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Con Edison Media Relations
For Immediate Release: October 12, 2006
2:30 p.m.

CON EDISON RELEASES 600-PAGE REPORT ON NORTHWEST QUEENS OUTAGE

Report Analyzes Causes & Presents Plan for Improvements

NEW YORK – Con Edison today released a comprehensive report on the causes of the July outage that affected 25,000 customers in northwest Queens and the actions the company will take to improve service, reliability and communication. 

The report is intended to be a blueprint for strengthening reliability. It explains the events that led to the failure of 10 of the Long Island City network’s 22 feeder cables starting July 17. It also identifies areas for improvement in the company’s method for estimating the number of customers without electrical service. 

“The detailed, in-depth analysis Con Edison has conducted over the past several months resulted in the identification of specific steps the company plans to take to strengthen the reliability of the LIC network and all other networks,” the company states in the report’s executive summary.

Since July, Con Edison engineers and other company experts have reviewed the northwest Queens outage to learn from the event. Using an exhaustive, scientific approach, they analyzed hundreds of components to find why they failed, resulting in recommendations to improve the company’s already reliable delivery of electricity.

Since July, Con Edison engineers and other company experts have reviewed the northwest Queens’ outage to learn from the event. Using an exhaustive, scientific approach, they analyzed hundreds of components to find why they failed, resulting in recommendations to improve the company’s already reliable delivery of electricity.

The 600-page report finds:

  • An unprecedented series of events occurring in northwest Queens during a period of record electrical use, causing the outage.
  • The decision to maintain the network prevented the outage from spreading to 90,000 additional customers in northwest Queens, and to hundreds of thousands who would have been affected by transportation shutdowns.
  • Attempting to save components of the system resulted in delays to restoring electricity to some customers.

The report also outlines plans for reducing the potential for a similar outage, including:

  • Upgrading equipment within the northern Queens substation, and at others around the system;
  • Investing $58 million in the Long Island City network;
  • Studying advancing the construction of a new substation in northwest Queens, based on enhanced reliability to customers by the summer of 2007.

To assist customers during outages, Con Edison is:

  • Adding 250 telephone lines to our call centers, increasing them to 650 phone lines;
  • Installing a better system to track outages;
  • Improve the interactive automated system for customers to report electrical outages;
  • By next summer, reviewing the feasibility of installing electric meters that could alert the company when a customer is out of service.

To view the entire report, click here.

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $25 billion in assets.  The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York.  For additional financial, operations and customer service information, visit Con Edison’s Web site at www.conEd.com.

 

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