Building on its longstanding commitment to protecting the environment, Con Edison of New York, which provides electric, gas, and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, is helping customers use energy more efficiently and “greening” its own operations.
Con Edison and its affiliate, Orange and Rockland Utilities, recently launched the Power of Green campaign which educates customers to help them make smarter energy choices. The campaign promotes practical energy-saving tips through their Web sites, brochures, newsletters, newspapers, radio spots, subway posters and events. Customers can see how green they are at home by playing The Power of Green game on the Web. Con Edison also engages customers on Facebook at its “Power of Green” page.
Working with Columbia University’s Center for Climate Systems Research, Con Edison designed and constructed its first green roof in 2008 on the company’s training facility in Queens. Thousands of small plants are growing on a quarter of an acre of the roof, keeping the building cooler, reducing the need for air-conditioning, and cutting energy costs by 30 percent. The green roof’s monitoring system will measure soil moisture and retained water to determine how much the project helps reduce urban runoff.
New York City’s skyline grew greener in 2008 when Con Edison installed energy-efficient lighting in the tower of its corporate headquarters. At night, the tower uses 63 percent less energy than conventional lighting. The new light emitting diode (LED) lights also last up to 15 years, reducing maintenance costs. Con Edison also helped the National Museum of the American Indian install LEDs in the facade lighting of its national landmark building in Manhattan. In addition, Orange and Rockland Utilities installed LED streetlights in Clarkstown, NY as part of pilot program to answer questions about the lights’ performance, applicability and acceptance in the community.
Con Edison is also greening its vehicle fleet. Forty percent of its entire fleet uses alternative-fuel technology. All of the company’s 1,800 diesel trucks use cleaner-burning B-20 biodiesel fuel, 20 percent of which is derived from soybeans. The soy-based portion of the fuel is a renewable resource that will help the company offset almost 400,000 gallons of petroleum each year. The company uses 25 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and plans to buy more in 2010. Con Edison has 97 hybrid vehicles in service and Orange and Rockland Utilities has five. The company is also testing plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles.
Con Edison Solutions is greening three of New York’s largest attractions. Wind power from the Con Edison affiliate energizes 30 Times Square billboards, including the landmark Coca-Cola sign, and the Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex, which is now New York City’s largest commercial customer using 100 percent wind power. The company also helped the Intrepid Air and Space Museum upgrade its lighting to cut energy use by more than 650,000 kilowatt-hours a year.
Con Edison Solutions increased its green-customer portfolio by more than 45 percent in 2008. It acquired Custom Energy Services in Kansas, and won approval from the U.S. departments of Energy and Defense to provide energy-efficiency services at federally owned facilities across the nation.
For more information, visit www.conEd.com.