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Renewables, Energy Efficiency Gains, Core System Upgrades Highlight Con Edison 2018 Sustainability Report

Consolidated Edison, Inc.’s (Con Edison) [NYSE: ED] 2018 Sustainability Report noted that the New York-based energy company acquired solar and wind projects worth $2.1 billion through its Clean Energy Businesses subsidiary last year, making the corporation the second largest solar producer in North America.

“When it comes to a cleaner, more efficient future, Con Edison is delivering for our customers and the planet,” said John McAvoy, the corporation’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Reducing carbon emissions and expanding our renewable energy sources is vital to our long-term sustainability. That’s why we’ve positioned ourselves to give customers what they expect: clean renewable energy, while strengthening our systems to withstand the effects of severe weather.”

The report features updates on progress in three core areas, focusing on safety and the environment; the customer and the community; and operational excellence.

The solar and wind acquisitions bring Con Edison’s total renewable portfolio to 2,600 megawatts. Additionally, Con Edison’s and Orange and Rockland Utilities’ (O&R) energy efficiency programs avoided the release of nearly 300,000 tons of greenhouse gasses last year, the equivalent of taking 88,000 cars off the road. Consolidated Edison Inc. has reduced its carbon footprint (carbon dioxide, methane and sulfur hexafluoride) by 49 percent since 2005, equal to the cumulative removal of another half a million cars.

Con Edison and Orange and Rockland Utilities are on pace to install 5.3 million smart meters across their respective service areas by 2022. The meters will help reduce energy consumption by giving customers unprecedented opportunities to better evaluate, manage, and control their energy costs. The meters also will reduce power-generation emissions through more effective voltage regulation, diminishing customer costs by lessening the energy needed during its delivery.

Con Edison has committed to spending some $100 million on efforts to strengthen the company’s overhead system in Westchester County, and has developed programs to remove and cut back trees that would otherwise pose a risk during storms.

The company also has developed and started installing a first-of-its-kind, battery-powered natural gas detector that is integrated with the smart meter communications network. This is a significant safety advance that will alert the company about potentially dangerous situations immediately, generating quicker emergency response.

Demonstrating the seriousness with which it views environmental and social responsibility disclosure, Con Edison has adopted the American Gas Association’s (AGA) Environmental Social & Governance (ESG) Reporting Template for gas operations beginning with this report. The AGA adopted these standards in November, 2018. The corporation had previously adopted the Edison Electric Institute’s ESG Reporting Template for electric operations.

The company’s quest for operational excellence and system reliability was recognized with the 2018 ReliabilityOne™ Award from PA Consulting Group for Outstanding Reliability Performance in the Northeast Region.

Con Edison also has been active in promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs; the company is exposing college students to the possibility of a future environment and energy career through the Con Edison Scholars Network, a community of Con Edison STEM Scholarship recipients from colleges and universities in the company’s service area.

Consolidated Edison, Inc. is one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy-delivery companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $55 billion in assets. The company provides a wide range of energy-related products and services to its customers through the following subsidiaries: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., a regulated utility providing electric, gas and steam service in New York City and Westchester County, New York; Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., a regulated utility serving customers in a 1,300-square-mile-area in southeastern New York State and northern New Jersey; Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, Inc., which through its subsidiaries develops, owns and operates renewable and energy infrastructure projects and provides energy-related products and services to wholesale and retail customers; and Con Edison Transmission, Inc., which through its subsidiaries invests in electric and natural gas transmission projects.