Consolidated Edison, Inc., commonly known as Con Edison or Con Ed, 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 $48 billion in assets. The company provides a wide range of energy-related products and services to its customers through its subsidiaries:
- Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., (CECONY), a regulated utility providing electric and gas service in New York City and Westchester County, New York, and steam service in the borough of Manhattan;
- Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., a regulated utility serving customers in a 1,300-square-mile (3,400 km2) area in southeastern New York and northern New Jersey;
- Con Edison Solutions, an energy services company;
- Con Edison Energy, a wholesale energy services company;
- Con Edison Development, a company that owns and operates renewable and energy infrastructure projects, and,
- Con Edison Transmission, Inc., which invests in electric and natural gas transmission projects.
(as the New York Gas Light Company)
|New York metropolitan area|
|John McAvoy (CEO)|
|Revenue||US$ 12.033 billion (2017)|
|US$ 2.610 billion (2017)|
|US$ 1.526 billion (2017)|
|Total assets||US$ 48.111 billion (2017)|
|Total equity||US$ 15.425 billion (2017)|
Number of employees
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%). Though the company provides an indispensable service to New York residents, a number of major incidents and service problems have negatively impacted its reputation with the public.
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. 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. 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.
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, and closed in 1970 after New York State charged the company with violations of environmental conservation laws and defects in the reactor's cooling system were discovered. 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. Entergy acquired Indian Point 2 in November 2000, nine months after a steam generator leak. With the sale of Indian Point 2, the last power plant it owned, Consolidated Edison, Inc. became primarily an energy distributor.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 in New Jersey and LIPA on Long Island. Con Edison is also interconnected with Public Service Electric and Gas 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.
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.
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. 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.
Programs and resourcesEdit
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". Examples of such resources include:
- CONCERN Program, which offers eligible customers a specially trained representative and advice about government aid programs, safety tips, and ways to save money on one's energy bill
- Quarterly Billing Plan, which allows senior citizens, whose Con Edison bills are less than $420 a year, to receive bills once every three months (in March, June, September, and December), rather than once a month
- SPOTLIGHT, Con Edison's newsletter
Leadership and associationsEdit
- John McAvoy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Consolidated Edison, Inc.
- Timothy P. Cawley, president, Consolidated Edison Company of New York
- Robert Sanchez, president and CEO, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.
- Mark Noyes, president and CEO, Con Edison Energy, Con Edison Development, and Con Edison Solutions
- Joseph P. Oates, president and CEO, Con Edison Transmission
- Robert N. Hoglund, senior vice president and chief financial officer
- Jeanmarie Schieler, vice president and corporate secretary
- Nancy Shannon, vice president, human Resources
- Robert Muccilo, vice president, controller and chief accounting officer
- Yukari Saegusa, vice president and treasurer
- Elizabeth D. Moore, senior vice president and general counsel
- Scott Sanders, vice president, Business Finance
Major accidents and incidentsEdit
- 1989: A steam pipe explosion in Gramercy Park killed three, injured 24, and required the evacuation of a damaged apartment building due to high levels of asbestos in the air. Workers had failed to drain water from the pipe before turning the steam on. The utility also eventually pleaded guilty to lying about the absence of asbestos contamination, and paid a $2 million fine.
- 2004: In Manhattan, stray voltage killed a woman walking her dog in the East Village when she stepped on an electrified metal plate.
- 2006: After the blackout in Queens, the company was criticized by public officials for a poor record in the restoration of service to its customers.
- 2007: On July 18, an explosion occurred in midtown Manhattan near Grand Central Terminal when an 83-year-old Con Edison steam pipe failed, resulting in one death, over 40 injuries, as well as subway and surface disruptions.
- 2007: The day before Thanksgiving, an explosion critically burned Queens resident Kunta Oza when an 80-year-old cast iron gas main ruptured. Oza died on Thanksgiving Day, and her family later settled with Con Edison for $3.75 million.
- 2009: Another gas explosion claimed a life in Queens while Con Edison personnel were on the scene. There was a leak in a manhole and a fault in an electrical feeder at the same time. The fault in the feeder caused the explosion due to the sparks being generated. When the mechanic opened the manhole more oxygen entered and the explosion took place. Due to that event, Con Edison has changed its procedure on outside gas leak calls.
- On October 29, flooding from Hurricane Sandy caused a transformer explosion at a Con-Ed plant on New York City's East Side.
- During the storm, Con Edison used social media to get outage and restoration information out to customers. The company's Twitter account gained an extra 16,000 followers during the storm.
- Con Edison's subsidiary, Orange & Rockland Utilities, was criticized for its response to Hurricane Sandy. Some customers experienced a loss of electrical power for 11 days.
- 2014: On March 12, two apartment buildings exploded in East Harlem after a reported Con Edison gas leak. Eight people were killed in the massive explosion that reduced the conjoining buildings to rubble.
- 2018: After 9 p.m. on December 27, a transformer short-circuit at a ConEd power plant in Astoria, Queens shut down La Guardia Airport for several hours – until it switched to back-up generators – caused extensive delays on the #7 subway line, and an outage on Rikers Island, until it, too, reverted to back-up equipment. The incident caused a large portion of the sky in the surrounding area to be lit up by blue light that was caused by arc flashes, in which light-emitting atoms of excited gas, called plasma, are projected into the air. The arc flashes probably lasted only a few minutes, but because of meteorological conditions which caused them to be refracted, they were seen across a large portion of the New York City metropolitan area. There was no explosion or fire connected to the electrical surge, and no reported injuries. The New York Police Department reported that 911 calls increased from 500 in the half-hour before the event to over 3,200 in the 30 minutes afterwards.ConEd is investigating the cause of the surge in equipment that was intended to monitor voltage in the electrical sub-station, but suspects that the problem was a malfunctioning of its relay system. The lights were nicknamed the "Astoria Borealis" on Twitter.
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. 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.
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.
Honors and criticismEdit
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.
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.
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. In its "Best of the Best" issue in 2015, Hispanic Network Magazine named the company a top employer among energy, gas, and oil companies. Con Edison was also selected as one of the top regional utilities by DiversityInc magazine in 2014. In 2016, the company was listed among America's best large employers by Forbes.
Adaptive re-use of former Con Ed buildingEdit
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 "The Power Station" because of its Edison history. In 1996, the studio was renamed Avatar Studios.
- "Consolidated Edison 2017 Form 10-K Annual Report". sec.gov. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. February 15, 2018.
- "Consolidated Edison". Fortune. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
- Con Edison Investor Relations.  "Con Edison" (February 19, 2015)
- 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.
- "'A Tale of Two Cities – New York' – The New York City Steam System". International District Energy Association. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
With district steam service commencing in 1882, Con Edison owns and operates the largest downtown steam system in the world, serving over 1600 buildings with steam supplied from multiple combined heat and power facilities with total capacity of 21,755 (Mlbs/hr) and 627 MW. In 1999, Con Ed completed the ten-year Steam Enhancement program investing over $200 million in system upgrades and maintenance.[permanent dead link]
- "At Indian Pt., a 30-Year History of Nuclear Power, Problems and Controversy". The New York Times. May 6, 1983. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
- Archibold, Randal C. (September 7, 2000). "Con Edison Sells Indian Point 2, Its Last Major Electricity Plant". The New York Times. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
- Newman, Andy; Wald, Matthew L. (February 16, 2000). "Leak at Indian Pt. Nuclear Plant Prompts Shutdown and an Alert". The New York Times. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
- Holson, Laura M. (May 11, 1998). "Con Ed Seen Paying $790 Million To Acquire Orange and Rockland". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
- Kovaleski, Dave (September 28, 2017). "Con Edison makes investment in clean energy". Daily Energy Insider. Archived from the original on September 28, 2017. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
- "A look at which US utility companies are running EV programs". FleetCarma. April 11, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- "Electric System". Con Edison. Archived from the original on January 25, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
Con Edison operates one of the most complex electric power systems in the world. It is also the world's most reliable.
- "Gas System". Con Edison. Archived from the original on February 22, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
Con Edison distributes natural gas to 1.1 million customers in Manhattan, the Bronx, and portions of Queens and Westchester County, making us one of the larger gas distribution companies in the United States.
- Bevelhymer, Carl. "Steam". Gotham Gazette. Archived from the original on August 13, 2007. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
When John Velez, co-owner of Sutton Cleaners, arrives at work at 7 a.m. on Manhattan's East Side, he opens a steam valve in the back of his shop. 'When I come into the shop in the morning, it's one, two, three,' he says, 'and you're up and running in less than a minute.'
- "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.
- "Home Page Categories Menu". ConEd.com. Archived from the original on December 25, 2005.
- "If You're a Senior Citizen". ConEd.com.
- SPOTLIGHT (PDF). ConEd. Winter 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
- "Corporate Leadership Team". www.conedison.com. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- "Visit REBNY". www.rebny.com. Archived from the original on August 23, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- Chan, Sewell. "Con Edison Is Ordered to Return $18 Million to Customers" Archived December 21, 2013, at Wikiwix The New York Times (November 7, 2007)
- "STEAM REPORT: BUBBLE COLLAPSE WATERHAMMER CAUSED LEXINGTON AVENUE INCIDENT". Con Edison. Archived from the original on February 22, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
The steam pipe rupture at Lexington Avenue and East 41 Street on July 18 was caused by a bubble-collapse water hammer that generated a momentary force against the pipe's wall that was more than seven times greater than the pipe's normal operating pressure, according to reports issued today by two independent experts commissioned by Con Edison. The pipe itself was found to be in good condition and did not contribute to the event.
- "Anger over gas explosion death". Daily News. New York. December 20, 2007. Archived from the original on December 23, 2007.
- Wilson, Michael (April 26, 2009). "House Exploded Just Before a Check, Con Ed Says". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
- TrillianMedia (October 29, 2012). "Sandy_ConEd Explosion - Hurricane Sandy". Archived from the original on February 20, 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2018 – via YouTube.
- "Massive Con Ed Transformer Explosion Blamed For Widespread Outage". CBS. October 30, 2012. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
- Gabbatt, Adam. "How companies used social media during Hurricane Sandy" Archived June 29, 2016, at the Wayback Machine The Guardian (February 20, 2013)
- Anderson, Jared. "How Con Edison Effectively Relied on Social Media to Reach Customers During Superstorm Sandy" Archived April 16, 2015, at Wikiwix Breaking Energy (July 30, 2014)
- Sullivan, S. P. "State hearing in Ramsey will focus on Orange & Rockland's Hurricane Sandy response" Archived January 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine NJ.com (December 7, 2012)
- Santora, Marc "At Least 3 Killed as Gas Explosion Hits East Harlem" Archived March 12, 2014, at the Wayback Machine The New York Times (March 12, 2014)
- Santora, Marc; Rashbaum, William K. "Rescue Effort in East Harlem Yields Only More Victims". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- Koren, Marina (December 28, 2018) "An Ancient Tradition Unfolds in New York" The Atlantic
- Staff (December 28, 2018) "'Electrical arc' turns night sky blue in NYC" WABC-TV Eyewitness News
- Salam, Erum; Lyons, Kate (December 28, 2018). "New York City sky lights up bright blue after Queens power plant explosion". The Guardian. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- Eustachewich, Lia (December 28, 2018). "Rare phenomenon caused the shocking blue glow over NYC's skies". nypost.com. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- "LaGuardia Temporarily Shuttered As Con Edison Transformer Explosion In Queens Lights Sky, Social Media Ablaze". WLNY. December 27, 2018.
- Gold, Michael (December 28, 2018) "How an Explosion (Not Aliens) Turned New York’s Night Sky an Electric Blue" The New York Times
- Belson, Ken (May 6, 2018). "11 Con Ed Supervisors Arrested on Kickback Charges". Archived from the original on July 25, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 8, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Con Ed to Pay $171M to Customers for Bribery and Kickbacks". nbcnewyork.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
- "Con Edison One of America's Most Admired Companies". thefreelibrary.com.
- Portero, Ashley. "30 Major U.S. Corporations Paid More to Lobby Congress Than Income Taxes, 2008–2010". International Business Times. Archived from the original on December 26, 2011. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
- "Latina Style announces the 2014 Latina Style 50 Report". Latina Style. 2014. Archived from the original on April 19, 2015.
- "Hispanic Network Magazine announces its Spring 2015 early results best of the best lists". Hispanic Network Magazine. 2015. Archived from the original on April 15, 2015.
- "The 2014 DiversityInc Top 7 Utilities". Diversity Tech. Archived from the original on October 12, 2014.