Energy Efficiency

N.Y. utility gets OK for first-of-its-kind gas demand response pilot

The New York State Public Service Commission on Aug. 9 approved a $5 million program for Consolidated Edison Company of New York to reduce residential and commercial customer demand for natural gas.

The demand reduction program will demonstrate the ability for customers to reduce their demand for natural gas over the next three years.

The PSC said its approval of investor-owned Con Edison’s program is a first-of-its-kind demand response initiative that will directly result in cutting demand for natural gas during peak periods.

Demand for natural gas in Con Edison’s service territory has grown substantially leading to significant increases in the peak day demand during the winter heating season for customers that require uninterruptable supply, the PSC noted. “By lowering demand, pilot programs such as this help negate the need for additional gas infrastructure,” it said.

The commission said that the broad-based gas demand reduction pilot will allow the marketplace and third-party demand response aggregators to work with customers to find innovative ways of reducing consumption on peak days.

The pilot consists of two components: a large commercial and industrial customer-focused pilot similar to the company’s existing electric peak-shaving program and a residential and small-commercial customer-focused pilot using customer-purchased internet-connected smart thermostats similar to the company’s existing electric program.