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“Con Edison’s history is New York’s history"

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Nevelyn Black's picture
Writer, Independent

Nevelyn Black is an independent writer with a background in broadcast and a keen interest in renewable energy.  In the last few years, she transitioned from celebrity interviews and film shoots...

  • Member since 2017
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  • Mar 28, 2023

“Congratulations to Con Edison on two centuries of keeping our city running,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams.  Con Edison is celebrating 200 years of powering the city that never sleeps.  “New York City is proud to be home to Con Edison, which has been at the forefront of discovery and innovation in the global energy industry throughout the past two centuries and provides our region with a reliable and forward-looking electrical distribution system that is essential to our continued growth,” stated Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City. 

Unfortunately, the response to keeping the lights on in ‘ The Empire State’ can quickly go from kudos to complaints.  State lawmakers are demanding an industry standard for bill estimations from utility companies and a limit on the number of times estimated billing can be used per year. “No matter who you are, a single parent or a senior on a fixed income, you should be able to budget effectively from month to month, not have your savings account unexpectedly drained by an inaccurate utility bill, as we’ve seen happen to countless Hudson Valley community members,” said Sen. Michelle Hinchey.

Are utilities able to provide predictability in this market?  To address the unpredictability, Cornell researchers are piloting a new payment plan and app to keep the customer involved and to alert them to possible savings. Instead of a variable bill every month, participants are offered a tiered, subscription-based pricing plan that allows them to pay a flat rate.  “We have all been consuming electricity since we were born, but we don’t know how we consume electricity,” said Madhur Srivastava, assistant research professor in chemistry and chemical biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. “We have no understanding of how much electricity each appliance uses, for example, or each light bulb, or how the costs change for a particular time of use. How can we change our behavior if we have no analysis of it?”  This pilot should better educate consumers about their electricity usage and remove the uncertainty from month to month.   

The pilot program, if successful, could provide the answer to issues raised by Sen. Michelle Hinchley.  In the meantime, congratulations Con Edison for two decades of constant service in ‘The City.’  “Con Edison’s history is New York’s history – a story of relentless ingenuity, achievement, and resilience,” said Tim Cawley, Con Edison’s chairman and chief executive.



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