Con Edison Media Relations
Solar Applications Rising
CON EDISON CUSTOMERS SEE POWER IN THE SUN
NEW YORK – Attractive government incentives and changes to the state’s net metering law are encouraging more Con Edison customers to go green with alternative energy. And the sun is the most popular source of energy among those looking to use distributed generation, or electricity generated onsite by customers’ equipment.
The company received 111 applications for distributed generation (www.coned.com/dg) in all of 2008. This year, the company has already received more than 120 applications, the vast majority for solar projects.
“Customers are not only submitting more applications; they’re also submitting applications for larger projects,” said John J. Mucci, Con Edison’s vice president for engineering and planning. “We encourage our customers to find ways to reduce their energy consumption and make use of clean, renewable energy sources.”
The company has been working closely with customers and solar panel contractors to ease converting to photovoltaics (PVs), and government has supported the effort. The state expanded its net metering program, allowing larger residential solar projects to net meter and making businesses eligible.
Net metering allows customers to reduce their bills and even sell excess power they generate from alternative sources to the company through a rolling credit on their bills. Residential customers are reimbursed for excess solar generation at the end of the year.
The new law increased the size of eligible solar PV systems to 25 kilowatts (kW) for residential customers and up to 2 megawatts or the customer’s peak load (the lower of the two) for commercial customers. The typical residential customer has a 6-kW solar installation and can save about $1,400 per year.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers those who have commercial PV systems installed $3 a watt for the first 40 kilowatts and $2 a watt for each kilowatt after 40 kilowatts up to 80 kilowatts. For residential systems, NYSERDA offers $3 a watt for the first four kilowatts and $2 a watt for each kilowatt after four kilowatts up to eight kilowatts.
Another new state law allows a property tax break for PV systems in New York City. Building owners in the city can save 8.75 percent a year for four years of the eligible amount they spend on a PV system. The program carries a maximum abatement of $62,500 a year.
Of 90 applications received by the company as of June 30th this year, 49 were from Westchester, the vast majority of which were for solar projects.
Among New York City’s five boroughs, the Bronx is No. 1 with 14 applications. All are for solar, five are for installations of more than 40 kilowatts and 10 are non-residential. The company has received eight applications each from Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, and three from Staten Island.
Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $14 billion in annual revenues and $34 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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