Reduce your energy usage and get paid for it! Con Edison is using an innovative incentive to motivate large buildings to cut peak energy use

by Brianna Crandall — October 16, 2017 — Energy company Con Edison is looking to reduce the amount of power flowing through its wires and is willing to pay owners of large buildings for measures that cut their energy use from the grid.

The Demand Management Program has paid out about $100 million in incentives for 500 projects at large customer locations since the program began in 2014. Those projects provide about 100 megawatts (MW) of savings.

Up until this year, Con Edison used to set the incentive levels. But now the company has adopted a new, market-based approach and in the last few months successfully held two auctions for 2018.

The company plans to hold two more auctions, this time for 2019, for bidders to propose projects and specify how much money on a per-kilowatt (kW) basis they want for completion. Con Edison will review the proposals and give preference to those with the lowest requests.

Con Edison is offering this next phase of its Demand Management Program as part of its strategy to manage electrical demand in New York City and Westchester County on hot summer afternoons when the need for power is greatest. Managing that peak need for power helps Con Edison keep service reliable for its 3.4 million customers.

Large commercial customers can help by completing projects that will reduce their bills and even generate revenue by enabling these customers to participate in smart usage programs — also known as demand response — down the line. The auctions will also be open to Con Edison market partners and aggregators.

Vicki Kuo, director of Energy Efficiency and Demand Management at Con Edison, commented:

We know these customers and other industry players are tech and business savvy, so we expect to see some great projects. Projects that empower customers to manage their energy use are great investments and produce an even quicker return when Con Edison pays part of the cost.

Con Edison has allocated $32 million to the program in 2019. That is an increase from $24 million allocated in 2018.

Proposals for the first auction for projects that will receive rebates in 2019 are due November 17, 2017, with Con Edison planning to make selections by January 22, 2018. Projects that can’t make the November 17 deadline can apply for the second auction by March 1, 2018.

The deadlines for completing projects are between August 1, 2019, and October 15, 2019, depending on the type of project.

Projects can include heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems; generators and controls that enable smart usage or demand response; chillers; thermal storage; and batteries.

The 2019 program includes a new requirement that is intended to ensure projects are completed on time. Auction winners will need to post cash as collateral with Con Edison. Con Edison will return the cash once the project is completed on time.

Additional details are available on the Demand Management Incentives for Large Customers on Con Edison’s Web site or may be obtained by e-mailing

Besides looking for projects requiring the lowest incentive funding, Con Edison will prefer projects that minimize project cost per kW saved.

Con Edison is a subsidiary of energy company Consolidated Edison. The utility delivers electricity, natural gas and steam to 3.4 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, NY.