In celebration of Earth Week, Con Edison has published its annual Sustainability Report, detailing the company’s progress in helping New York meet its climate and clean energy goals, while strengthening its diverse workforce and supporting the communities it serves.
A Con Edison employee is standing on a building’s roof that has solar panels installed on it.
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Con Edison is investing in a range of clean energy technologies and projects to support New York’s goal of a net-zero statewide economy by 2050, including transmission lines, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, heat pumps, energy efficiency and battery storage.
“As New York’s largest energy-delivery company, we’re investing in clean energy infrastructure that will help the state meet its ambitious climate goals,” said Tim Cawley, Con Edison’s chairman and chief executive. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made building a workforce that’s reflective of the communities we serve, passionate about our role in the clean energy transition, and equipped to meet the big challenges ahead.”
Delivering Renewable Power in New York
New York’s target of 70 percent renewable power by 2030 requires new transmission lines that will carry energy generated by offshore wind turbines, solar panels and other clean sources to the customers who need it.
In 2022, Con Edison began building the Reliable Clean City project, a major transmission upgrade that will deliver large amounts of power to New York City’s outer boroughs while helping enable the retirement of local fossil fuel plants in environmental justice communities. The first portion of the project, in Queens, is due for completion this year, with two additional sections in Brooklyn and Staten Island due for completion in 2025.
In early 2023, Con Edison finalized the sale of its renewable energy development subsidiary, known as the Clean Energy Businesses, to RWE Renewables America. The sale allows Con Edison to intensify its focus on its home state of New York, where its investments and expertise have the biggest impact.
Replacing Fossil Fuel Heaters with Electric Heat Pumps
The gas distribution system plays a key role in New York’s energy system today, keeping homes and businesses warm and providing fuel for cooking in many buildings. However, Con Edison expects its deliveries of fossil natural gas will decline significantly in the years ahead, even as demand for electricity rises with the adoption of electric vehicles and heat pumps.
Con Edison is supporting New York’s transition away from fossil heating systems. The company has incentivized the installation of heat pumps and other clean heat technologies in more than 24,000 buildings to date, with a goal of helping to electrify 150,000 buildings by 2030.
Solar on Rooftops, Electric Vehicles on Roads
The shift to electric vehicles is accelerating in New York and will play a critical role in the state’s plan to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Con Edison’s PowerReady incentive program is among the largest of its kind in the nation, offering utility support for EV charging infrastructure. Just two years after its establishment, PowerReady has already supported more than 2,600 charge points, with a goal of 19,000 by 2025 – and 400,000 by 2035.
Solar energy is another market that is growing rapidly in the New York City region. Con Edison’s customers in New York City, Westchester, Orange and Rockland counties have installed more than 60,000 solar systems to date totaling 700 megawatts of capacity, adding significant clean generation capacity.
To complement New York’s growing base of distributed energy resources, Con Edison has installed smart meters across nearly its entire customer base. Smart meters allow customers to track their energy usage in near-real time while giving Con Edison deeper insight into its electric network, improving system efficiency and reducing the impact of service outages.
Nurturing a Diverse Workforce
Con Edison provided financial support to more than 600 nonprofit organizations in 2022, with a focus on groups supporting environmental stewardship and STEM education. The company has begun taking a more systematic approach to protecting and restoring biodiversity in the ecosystems in which it works and operates infrastructure, and recently issued a Biodiver-
sity Action Plan.
In addition to highlighting Con Edison’s clean energy and climate efforts, this year’s report includes new sections on topics such as environmental justice, biodiversity protection, human rights, and a deeper focus on community and stakeholder engagement.
Con Edison remains steadfast in its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and the company’s teams are becoming more diverse – including the executive team. Employee Resource groups and local DEI Councils are advancing awareness of cultural differences within the company, while helping to recruit and develop the careers of a diverse group of employees.