- Consolidated Edison (ConEd) wants to delay building a $1.1 billion substation to handle rising electricity demand in New York City boroughs Brooklyn and Queens.
- The utility is pouring $100-150 million into energy efficiency initiatives and distributed energy resource development to create 20 MW of energy savings and/or new capacity by as early as 2016.
- If successful, the utility will delay having to build the substation until 2024 and customers could see $400-500 million in savings on their electricity bills. The utility wants the investment to be paid for through customer rates and other sources of funding.
New York state's ambitious Reforming the Energy Vision plan has set the state on a path towards greater energy efficiency and distributed generation.
ConEd's efforts to slash energy use and put money into rooftop solar projects are in response to rising electricity demand in Brooklyn and Queens. Both have seen a 3.2% rise in population between 2010 and July 2013, with a substantial portion of that growth coming from the 25-34 year-old demographic, which has helped spur the increase in electricity demand as oung people tend to have a large number of energy-intensive products and devices. More traditional sources of demand, such as air conditioners, are another a possible factor in the rise.
The utility is taking "a very big step in a very different direction," said Robert Schimmenti, ConEd vice president of engineering and planning. “If we don’t set an aggressive target in the short term then we won’t get to these new innovations. So we are purposely going out in the next couple of weeks with requests for new ideas."