Con Edison Offering ‘Smart’ Incentives for Gas Efficiency, Heat Pumps in Westchester County

Con Edison and its clean-energy partners are seeking natural gas customers and fuel oil users in Westchester County who are interested in getting paid to electrify their heating, upgrade HVAC controls or weatherize their homes.

The payments are available under Con Edison’s Smart Solutions for Gas program to customers in Westchester, including the area covered by the moratorium on applications for new gas service.

“Our Smart Solutions program is all about taking advantage of technology and innovation to provide our customers with clean energy choices and meet their heating needs,” said Vicki Kuo, director of Energy Efficiency programs for Con Edison. “Our incentives lower the upfront costs of upgrades and will help the state meet its environmental goals.”

The company is investing $223 million in the Smart Solutions program to help customers throughout the service area choose high-efficiency heating technology and reduce their need for natural gas from interstate pipelines that bring fuel into the region. (For a full list of eligible projects and details on the incentives, go here.)

While offering the incentives, the company continues to pursue natural gas infrastructure projects that can meet state, federal and local requirements.

The Yonkers Housing Authority plans on taking advantage of the Smart Solutions program for energy-saving work at its William A. Schlobohm Houses, which has eight buildings and 411 apartments.

“We see the Con Edison incentives as a great environmental and economic opportunity,” said Joseph Shuldiner, executive director of the Housing Authority. “Our investment will lower our energy usage and costs, reduce emissions and enhance the comfort of our residents for decades to come.”

The work will include cleaning gas boilers and repairing steam distribution equipment. The improvements will eliminate steam losses and ensure that heat is distributed evenly to all apartments.

The Authority made energy efficiency upgrades in eight developments last year with the help of $358,000 in Con Edison incentives. The upgrades save 80,000 therms a year.

During the winter, an air-source heat pump, which runs on electricity, extracts heat from outdoors and relies on a heat exchanger, compressor and refrigerant to move that heat indoors. To cool a building, the system moves heat from inside to the outside air.

Con Edison has a contract with Dandelion Energy, which installs geothermal heat pumps for residential customers to provide them with electric heating and cooling.

A geothermal heat pump – also called a ground-source heat pump - transfers heat from under the ground into a building during the winter. During the summer, the opposite takes place; the system takes heat from inside the building and sends it into the earth.

The technology works because the temperatures in the earth remain constant through all kinds of weather.

The incentives from Con Edison and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority offset about 30 percent of a geothermal system for a Westchester customer. After incentives and the tax credit, customers can earn a return on their investment in about five to seven years, compared to a fuel oil heating system.

Con Edison also has a contract with Sealed, a company that installs insulation and smart technology that saves energy. Participating Westchester residential customers receive a free assessment of improvements such as insulation, air sealing, and LEDs.

The customer pays for the improvements with the money saved on energy bills, meaning there is little upfront cost.

Con Edison will increase incentives for its multi-family and commercial and industrial gas energy efficiency programs in Westchester by as much as 100 percent. Con Edison will also work with developers of new buildings who choose clean alternatives.

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 $54 billion in assets. The utility delivers electricity, natural gas and steam to 3.5 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y. For financial, operations and customer service information, visit conEd.com.

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