Consolidated Edison, Inc.
TypePublic
IndustryEnergy
Founded
1823
(as the New York Gas Light Company)
Headquarters
4 Irving Place, Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Area served
New York metropolitan area
Key people
Tim Cawley[1] (CEO)
Services
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Steam
RevenueIncrease US$13.676 billion (Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021)[2]
Increase US$2.826 billion (Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021)[2]
Increase US$1.383 billion (Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021)[2]
Total assetsIncrease US$63.116 billion (Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021)[2]
Total equityIncrease US$20.336 billion (Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021)[2]
Number of employees
14,071 (2020)[3]
Websiteconed.com
Con Ed plant on the East River at 15th Street in Manhattan, New York City.
Con Ed plant on the East River at 15th Street in Manhattan, New York City.

Consolidated Edison, Inc., commonly known as Con Edison (stylized as conEdison) or ConEd, is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the United States, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues as of 2017, and over $62 billion in assets.[4] The company provides a wide range of energy-related products and services to its customers through its subsidiaries:

In 2015, electric revenues accounted for 70.35% of consolidated sales (70.55% in 2014); gas revenues 13.61% (14.96% in 2014); steam revenues 5.01% (4.86% in 2014); and non-utility revenues of 11.02% (9.63% in 2014).[5]

History

A sketch of the Pearl Street Station, an early power plant on Pearl Street
A sketch of the Pearl Street Station, an early power plant on Pearl Street
As well as gas and electricity, Con Ed supplies steam to New York City
As well as gas and electricity, Con Ed supplies steam to New York City

In 1823, Con Edison's earliest corporate predecessor, the New York Gas Light Company, was founded by a consortium of New York City investors. A year later, it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Due to the Board of Aldermen's authority to grant franchises in the City of New York in the early to mid 1800s, interaction with Tammany Hall was required to expand business. By William M. Tweed's reign in the late 1860s as the boss of Tammany Hall, the power to authorize franchises lay with the County Board of Supervisors, of which Tweed had been a member. By 1871, Tweed was a member of the board of the Harlem Gas Light Company, a precursor to the Consolidated Edison Company.[6] In 1884, six gas companies combined into the Consolidated Gas Company.

The New York Steam Company began providing service in lower Manhattan in 1882. Today, Con Edison operates the largest commercial steam system in the world, providing steam service to nearly 1,600 commercial and residential establishments in Manhattan from Battery Park to 96th Street.[7]

Con Edison's electric business also dates back to 1882, when Thomas Edison's Edison Illuminating Company of New York began supplying electricity to 59 customers in a square-mile area in lower Manhattan. After the "war of currents", there were more than 30 companies generating and distributing electricity in New York City and Westchester County. But by 1920 there were far fewer, and the New York Edison Company (then part of Consolidated Gas) was clearly the leader.

In 1936, with electric sales far outstripping gas sales, the company incorporated and the name was changed to Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. The years that followed brought further amalgamations as Consolidated Edison acquired or merged with more than a dozen companies between 1936 and 1960. Con Edison today is the result of acquisitions, dissolutions and mergers of more than 170 individual electric, gas and steam companies.

Consolidated Edison acquired land on the Hudson River in Buchanan, NY, in 1954 for the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The first reactor (Indian Point 1) began generating power on September 16, 1962. The reactor was shut down on October 31, 1974, because the emergency core cooling system did not meet regulatory requirements. The company built two more reactors at Indian Point during the 1970s: Indian Point 2 and 3. Indian Point 3 was sold to the New York Power Authority in 1975.[8] Entergy acquired Indian Point 2 in November 2000,[9] nine months after a steam generator leak.[10] With the sale of Indian Point 2, the last power plant it owned, Consolidated Edison, Inc. became primarily an energy distributor.[9]

On January 1, 1998, following the deregulation of the utility industry in New York state, a holding company, Consolidated Edison, Inc., was formed. It is one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $13 billion in annual revenues and $47 billion in assets. The company provides a wide range of energy-related products and services to its customers through two regulated utility subsidiaries and three competitive energy businesses. Under a number of corporate names, the company has been traded on the NYSE without interruption since 1824—longer than any other NYSE stock. Its largest subsidiary, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., provides electric, gas and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York, an area of 660 square miles (1,700 km2) with a population of nearly 9 million. Also in 1998, Consolidated Edison, Inc. acquired Orange & Rockland Utilities, which is operated separately.[11]

Systems

Clean energy

To date, Con Edison has invested $3 billion in solar and wind projects. In September 2017 it was announced that the company would invest $1.25 billion in “renewable energy production facilities over the next three years.”[12]

The company's “renewable portfolio” contains more than 1.5 gigawatts of operating capacity. Seventy-five percent of that capacity comes from solar energy. Clean energy accounts for around eight percent of the company's earnings, as of fall 2017.[12]

To support electric vehicles, Con Edison partnered with the company FleetCarma to provide $500 in rewards to owners of electric vehicles in New York City and Westchester County, New York. Through this program, Con Edison pays customers to charge their vehicles when energy demand is low.[13]

Electrical

The Con Edison electrical transmission system utilizes voltages of 138 kilovolts (kV), 345 kV, and 500 kV. The company has two 345 kV interconnections with upstate New York that enable it to import power from Hydro-Québec in Canada and one 345 kV interconnection each with Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) in New Jersey and Long Island. Con Edison's connection with Hydro-Québec is via a series of transmission lines owned by the New York Power Authority and neighboring utilities; a more-direct connection via the Champlain Hudson Power Express HVDC line is expected to come online in 2025.[14]

Con Edison is also interconnected with PSE&G via the Branchburg-Ramapo 500 kV line. Con Ed's distribution voltages are 33 kV, 27 kV, 13 kV, and 4 kV.

The 93,000 miles (150,000 km) of underground cable in the Con Edison system could wrap around the Earth 3.6 times. Nearly 36,000 miles (58,000 km) of overhead electric wires complement the underground system—enough cable to stretch between New York and Los Angeles 13 times.[15]

Gas

The Con Edison gas system has nearly 7,200 miles (11,600 km) of pipes—if laid end to end, long enough to reach Paris and back to New York City, and serves Westchester County, the Bronx, Manhattan and parts of Queens. Gas service in Brooklyn, Staten Island and the rest of Queens is provided by National Grid USA's New York City operations, with the exception of the Rockaway peninsula, which is serviced by National Grid's Long Island operations. The average volume of gas that travels through Con Edison's gas system annually could fill the Empire State Building nearly 6,100 times.[16]

Steam

Main article: New York City steam system

Con Edison produces 30 billion pounds of steam each year through its seven power plants which boil water to 1,000 °F (538 °C) before distributing it to hundreds of buildings in the New York City steam system, which is the biggest district steam system in the world.[17] Steam traveling through the system is used to heat and cool some of New York's most famous addresses, including the United Nations complex, the Empire State Building, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[18]

Programs and resources

ConEd offers a variety of programs and resources for its customers and stakeholders, organized in such categories as, "For Renters", "For Residential Owners", "For Small & Medium Businesses", "For Commercial & Industrial", "Business Partners", "Investors", "Community Affairs", and "Municipalities".[19] Examples of such resources include:

Community partnerships

Con Edison contributes substantial funding and volunteer hours to many non-profit organizations and learning centers including New York Botanical Garden, Hudson Valley Groundworks Science Barge, Teatown Reservation, Jay Heritage Center, and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

Leadership and associations

ConEd Solutions is a member of Real Estate Board of New York.[22]

Major accidents and incidents

Bribery prosecution

On January 14, 2009, eleven Con Edison supervisors were arrested for demanding more than $1 million in kickbacks related to work done by a construction company that was repairing the midtown steam pipe eruption of 2007. According to federal prosecutors, the employees had approved payment for work that was unnecessary or not performed, and promised faster payment for some work performed by the construction company in exchange for the bribes. The FBI had two retired Con Edison employees and the president of the construction company wear recording devices that recorded the suspects demanding bribes of between $1000 to $5000.[48] Later that year Con Edison sued Brendan Maher, one of the construction supervisors who was arrested and later admitted taking bribes that the utility company claimed amounted to $10,000.[49]

In April 2016, Con Edison agreed to pay over $171 million, about 1.5% of its annual revenue, back to its customers in compensation for harm resulting from the bribery. The Public Service Commission had found that Con Edison failed to supervise the employees. Con Edison admitted no wrongdoing.[50]

Honors and criticism

● In March 2002, Fortune magazine named the company as one of "America's Most Admired Companies" in the publication's newest corporate ranking survey. In 2003, Con Edison ranked second on the top ten list for electric and gas utilities.[51]

● In December 2011, the non-partisan organization Public Campaign released a report criticizing ConEd for spending $1.8 million on lobbying and not paying any taxes during 2008–2010, instead getting $127 million in tax rebates, despite making a profit of $4.2 billion, and increasing executive pay by 82% to $17.4 million in 2010 for its top five executives.[52]

● In 2014, Con Edison was named the #1 utility and #16 overall among corporations, in Newsweek's Green Rankings, and one of the 50 best companies for Latinas by Latina Style Magazine.[53] In its "Best of the Best" issue in 2015, Hispanic Network Magazine named the company a top employer among energy, gas, and oil companies.[54] Con Edison was also selected as one of the top regional utilities by DiversityInc magazine in 2014.[55] In 2016, the company was listed among America's best large employers by Forbes.[citation needed]

● In February 2021, The Energy and Policy Institute criticized Con Edison for touting clean energy while investing in Gas Infrastructure.[56] This is unclean fracked gas. (Fracked gas is methane gas produced by hydraulic fracturing.) The article explained, "A recent analysis of utility executive compensation by the Energy and Policy Institute found that Con Edison’s executive compensation policies include renewable energy growth as components of broader goals, but do not reward executives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Unclean energy

Con Edison purchases methane gas collected through the process of hydraulic fracturing. This is not green energy, nor is it sustainable energy. Hydraulically fractured gas is a potent greenhouse gas. [57] In a recent letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Con Edison supported Kinder Morgan’s East 300 Upgrade Project, in environmentally protected lands in NJ.[56] This expansion includes two additional compressor stations, in West Milford and Wantage, NJ. Con Edison buys gas that is transported from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, to Westchester NY, via Kinder Morgan's Tennessee Gas Pipeline, 300 Line. [58] The compressor stations on this pipeline routinely blow-down toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contained in the gas. The new compressor stations, supported by Con Edison, will blow VOCs over the protected Highland Forest and water sources of northern New Jersey. [59] Recent studies show that the death rate increases in counties with compressor stations. [60] This will effect Passaic County and Sussex County NJ.

In addition to the carbon impact from burning natural gas, generators receive gas under an "interruptible" service. This means that the generator will pay a preferential rate for their gas and in return will switch to using much more polluting oil during times when the gas supply is strained. This both lowers the cost of the generated electricity, making renewables less competitive, and increases the carbon footprint. Interruptible gas service is no longer an option for gas customers in NYC, giving the existing generators another leg up. NYS also decommissioned the two nuclear generating stations at Indian Point, which was responsible for satisfying a portion of the City's energy requirement. This capacity was replaced with gas and oil plants, increasing the carbon footprint.

Stop tags

When a New York City contractor is unable to repair a reported nonfunctioning or malfunctioning street light, traffic light or pedestrian Walk/Don't Walk light because of a failure in the power to the affected unit,[61]: p. 92  a stop tag is assigned by Con Ed.[62] When a caller to NYC's 311 asks for followup information about a reported outage, they're told the stop tag number, and told to call Con Ed at 800-752-6633 (800-75-CON-ED).[63]

The New York Times wrote that it can take over two years for some repairs.[62] Sometimes an entire fixture must be removed, repaired, then returned. Other times the streets must be torn up to replace underground wiring. Temporary fixes, using what was described as "nothing more than overhead extension cords" (called "Shunts") at times are left in place for an extended period.[62] In 2017 Con Ed committed to repair "at least 90% ... within 90 days."[61]: p. 92 

Adaptive re-use of former Con Ed buildings

A former Con Edison building on West 53rd Street in Manhattan was converted first into the studio for the television game show Let's Make a Deal, and later into a recording studio called "Power Station" because of its Edison history. In 1996, the studio was renamed Avatar Studios and then in 2017 back to "Power Station".

In 1978, Con Edison sold the Excelsior Power Company Building, a former substation on Gold Street in Manhattan's Financial District. It was renovated into an apartment building,[64] and became a New York City designated landmark in 2016.[65]

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b c d e "Consolidated Edison 2021 Annual Report Results". investor.conedison.com. December 31, 2021. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  3. ^ "Consolidated Edison 2021 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. February 18, 2021.
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  6. ^ Allen, Oliver E. (1993). The Tiger: The Rise and Fall of Tammany Hall. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. pp. 54–62, 100–125. ISBN 0-201-62463-X.
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  18. ^ "Steam System". Con Edison. Archived from the original on August 21, 2007. The New York Steam Company began providing service in lower Manhattan in 1882. Today, Con Edison operates the largest steam system in the world. The system contains approximately 105 miles (169 km) of mains and service pipes and 3,000 steam manholes. Steam is provided from seven Con Edison steam-generating plants, five in Manhattan, one in Queens, and one in Brooklyn, along with receiving steam under contract from a steam plant at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
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  23. ^ Pitt, David E (August 24, 1989). "Evacuation For Asbestos Near Blast Site". The New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2008. More than 200 residents of a Gramercy Park apartment building that was heavily damaged in a steam-pipe explosion over the weekend were ordered from their homes last night after tests showed what a Consolidated Edison official called "extremely high" levels of asbestos fibers throughout the building.
  24. ^ Chan, Sewell (March 4, 2006). "Con Ed Finds 1,214 Stray Voltage Sites in One Year". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 8, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2008. Consolidated Edison, responding to testing requirements imposed after a woman (Jodie Lane) was electrocuted while walking her dog in the East Village in 2004, found 1,214 instances of stray voltage during a yearlong examination of electrical equipment on city streets, officials disclosed at a City Council hearing yesterday.
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  37. ^ a b c Staff (December 28, 2018) "'Electrical arc' turns night sky blue in NYC" WABC-TV Eyewitness News
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  45. ^ Gerson Freitas Jr (April 3, 2020). "ConEd Hit by Virus as Cases in New York Surge Past 100,000". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on April 5, 2020. Retrieved May 22, 2020. Consolidated Edison Inc. has 170 employees who have tested positive for Covid-19, and three have died, according to spokesman Michael Clendenin.
  46. ^ "3 Con Ed employees die after testing positive for coronavirus". Westchester News 12. April 2, 2020. Archived from the original on April 5, 2020. Retrieved May 22, 2020. The victims are Melissa Tucker, who worked within Con Ed's construction sector since 2017, Adrian Phillips who worked in customer operations for more than two decades and Joe Cardona, a business agent within the Local 12, the Utility Workers Union of America.
  47. ^ "Con Edison To Customers: We're All In This Together". coned.com. conEdison. March 17, 2020. Archived from the original on May 14, 2020. Retrieved May 22, 2020. Con Edison will not shut off electric, natural gas or steam service due to payment difficulties resulting from the health crisis. And we are waiving new late-payment charges for all customers. What’s more, we’re suspending the fee usually charged to a customer who is unable to grant access to their property.
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  56. ^ a b Itai Vardi, Energy and Policy Institute, 'While Touting Clean Energy Steps Con Edison Continues to Invest in Gas Infrastructure'
  57. ^ Howarth, Santoro, & Ingraffea, June 2011 Climatic Change 106(4):679-690, DOI:10.1007/s10584-011-0061-5, 'Methane and the Greenhouse-Gas Footprint of Natural Gas from Shale Formations'.
  58. ^ 'CONSOLIDATED EDISON COMPANY OF NEW YORK, INC. SALES AND TRANSPORTATION OPERATING PROCEDURES MANUAL', pages 13, 26, & 27.
  59. ^ Skylands Guardian, 'Pipeline Information'
  60. ^ Hendryx, Michael; Luo, Juhua (2020). "Natural gas pipeline compressor stations: VOC emissions and mortality rates". The Extractive Industries and Society. 7 (3): 864–869. doi:10.1016/j.exis.2020.04.011. S2CID 218970201.
  61. ^ a b "Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. Cases 16-E-0060 and 16-G-0061".
  62. ^ a b c Ian Urbina (July 14, 2004). "Report by City Scolds Con Ed For Slow Fixes". The New York Times.
  63. ^ "Streetlight Complaint". To follow up on a street light work order with a stop tag number, call Con Edison
  64. ^ White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot; Leadon, Fran (2010). AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-19538-386-7.
  65. ^ "Financial District's Excelsior Power Company Building Gets Landmark Status". DNAinfo New York. Archived from the original on November 15, 2017. Retrieved September 8, 2020.