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Con Edison Media Relations
Contact: D. Joy Faber
Telephone: (212) 460-4111

For Immediate Release: May 6, 1998


Extensive customer response to the Retail Choice program offered by Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison) prompted the utility to expand the program for a second time, doubling its original size. Initially, the first phase of Retail Choice covered 500-megawatts of electric load. The latest expansion increases the program size to 1,000 megawatts.

With the most recent expansion, all residential, small commercial and religious customers who were registered by energy services companies (ESCOs) during April can be accommodated in Retail Choiceís first phase. Because of over subscription by large commercial customers, however, a lottery will be held to determine which of them participate in the first phase.

"Residential and other small customers will now have an assured position in the program without having to enter into a special lottery for final selection as we anticipated earlier," said Gary Groscup, Con Edisonís vice president of customer operations. "By increasing the program to 1,000 megawatts, weíve also doubled the likelihood that large non-residential customers will be chosen in the lottery to participate," Groscup said.

Retail Choice enables Con Edison customers to purchase electricity from one of about two dozen ESCOs registered to do business in Con Edisonís service territory of New York City and Westchester County. Con Edison began enrollment for the first phase of the program on April 1. Program enrollment concluded on April 30 with over 75,000 customers applying for participation, representing 1,555 megawatts of electric load. Of those who applied, more than 65,000 were residential, religious and other small customers and 10,000 were larger commercial and industrial customers.

Initially, the first phase of the Retail Choice program was designed to permit participation by up to 63,000 customers representing 500 megawatts of load. Due to strong customer interest and demand, the program was expanded for the first time by 150 megawatts on April 27.

Con Edison is one of the nationís largest utility companies, with more than $7 billion in annual revenues and approximately $15 billion in assets. The company, a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., provides electric, gas and steam service to more than three million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York. \n\n\n\n\n

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