- Consolidated Edison Co. received New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) approval Thursday for its $5 million demand response program for natural gas use for customers in New York City and Westchester County.
- The PSC called the pilot, aimed at reducing ConEd's residential and commercial customers' demand for natural gas over the next three years, a first-of-its-kind initiative. ConEd aims to reduce natural gas use during peak periods by using smart thermostats and a peak-shaving program with commercial and industrial customers.
- Last month, the PSC approved ConEd's enhanced gas energy efficiency program. The PSC expects the two initiatives to provide reliability while reducing the need for the buildout of gas infrastructure.
New York has a natural gas shortage problem. The high cost of natural gas, coupled with the state's ambitious environmental initiatives, have increasingly pushed the state's PSC to explore alternatives to the traditional utility business model.
In its statement, the PSC committed to working with other gas utilities to ensure success of non-pipes alternatives.
ConEd, the largest gas supplier in the state, will help customers save on heating bills by reducing peak demand during the winter heating season. The pilot's two components create channels for customers to reduce natural gas use by working with the marketplace and third-party demand response aggregators, similar to the company's existing electric peak-shaving program.
The company's energy efficiency program has led more than 600,000 customers to make upgrades, and the new pilot will build on that, Bob McGee, spokesman for ConEd, told Utility Dive via email.