Customer & Community
Energy Efficiency, Renewables & Distributed Energy
As part of our firm commitment to renewable energy, Con Edison’s Clean Energy Businesses continued growing by investing approximately $600 million in renewable projects in 2020, expanding its footprint to 20 states and operating a total of 2,868 megawatts of aggregate solar and wind capacity by the end of 2020. Our Clean Energy Businesses are the second-largest producer of solar energy in the U.S. and seventh largest in the world.
Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, produce energy when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. That makes battery storage especially important for storing power when it is produced and delivering it when it is needed. Battery storage can help ensure reliability and can reduce peak demand. Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses has a dedicated battery storage team and is actively integrating battery storage into new renewable development and operating assets when economical, and is offering battery storage for projects they are developing on behalf of their renewable energy and energy efficiency customers.
We continue to make our customers aware of energy efficiency improvements that will help them save money on their bills and give them more control over their energy usage. We work regularly with customers and regulators to test new models for the distribution of energy.
Energy Efficiency & Demand Response
Con Edison and O&R offer a broad array of energy efficiency initiatives designed to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, lower customer bills, and give New Yorkers control over their energy choices.
Our customers are as diverse as the area we serve. That’s why we have targeted efficiency programs to help us deliver cost-effective and customer-centric energy efficiency offerings that emphasize the clear benefits and impacts of energy efficiency. We focus on four primary customer segments—commercial and industrial, small business, multifamily, and residential—designing our offerings to meet each customer group’s needs. Our goal is to give customers multiple options and opportunities to reduce their energy use.
In 2020, Con Edison Company of New York (CECONY) provided electric and gas customers over $125 million in incentives to choose energy-saving HVAC, lighting, building management systems, and other equipment. Customer upgrades last year made through CECONY energy efficiency programs reduced electrical usage by 575,217 megawatt hours and saved 524,920 dekatherms of gas—that is the equivalent to taking more than 66,269 cars off the road or powering 35,396 homes for one year. Technology is giving households and businesses new ways to reduce energy use, and Con Edison is at the forefront in helping customers get more value for their money while protecting the environment.
Con Edison Inc. is a leader in sustainability and has ramped up energy efficiency efforts that are facilitating New York’s ambitious clean energy goals. We are working with partners across the service territory to better serve low- and moderate-income customers, as well as providing choices to our customers to reduce reliance on fossil fuels through adoption of beneficial electrification technologies such as heat pumps and electric transportation. Additionally, Con Edison is increasing its focus on achieving deeper and longer-lived energy efficiency savings by targeting more impactful technology upgrades.
O&R customers who upgraded to high efficiency energy-saving HVAC, lighting, building management systems, and other equipment received $3.8 million in incentives from us in 2020. O&R is providing customers with instant in-store rebates to make it easy for customers to make energy efficient choices.
The My ORU Store, our online customer marketplace, provides a one-stop shopping experience for customers by introducing them to innovative smart home technologies, including smart thermostats, security cameras, smart plugs, wireless dimmable LED lighting, and electric vehicle chargers. Through instant rebates at checkout, incentives are given to customers to help lower costs and increase adoption of energy efficient technologies. Through the My ORU Store, O&R partnered with the local water utility, SUEZ NY, to support its water conservation program by offering instant rebates to mutual customers on water and energy efficient products. This collaboration program strives to help customers save water and energy and in turn lower their utility bills.
O&R also developed new “virtual” advisors, accessed through the My ORU Store, to help customers find appropriate products and services. The site provides educational information on solar and energy storage, including benefits and available options. It allows shoppers to customize their project and compare offers from pre-approved community or rooftop solar providers and energy storage companies. Using the online tool, customers are assigned a personal energy advisor who will guide them through the process and discuss the best solar and storage solutions to meet their needs.
Of the total O&R rebates issued in 2020, two projects stand out. A large warehouse upgraded their inefficient fluorescent lighting with LEDs and received a rebate of $223,140, saving over 2,200 MWh, and achieving a payback on their investment within just over two years. A local school received a $65,000 rebate to address a whole-building solution including HVAC, variable frequency drives, refrigeration compressor controls, demand control ventilation, plug load controls, and building energy management systems, saving over 313 MWh of energy.
Learn more about how energy efficiency upgrades can save money and protect the environment at our website www.oru.com/save.
Annual Incremental CO2 Reductions Through Energy Efficiency Programs (metric tons)
Reforming the Energy Vision Projects
Con Edison continues to take a leading role in facilitating the adoption of distributed energy resources by our customers through non-wires solutions. The Brooklyn-Queens Demand Management program eliminated the need for a $1.2 billion substation to serve customers in Brooklyn and Queens by implementing smart thermostats, LED lighting upgrades, lighting controls, energy storage, combined heat and power, and other distributed energy resources to meet the demands of customers during peak periods. We are currently implementing additional non-wires programs in the Water Street, Plymouth Street, Newtown, and Glendale substation networks. In these communities we are focusing on energy efficiency measures, and energy storage to meet grid needs.
Additionally, our customer energy solutions group is running new business model demonstrations in the areas of storage integration, electric vehicle infrastructure, community distributed generation, energy efficiency, and delivering energy services to low- and middle-income customers. For example, two front-of-the-meter storage projects, which demonstrate both grid support and energy market revenue-sharing partners, were selected through a rigorous RFI process and are in the construction stage. A community solar demonstration project for low- and moderate-income customers will also test the benefits of smart inverters on the distribution grid.
Con Edison and O&R continue to support New York’s ambitious clean energy policies, including the state’s goal to source 70% of its energy from renewable resources by 2030, and 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.
For the past decade, Con Edison and O&R, along with Sustainable CUNY at City University of New York, government agencies, and other parties, have encouraged residents and businesses to consider solar to reduce their energy bills and protect the environment. Our customers are responding. Using the power of the sun, we generated more than 327 megawatts of clean, renewable power by year-end 2020. A total of 35,713 Con Edison installations and 9,509 O&R installations are generating enough renewable energy to power almost 80,000 homes.
Con Edison Cumulative Installed Distributed Energy Resources Capacity (MW) *through December 2020
- Combined Heat & Poweron
- Fuel Cellson
- Battery Energy Storageon
Con Edison believes that all customers should have access to clean energy, regardless of income level, whether they own or rent or whether they live in a house or an apartment.
Con Edison continues to explore opportunities to be more innovative in renewable and energy storage installations. In 2021, the Company is relaunching a piloted device, ConnectDER, enabling residential customers to witness additional savings that allowed a cost-effective alternative to the traditional solar installation, while providing Con Edison’s engineering teams with solar production data to better forecast and plan system needs. Con Edison also enhanced microprocessor relays to allow additional solar capacity to export power into our network systems, enabling the construction of additional community solar projects at higher capacities across the territory. Lastly, innovation in battery installations will provide power when and where customers need it the most, via the mobile emergency battery generator pilot. The effort replaces diesel emergency generators during outages with a clean, quiet source of energy. In 2020, Con Edison Company of New York (CECONY) provided electric and gas customers over $125 million to choose energy-saving HVAC, lighting, building management systems, and other equipment. Customer upgrades last year made through Con Edison energy efficiency programs reduced electrical usage by 575,217 megawatt hours and saved 524,920 dekatherms of gas—that is the equivalent of taking more than 66,269 cars off the road or powering 35,396 homes for one year. Technology is giving households and businesses new ways to reduce energy use, and Con Edison is at the forefront in helping customers get more value for their money while protecting the environment.
O&R has automated interconnection studies and other aspects of the interconnection process to assist customers with technical evaluations of projects for distributed energy resources. In September 2020, O&R connected the largest community DER (solar + battery storage) project in New York State, and is interconnecting DER at an increasing rate. O&R is participating in a NYSERDA PON 3770 Smart Inverter Settings Guidance for High Performing Smart Grid Applications project that will inform utilities on best practices for enabling smart inverter technology. O&R began the NYSERDA PON 4074 Distribution System of the Future project that became the model of future distribution systems. O&R is participating in the IEEE Interconnection Commissioning Program to identify, train and certify individuals for the commissioning of any installed distributed energy resource (DER) interconnection to enhance compliance with IEEE 1547 – IEEE Standard for Interconnection and Interoperability of Distributed Energy Resources with Associated Electric Power Systems, which informs critical utility engineering and business practices for DERs in markets worldwide. A streamlined, standards-based process for interconnecting renewables and other DERs could reduce the cost and complexity among utilities, developers, and owners.
Through these initiatives, Con Edison and O&R are helping realize a greener energy future.
Technology: Photovoltaic Solar Total MW, except project number
Con Edison and O&R also support energy storage through Non-Wires Solutions (“NWS” sometimes referred to as Non-Wires Alternatives). Both companies consider and often include storage as part of our load relief portfolios. Con Edison is supporting and incentivizing third-party owned and operated energy storage for local load relief as part of the portfolio of solutions in three areas across eight networks: Brooklyn-Queens Demand Management (Crown Heights, Ridgewood, and Richmond Hill), Water Street/Plymouth (Williamsburg and Prospect Park) and Newtown (Borden, Sunnyside and Maspeth) Programs. Con Edison NWS projects have installed 4.8 MW of energy storage to date, with an additional 11.9MW contracted from 2021 through 2023 summer delivery (June to September) across the programs.
As part of O&Rs Pomona NWS project, the Company energized a 3MW/12MWh energy storage system in December 2020. The Company will leverage this energy storage system to provide support to the distribution system and also utilize this asset to participate in the wholesale market to earn revenues, when the asset will not be needed for distribution support.
O&R has two open procurements for energy storage systems to meet distribution system needs in place of traditional utility solutions. O&R’s Monsey project will aim to defer the upgrade of an existing substation. Due to extensive load growth in the Monsey area, the current substation does not have adequate capacity to serve the forecasted load. The Monsey non-wires alternative plans to deploy a portfolio of 15MW / 58MWh batteries at three separate locations in the Monsey area to defer the upgrade of this substation. O&R is also developing a NWS project called West Warwick, that will leverage energy storage systems to address distribution system constraints. The project will use a 12MW / 57MWh battery to defer the construction of a new transmission/distribution substation. Both the West Warwick and Monsey projects are currently in the contract negotiation process with their respective winning vendors. O&R expects the batteries to be deployed and fully operational for summer 2022. The Company has also done several outreach discussions with the local town and the first responders to address any concerns they may have. In 2021, O&R will plan to release at least two (2) brand new NWS projects.
Con Edison and O&R built on the success of their existing demand response programs by releasing a Dynamic Load Management RFP in December of 2020. This solicitation is expected to give energy storage systems participating in demand response revenue certainty, which is expected to decrease barriers to installing energy storage in the service territories. Winners of the RFP will have 3-5 year contracts to provide load relief when called upon. These longer-term contracts are expected to provide revenue certainty for distribution services. This should provide energy storage developers more opportunity to participate compared with the Company’s existing demand response programs, especially the Auto-DLM Program which places a premium on rapid response.
Past programs run by Con Edison to further the proliferation of energy storage included the Demand Management Program that incentivized 1.5 MW of lithium ion and valve regulated lead acid chemistries between 2017-2019.