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Con Edison Media Relations
For Immediate Release: October 14, 2010
1:30 p.m.

CON EDISON EXPECTS LOWER GAS HEAT BILLS THIS WINTER
Energy Efficiency Rebates Also Offer Big Convert-to-Gas Incentives

NEW YORK - Lower natural gas commodity prices are projected to reduce Con Edison’s residential customer gas heating bills 5.6 percent during the November-to-March heating season. Big energy efficiency savings also are available.

“Even with lower natural gas prices this winter, it’s still important to take those extra energy-efficiency steps that will pay off quickly,” said Rebecca Craft, Con Edison’s director of energy efficiency programs. “Oil-to-gas conversions are attractive right now, and the rebates offered can be secured in conjunction with implementing other smart energy-saving measures.”

The rebates offered with energy efficiency programs provide up to $3,000 for residential customers and up to $52,500 for 5-to 75-unit apartments, co-ops, condos, and businesses making oil-to-gas conversions.

The company will offer rebates to eligible customers who replace their existing furnace, boiler, or hot water heater with high-efficiency natural gas equipment, or their existing central air conditioning, heat pump, or hot water heater with high-efficiency electric equipment.

Customers interested in learning more about Con Edison’s energy efficiency programs should visit the company’s web site at www.conEd.com/energyefficiency, or call the company’s “Green Team” at 1-877-870-6118.

Adequate Supplies/Lower Bills Projected

Con Edison has adequate natural gas supplies for the company’s 1.1 million gas customers, approximately 274,000 of whom use gas for home heating in Manhattan, the Bronx, Westchester County, and parts of Queens. Con Edison is in the process of replacing over 90 miles of gas mains in 2010 and 2011, and also is adding 10 miles of new gas mains to ensure reliable natural gas service.

The 2010-11 average gas-heating customer residential winter bill from November to March (based on monthly usage of about 236 therms) is expected to be approximately $381 per month this year, down from $403 last year. 
 
Con Edison's Level Payment Plan helps customers to even out energy bills over the entire year. In addition, HEAP (Home Energy Assistant Program) grants are available for qualified New York state residents, and EnergyShare funds are available for qualified needy families.

The company also provides consumers with the opportunity to comparison shop for an alternate energy supplier through PowerYourWay (www.poweryourway.com). Customers who choose an alternate supplier by enrolling in PowerMove will save 7 percent on their energy costs for an introductory period.

Energy Tips

Customers can check Con Edison’s Web site at www.conEd.com/thepowerofgreen for an array of energy-saving tips. Among the most notable:

  • Set thermostat at 68 degrees during the day and 60 degrees at night. Turning the thermostat back 10 to 15 percent for eight hours a day can trim seasonal heating costs up to 10 percent.
  • Before the heating season begins, have the heating system cleaned and inspected by a qualified contractor. A clean, well-maintained system will operate more efficiently and use less fuel.
  • Caulk and weather-strip the spaces around doors and windows.
  • Remove items from around radiators, baseboard heaters, and hot-air vents.
  • Be sure to properly insulate the attic. Because heat rises, adding a layer of insulation to the attic will help the house retain heat.

Safety Tips

The company also is offering advice to customers about how to keep their homes safe during the cold weather. Here are the most important tips for a safe, accident-free environment:

  • Do not heat rooms with your range or oven. These appliances aren't designed for space heating. Using a range or oven can cause a fire. Using the appliances for heating can also deplete oxygen levels and cause a buildup of lethal carbon monoxide.
  • Be sure heating and cooking appliances are properly adjusted, and are working to manufacturer’s specifications and local building codes. Never operate a portable generator indoors.
  • All heating systems, vents, and flues should be inspected and cleaned annually by a qualified technician.
  • Never extinguish a pilot light. Blowing out the pilot doesn't stop gas from escaping and can create a dangerous inlet for natural gas. Don't create a gas leak to save a few pennies.
  • If you smell a strong odor of gas, leave the premises immediately and take others with you. Do not strike a match, use telephones, switch on electrical appliances, lights, or even a flashlight in the area where you smell gas.
  • Report all indoor and outdoor gas leaks 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling toll-free 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). 

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $13 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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