Con Edison looks to customers for an extra $400M

Utility says it needs funds to insure against future disasters like Hurricane Sandy
January 25, 2013 05:30PM

Con Edison is asking for an extra $395 million from its customers next year, citing the need for insurance from disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, Crain’s reported.

975,000 of the utility company’s customers lost power in the wake of the storm, and several thousands remained in the dark for a further ten days. Con Edison announced Friday that it would invest $1 billion in storm protection work over the next four years, including burying wires to protect them from falling trees and building walls around low-lying facilities. Part of the money, the company said, was likely to come from federal funds.

In a letter to the state Public Service Commission, Con Edison’s president Craig Ivey said the improvements were intended to reduce the damage from future storms, “as well as to improve responsiveness and expedite the recovery process.”

The storm was a major financial disaster for Con Edison, costing the company up to $450 million. Company spokesman Mike Clenendin said that if the entire increase is granted, monthly electric bills would go up 3.3 percent, or $2.91 on average for customers in New York City. Gas bills would go up 1.3 percent, or $2.67. [Crain’s]Hiten Samtani