Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. said today that it is investing more than US$1 billion this year to upgrade and reinforce its electric delivery system for more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County. The investments include the installation or replacement of more than 100 miles of new transmission and distribution cables.

"Our infrastructure improvements are essential to support New York's economic growth and to provide the power necessary for a better quality of life for our customers," said Louis Rana, senior vice president of electric operations for Con Edison. "Through these investments we demonstrate our commitment to the most reliable electric delivery service in the country."

Among the many investments this year are:

  • $569 million on the distribution system, including $203 million for upgrades to cables and transformers.
  • $93 million on transmission system upgrades
  • $316 million on substation installations and circuit breakers.

Upgrades and system improvements include:

  • the installation of 19 miles of high-voltage transmission cables.
  • the replacement of 88 miles of underground and aerial cables.
  • the installation of 175 new transformers.

For this summer, the company forecasts a peak load of 13,025 MW for its service area, including 11,315 MW for New York City and 1710 MW for Westchester County. One megawatt can power approximately 1000 homes.

In the Con Edison service territory of New York City and Westchester County, electric usage has grown by nearly 20% over the past 10 years. Last year, New York City issued approximately 19% more building permits than the previous year. Home air conditioning use in the service area has grown dramatically, and customers are expected to install an additional 900,000 units over the next five years.

In addition, power use is rising because customers are using more computers, printers, scanners, cell phone chargers and other equipment at home for personal or business purposes. In 2004, the company estimated that its customers used more than 8 million televisions, 10.5 million cell phones, and 2.5 million personal computers.

"Summer energy supplies this year are adequate to keep pace with this growing demand, but we still encourage our customers to use energy wisely," said Marilyn Caselli, senior vice president of customer operations for Con Edison.