Customer & Community
Stakeholder Engagement & Collaboration
Con Edison works closely with local communities to keep them informed, address their concerns, and convey our company’s mission. We inform local community groups—including business improvement districts, chambers of commerce, and local development corporations—about major capital projects, new initiatives such as smart meters, energy efficiency programs, and how to do business with Con Edison. We coordinate with operating departments to respond to inquiries about topics like construction noise, service restoration, and outages. We maintain close working relationships with local stakeholders so Con Edison remains aware of changes and new developments in the communities we serve. These relationships are also critical to our coordination during emergencies and they help us collaborate on new initiatives.
Policy & Regulatory Impact
Con Edison and O&R support New York State’s clean energy policies and goals, including plans to reduce GHG emissions 85% from 1990 levels by 2050, provide customers with 70% of their energy from renewable resources by 2030, and increase energy efficiency.
We work in partnership with our customers, policy-makers, various third parties, and other energy companies to seek innovative ways to bring a clean energy future. This includes exploring new ways to advance clean energy technologies through adoption of distributed resources, including energy storage and solar connected to the distribution system. We are also developing a solar program for low-income customers and are advocating for the ability to own large-scale renewable generation This is in addition to installing smart meters throughout our service areas and piloting new rate designs that will help customers manage their energy usage and bills.
We’re active in regulatory proceedings, including those which seek to expand energy efficiency, develop offshore wind, provide customers with high efficiency electric heating options, and grow the electric vehicles sector. We work with regulators, customers, and other stakeholders to develop solutions that will promote a clean energy future in a cost-effective way for all New Yorkers. We also serve these goals by being an active participant in the legislative process at all levels of government.
Political Contributions & Lobbying
No Con Edison corporate funds are used directly for political contributions to candidates, political parties, or political committees other than contributions to the Consolidated Edison, Inc. Employees’ Political Action Committee (CEIPAC). No corporate payments have been made, nor do we intend to make payments, to influence the outcome of ballot measures. Additionally, neither Con Edison nor CEIPAC makes independent expenditures in support of, or in opposition to, candidates, political parties, or ballot measures. Finally, we do not contribute to “independent expenditure” committees organized under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code.
For further information on CEIPAC and links to our publicly disclosed lobbying reports, please refer to our Corporate Governance – Political Engagement page.
We are the longest, continuously-listed company on the New York Stock Exchange and have increased dividends to shareholders for 46 consecutive years.
For more information, refer to our Shareholder Services page.
Con Edison, Inc. Dividend Growth for Shareholders (per share)
Proactive, Year-Round, Shareholder Engagement
Shareholder Engagement Team
Our core shareholder engagement team, consisting of our Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Investor Relations, proactively engages with shareholders to discuss matters of interest with the input of subject matter experts, including the Office of the Controller, Office of the Corporate Secretary, and Environmental, Health and Safety
- Corporate strategy
- Disclosure practices
- Corporate governance
- Political spending and lobbying practices
- Operational and financial issues
- Environmental, social, health, and safety
Shareholder engagement activities are reported to the Board of Directors to convey feedback received from shareholders and propose implementation of appropriate practices in response to shareholder feedback.
Management responds to shareholder inquires with enhanced company disclosures, including:
- Financial and operating metrics in our quarterly earnings presentations and investor presentations
- Sustainability reporting, including our Edison Electric Institute and American Gas Association ESG/Sustainability Reports
- Climate-related disclosures, including the Climate Change Vulnerability Study released in December 2019 and collaborative efforts with other companies in the utilities industry on environmental advocacy
Management meets with a broad range of shareholders, including index funds, union and public pension funds, actively-management funds and stockholder advisory firms in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Canada.
To address environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues with our shareholders, our team contacts our top 100 shareholders and smaller shareholders with an identified interest in ESG
We engage in discussions with shareholders that have submitted proposals for inclusion in the annual proxy statement.
Our team participates in national and international ESG forums to identify ESG issues important to shareholders, adopt best practices, and improve related disclosures.
2019-2020 Shareholder Engagement Season
Number of target investors
We held engagement meetings with investors representing
19% of our shares outstanding, and
Con Edison has continued to proactively engage with shareholders this year and to accept invitations to discuss matters of interest to them. The core shareholder engagement team consists of:
- Chief Financial Officer
- Investor Relations
The company’s engagement efforts also include the Office of the Controller, the Office of the Corporate Secretary, the Environment, Health and Safety department, and the Corporate Affairs department. In addition, the chairman and chief executive officer, the presidents of each of the subsidiaries, and other company officers participate in face-to-face meetings with shareholders during the year.
During 2019, the company participated in 23 shareholders conferences and organized 10 roadshows in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Canada, engaging in the process with a broad range of shareholders, including index funds, union and public pension funds, actively-managed funds and stockholder advisory firms. Key topics of discussion during the year included corporate strategy, disclosure practices, corporate governance, political spending and lobbying practices, operational and financial issues, and environmental, health and safety matters.
As a result of shareholder feedback during the year on financial disclosures, Con Edison enhanced disclosures in its quarterly earnings presentations to include business segment income, cash flow, and balance sheet statements; detailed analysis of the utilities’ regulatory filings for new rates and the ensuing joint proposal; and a comprehensive shareholder fact book.
Con Edison also has a targeted environmental, social and governance shareholder-engagement team that consists of:
- Chief Financial Officer
- Corporate Secretary
- Investor Relations
We are actively involved in national and international ESG forums that bring companies and shareholders together to identify ESG issues important to its shareholders, adopt best practices, as appropriate, and to improve related disclosures. In 2019, we actively participated in the trade association efforts of the Edison Electric Institute and the American Gas Association to develop industry templates for ESG reporting. Those templates are available on our website.
Following the close of the annual proxy-voting season and in advance of the preparation of the next annual proxy, the company reaches out to its top 100 shareholders as well as smaller shareholders with an identified interest in ESG issues to discuss related issues and trends as well as company-specific issues. We respond to shareholder inquiries focused on ESG issues, including shareholders that have submitted proposals for inclusion in the annual proxy statement. As a result of this ongoing engagement, we have enhanced disclosures in our proxy, including this more detailed description of our engagement efforts, and in last year’s proxy, clearer and more accessible information on board diversity, tenure, and skills and experience. We will continue our proactive engagement and responsiveness to shareholder inquiries and expect that our disclosures will continue to be enhanced as a result.
In addition, we have engaged with shareholders, who urged studies of climate-change risk to the company’s infrastructure, and who urged we assume an advocacy role as federal environmental rules and regulations have been rolled back. As a result of these engagements, the company has done the following:
- publicly joined other companies in the utility industry to defend strong state auto emission standards
- publicly supported a science-based climate policy agenda
- released its science-based Climate-Change Vulnerability Study in December 2019
- begun preparation of a Climate-Change Vulnerability Study implementation plan to be released by year-end 2020
The results of our engagement activities during the year are reported by the shareholder engagement team directly to the nominating and corporate governance committee, other committees as needed, and the board to convey the feedback received from shareholders, and to propose implementation of appropriate practices in response to such feedback. During the 2019 to 2020 engagement season, the company engaged with shareholders holding in aggregate 19% of shares outstanding and 25% of corporate debentures outstanding.
We are proud to support hundreds of nonprofit organizations across New York City and Westchester to further our commitment to sustainable communities and a clean energy future. Our partnerships strengthen the neighborhoods we serve by offering cash grants, employee volunteers, and more. Here are three examples of programs we support as part of our commitment to investing in renewables, promoting the green careers of the future, and strengthening communities.
Groundwork Hudson Valley
For 20 years, Groundwork Hudson Valley has worked to restore the environmental conditions in Yonkers and other urban communities as a means of revitalizing neighborhoods and business districts.
Con Edson supports Groundwork’s award-winning STEM education destinations, the Science Barge and the EcoHouse. The barge is a floating environmental education center that is powered by renewable energy and is entirely off-the-grid. Its greenhouse grows the equivalent of an acre of farmland, with tomatoes, melons, and beans hanging from its rafters. More than 10,000 visitors tour it each year.
The EcoHouse complements the barge, demonstrating how to live more sustainably in our homes by reducing our carbon footprint. It offers interactive exhibits revealing what is behind the walls and underneath the floor of a typical home—and energy-saving, environmentally conscious alternatives.
Billion Oyster Project
The Billion Oysters Project’s mission is to restore New York City’s oyster reefs, revitalizing New York Harbor as the center of a rich, diverse, and abundant estuary. Restoring oysters and reefs will, over time, restore the local marine ecosystem’s natural mechanisms for maintaining itself, resulting in cleaner water and greater biodiversity.
Con Edison supports this hands-on science of reef construction and monitoring. Programs include in-school restoration-based STEM learning opportunities, volunteer programs, community science and research, and restaurant shell collection. New York Harbor School, a maritime high-school located on Governors Island, is the flagship school of the Billion Oyster Project, and its students contribute to Billion Oyster Project as part of their career and technical education experience.
Ramapo College’s Mobile Food Lab
The Mobile Food Lab is a multi-sensory educational experience on wheels. It is a retrofitted bus that brings the “field trip” to schools allowing students to take part in STEM activities without traveling. The program is designed to improve student understanding of experimental science; human physiology; plant science; and the chemistry and biology that are the basis of nutrition through hands-on learning.