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

For Immediate Release: May 19, 1998


Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., (Con Edison) projects that electricity demand from its three million customers in New York City and Westchester County will set a new record for peak electrical load this summer.

The anticipated peak of 11,375 megawatts, dependent on heat and humidity, would exceed by 362 megawatts, the previous record peak load of 11,013 megawatts set on July 15, 1997. A megawatt is a million watts or enough power to light 10,000 100-watt light bulbs. The entire Borough of Staten Island, for example, will use 500 megawatts during a period of high demand.

The projected increase of 362 megawatts in the peak load would result mainly from an upturn in the areaís economy that has led to new business growth, along with an increased use of air conditioning in the companyís service territory. The peak load projection is important because the Con Edison system must have enough power available to meet its customersí requirements, plus an 18 percent reserve.

"Each spring Con Edison employees prepare power plants, transmission and distribution lines and substations to meet the demands placed on them by hot and humid weather. Our electric system must be in top condition to deliver the power needed to meet the needs of our customers during heat waves," said Lou Rana, Con Edisonís vice president of system and transmission operations.

In order to ensure a reliable supply of electricity for its customers this summer, Con Edison has an extensive program to inspect, test, upgrade, and repair high-voltage cables, transformers and substation equipment. By June 15, the company will have tested 286 distribution cables, and upgraded the electrical capability of 132 high-voltage cables, 174 network transformers and 16 substations. Con Edison expects to invest $468 million in its electric transmission and distribution infrastructure in 1998.

The transmission lines that feed power at up to 345,000 volts into and within New York City and Westchester are undergoing a vigorous inspection and maintenance program as well. The program also calls for the inspection and maintenance of 55 high-voltage outdoor substations.

The companyís control center operators maintain an around-the-clock vigil on the electrical system throughout the year using state-of-the-art computerized monitoring tools. Their actions enable field crews to respond quickly to potential problems before outages can occur. If power outages do occur, the companyís quick response capability is designed to minimize the duration of service interruptions.

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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