October 21, 2008
Stay Warm and Save Money
With the autumn season upon us and winter quickly approaching, colder days and higher heating costs are on the horizon. Con Edison (NYSE: ED) today urged customers to take several steps to insulate their homes and conserve energy so they can stay warm and help lower heating bills.
Con Edison works diligently to provide safe, reliable service for its 1.1 million natural gas customers. In preparation for the winter, the company has invested $300 million this year in its gas delivery system. The investments include the replacement of 260,000 feet of gas mains and the installation of more than 24,000 feet of new mains.
Although natural gas prices overall have been declining in recent months, they are expected to remain higher than last year and the company projected that gas heating bills this winter could be 15 percent higher than one year ago. A customer who paid an average $420 per month last winter can expect to pay about $483 per month during the upcoming winter heating months of November through March.
Of the overall gas bill, 67 percent goes to the companies from which Con Edison purchases natural gas, 13 percent pays for city, state and federal taxes and the remaining 20 percent goes to Con Edison for delivering the gas. The company does not mark up the price of the natural gas that is purchased.
Con Edison's long-term natural gas purchasing strategy has helped to moderate the rising cost of energy and reduce price volatility. The company spreads its natural gas purchases and hedging over time and has avoided significant purchases during high priced periods this year.
Homeowners can save on heating costs by following these simple tips to save energy and money without sacrificing comfort:
-- Replace your furnace's air filter before the heating season begins. A dirty filter will reduce air flow, which makes the system work harder to deliver air to the registers. -- Make sure furniture or drapes are not blocking the hot air flow from registers or the heat from radiators. -- If your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with new, energy efficient equipment to help save energy. -- Turn down your thermostat when you're asleep or away. A programmable thermostat with temperature and time settings can save on energy costs. -- To save on hot water, set the hot water temperature at the "normal" setting -- no higher than 120 degrees F. This can cut water heating costs by 10 percent. Wrapping your water heater with insulation can save even more on water heating costs. -- Place insulation on the hot water pipe that carries the heated water from the water heater -- especially in cold basements or closet. -- Close doors and isolate unused rooms in your home to reduce the overall space heated. -- Use caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows to prevent heat from escaping and cold air from entering.
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 $30 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.
Contact: Media Relations 212-460-4111 Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. 4 Irving Place New York NY 10003 www.conEd.com
SOURCE: Con Edison Co. of NY, Inc.