate new clean energy technologies into the grid. The company's gas main replacement program also will be accelerated, enhancing safety and facilitating conversion of oil heating systems to natural gas. This increase would take effect January 1, 2017, and would be the company's first electric rate increase since April 2012, and first gas rate increase since October 2012. The NY State Public Service Commission will review the proposal as part of the public review process over the course of this year.
Q: How much of an electric increase is the company seeking?
A: A typical bill for a NYC residential customer using 300 kWh would rise from $78.52 to $82.63 per month, an increase of 5.2 percent (8.4 percent on delivery); a typical bill for a Westchester residential customer using 450 kWh would rise from $109.64 to $115.89, a 5.7 percent increase (9.5 percent for delivery). A typical commercial customer using 10,800 kWh per month with a peak demand of 30 kW would see a bill increase from $2,042.29 per month to $2,118.62 per month, or a 3.7 percent increase (7.7 percent on delivery).
Q: How much of the proceeds from this rate increase will go into the electric system?
A: The proposal seeks to increase electric delivery revenues by $482 million, including $140 million for infrastructure investments needed to maintain and enhance reliability. As Con Edison works with new technologies and incorporates customer-sited generation onto its delivery system, the company must make grid investments necessary to maintain reliability.
Q: How much of a gas rate increase is the company seeking?
A: Under the company's rate proposal for gas, a typical residential customer using natural gas for heating would see an average monthly bill increase from $142.31 to $153.30, an increase of 7.7 percent (11.5 percent on delivery). Businesses using an average of 327 therms per month would see average month bill increase from $355.17 to $372.03, an increase of 4.7 percent (8.4 percent on delivery). A typical residential customer using natural gas only for cooking would see an average monthly bill increase from $26 to $29.75, an increase of $3.75 or 14.4 percent (16.3 percent on delivery).
Q: What sort of service enhancements is the company planning?
A: Con Edison is planning its first installation of smart meters as part of a five-year installation program that will begin in 2017 and conclude in 2022. This will include both electric meters and gas meters, and will benefit all of our customers.
Q: What else are you doing with the money?
A: Con Edison has introduced innovative solutions that utilize energy efficiency, solar installations, and other technologies to avoid or defer major, more traditional infrastructure investments. The company has embarked on a program in parts of Brooklyn and Queens, that seeks to defer a $1 billion substation in favor of a $220 million program installing new energy-efficiency systems in homes and businesses, as well as utility-scale battery storage.
Q: How does this support the state's "Reforming the Energy Vision" (REV) process?
A: The filing outlines why certain investments like our Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) are needed to improve system operations and how other steps enhance grid interconnections enabling customers to change supply resources more easily. All of this is focused on a continued commitment to operating more effectively and efficiently, and allowing customers to participate more actively in the energy marketplace.
Q: How much is Con Edison's rate proposal for its natural gas system?
A: Con Edison's proposal for its gas delivery system seeks to increase its delivery revenues by $154 million, including $77 million for infrastructure investments to support a significant acceleration of cast iron gas main and unprotected steel gas main replacement. The plan also would continue the company's monthly patrols of its gas delivery system begun last year, and continue pilot programs testing residential methane detectors.
Q: What are the details of the company's gas main replacement program?
A: The company maintains approximately 4,000 miles of gas mains and service lines in Manhattan, the Bronx, and parts of Queens and Westchester County. About half of those gas mains are cast iron and unprotected steel. Con Edison is currently replacing, on average, approximately 65 miles of gas main per year. The company is proposing to ramp up that goal to 100 miles annually, reducing the time of total system replacement from over 30 years to 20 years.
Q: Is Con Edison doing anything this year to prepare for smart meters?
A: An Advanced Metering Infrastructure or smart meter system is comprised of a communications network and IT systems in addition to the smart meters. Con Edison is currently working on the IT systems that will support the installation of the communications equipment and the smart meters, which is slated to being next year.
Q: Why are you looking to install smart meters and what do they do?
A: Smart meters allow for two-way communication between customers and their utilities. With the advanced system Con Edison is preparing to install, customers will be able to determine through a personalized online portal how much energy is being consumed. The AMI system will provide Con Edison operators with real-time visibility of grid conditions, enabling operation of optimum voltage levels that will reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The AMI communications network will facilitate integration of solar and other distributed energy resources. The network also will be capable of supporting the future integration of a variety of sensors and smart city applications. Smart meters also permit Con Edison to address many customer needs remotely. Control operators will be notified automatically if a customer is out of service.