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Core System Upgrades

Operational Excellence

Core System Upgrades

The Advanced Meter Infrastructure project is the largest project in company history. Some 5.25 million smart meters—comprised of roughly 3.9 million smart electric meters and 1.35 million gas devices—are being deployed across our service territory and will result in significant environmental, operational, and customer benefits.

Smart meters put unprecedented control into the hands of our customers. With the company’s updated website and digital customer experience, customers can see their energy usage in near real-time and make smarter, more informed decisions about managing their energy usage, controlling costs, and helping the environment.

Deployment of the communications network and smart meters began in 2017 and ends in 2022. More than 10,000 communications network devices have been installed throughout the company’s entire service area. In 2017, meter installations began in Staten Island, Westchester, and Rockland County and mass deployment has been completed in these areas. Mass meter deployment continues in Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Orange and Sullivan counties.

To date, more than 3 million devices have been installed. The AMI Operations Control Center has been staffed 24/7 to monitor the communications network, as well as the meters and gas modules connected to the network.

The AMI project team has worked closely with Gas Operations and the AMI vendor to develop a first-of-its-kind, battery-powered natural gas detector that is integrated with the smart meter communications network. The natural gas detectors are safety devices that monitor the atmosphere where Con Edison’s gas pipes enter our customers’ homes and buildings. They provide an alert when natural gas levels in that area indicate a potential dangerous leak. Through the communications network, the detectors send a wireless alert to Con Edison if a potential gas leak has been detected, allowing Con Edison and the fire department to respond quickly. A pilot program to install 9,000 detectors began in October 2018 in parts of Westchester and this pilot extended into Manhattan in 2019. The pilot program has been completed and the company plans to begin a multi-year program to deploy the natural gas detectors across our service territory starting in the third quarter of 2020.

Smart meter data provides Con Edison with insight into outages and restoration, allowing us to see when a customer has power and to avoid sending a crew to a location where power has been restored. These avoided “truck rolls” reduce costs as well as assist in our overall environmental goals by reducing CO2 emissions. In 2019, nearly 5,400 unnecessary truck rolls were avoided.

AMI will let the company operate the system at optimal voltages—known as conservation voltage optimization—reducing total energy consumption, as well as associated power-generation emissions. Analysis shows that information from the AMI system can be leveraged to reduce energy usage across our service territory by approximately 1.5% on average, decreasing associated fuel use for committed generation resources. This results in an environmental impact of 1.9% less total CO2 emissions, due to reduction of power generated annually by fossil fuel plants across our service territory, and 1% total carbon reductions in New York state. Engineers and planners will get more granular data, enabling potential design and operational improvements. Con Edison began implementing voltage optimization in Staten Island at the end of 2018 and across Westchester and portions of Manhattan in 2019. Voltage optimization will continue to be implemented across our service territory through 2022.

Con Edison invested $1.312 billion in our transmission and distribution systems in New York City and Westchester County to prepare for the summer 2020. The investment includes upgrades and reinforcements of 37 network transformers and 121 overhead transformers. We also plan to upgrade 67 underground feeder sections and 225 spans of overhead cable.

Con Edison projects that peak demand for electricity in the summer of 2020 will reach 13,220 megawatts. The record is 13,322 megawatts, which occurred at 5 p.m. on July 19, 2013. We are integrating new technology to make service more reliable. Con Edison has installed 4,800 devices in manholes to detect stray voltage, heat and carbon monoxide in underground structures, and communicate this information back to our engineers. Another 3,000 are planned for 2020. These devices have already detected instances of energized objects in those structures. By remotely monitoring these conditions, we were able to eliminate a condition that could have led to an event or a shock. Con Edison is also using tools that take infrared images of hot spots not visible to the human eye in cables and connections. The technology helps identify problems that would otherwise go undetected and leads to prompt repairs.

Electric Transmission Pipe Enhancement

We are investing $25 million in 2020 to upgrade our underground transmission system. Using the new refurbishment method of carbon fiber wrap application, we plan to totally encapsulate 2,492 linear feet (623 trench feet) of leak-prone transmission feeder pipe. This is in addition to addressing another 2,500 trench feet using the method of installing welded steel sleeves or barrels in corroded areas.

In 2019, we refurbished a total of 4,576 trench feet of piping and invested more than $17 million in spill response and remediation to improve the environment. We expect to make significant progress in research and development to reduce the potential for future oil spills. We’re also investing in research and development that can replace existing oil-filled feeders with solid dielectric cable.

The bulk of our underground transmission system consists of 660 miles of 69-, 138-, and 345-kilovolt feeders encased in steel pipe surrounded by high-pressure dielectric fluid (a nontoxic synthetic compound similar to mineral oil). The conductors inside our steel pipes are wrapped in paper insulation, filled with and pressurized by the dielectric fluid at a nominal pressure of 200 pounds per square inch. In some feeders the dielectric fluid is circulated and cooled to provide enhanced current-carrying capability. Approximately nine million gallons of dielectric fluid is contained within the feeders and the associated pressurization and cooling plants.

Our leak-detection methods are some of the most sophisticated in the world:

  • We use real-time monitoring of some of the largest volume feeders to constantly check their integrity.
  • We infuse our oil with a special tracer gas to help us rapidly locate and uncover leaks.
  • If significant leaks occur, we often remove feeders from service, placing them on reduced pressure to slow the leak rate.

To repair leaks, we excavate to uncover the feeder pipes and apply a mechanical clamp to stop the flow. Permanent repairs are complete when a concentric steel barrel is welded over the clamp and the pipe. The pipe is then re-coated before the excavation is restored.

Reliability Performance

Con Edison is a recognized leader in reliability performance, consistently earning industry awards. Our overall system reliability in 2019 was 99.995%.

Con Edison’s system reliability exceeds national and New York standards

Customer Interruption Rate 2019 Customer Interrupted per 1,000 Customer Served



New York (w/o Con Edison)


Con Edison (Overhead)


Con Edison (Overall)


Con Edison (Network)


National and New York State numbers from 2018

CECONY’s electric system is comprised on an overhead system as well as the largest underground network in the U.S

The standards for measuring the reliability of distribution service are the System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) and the Customer Average Interruption Duration Index (CAIDI). SAIFI is compiled annually, and the figure represents the number of service interruptions divided by the number of customers served. CAIDI, also compiled annually, represents the average time to restore service to interrupted customers. The CAIDI figure results from the total customer minutes of interruption divided by the total number of customers affected. For both figures, a low number indicates a better performance.

2019 NUMBERS FOR CECONY (electric)

SAIFI:   0.152
CAIDI:  189.6 minutes

2019 NUMBERS FOR O&R (electric)

SAIFI:   1.094
CAIDI:  104.2 minutes

Reliability Performance There are more than 246,000 manhole covers in New York City; the design of those covers is changing to help make energy more reliable for our customers and to keep them safe

Gas Main Replacement

In 2019, Con Edison replaced 97 miles of cast iron and unprotected steel pipe. This replacement level exceeded our company’s commitment to the New York State Public Service Commission by more than six miles and was the company’s highest ever in a single year. It also met the 4% replacement rate that we targeted in accordance with the EPA’s methane challenge.

Methane is the primary element in natural gas and a major greenhouse gas. Replacement of cast iron and unprotected steel pipe with polyethylene plastic pipe or protected steel pipe prevented an estimated12.0 million cubic feet of annual natural gas leakage.

In 2019, O&R replaced 24 miles of leak-prone pipe. This replacement level exceeded our company’s commitment to the New York State Public Service Commission by four miles.

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