NEW YORK – Con Edison’s innovative Brooklyn-Queens Neighborhood Program took another step forward when the energy company held its first-ever auction to get commitments to reduce the demand for energy when summer heat envelops New York.
The auction produced a successful result. ConEdison expects energy usage to drop by 22 megawatts by 2018 on afternoons and evenings when the company asks participating customers to cut back on their consumption of energy from the grid.
The reduction will help Con Edison maintain its industry-leading reliable service and defer an expensive capital investment.
“Our Neighborhood Program is all about finding new strategies and technologies to help our customers manage their energy usage and still have the reliable power they need,” said Greg Elcock, who manages the program for Con Edison. “We decided to test out an auction as a way to encourage customers to help take pressure off our grid and we’re pleased with the outcome.”
Under the Neighborhood Program, Con Edison helps customers in north central and eastern Brooklyn and southwestern Queens take advantage of energy efficiency programs, solar energy, energy storage and other strategies.
By reducing the need for power in these areas, Con Edison will defer the construction of a $1.2 billion substation.
Here’s how the auction worked: Companies known as “demand response providers” submitted bids indicating how much money they wanted for reducing reliance on energy from the grid at peak times.
Con Edison accepted offers from 10 of those providers and will pay prices ranging from $215 per kilowatt per year to $988 per kilowatt per year.
It is now up to the demand response providers to sign up Con Edison customers that are willing to reduce energy usage, or otherwise provide relief to the grid, in their stores, office buildings, warehouses and other facilities on afternoons and evenings when Con Edison requests it.
These customers can take steps such as deploying batteries in their buildings, turning off lighting in common areas, shutting down banks of elevators, and turning down their air conditioning a bit to reduce their power needs until the stress on the grid eases.
Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $13 billion in annual revenues and $47 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y. For financial, operations and customer service information, visit conEd.com, or for energy efficiency rebates and incentives at coned.com/energyefficiency, and on Twitter and Facebook.
Photo: Samir Mohammad, a member of Con Edison Energy Efficiency team (right), with a representative of Union Beer in the beverage distributor’s warehouse in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Union Beer made energy-saving lighting upgrades with the help of Con Edison’s Neighborhood Program.