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Con Ed May Require New Yorkers to Pay More for Gas When They Need It

natural gas now - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Con Ed, the electric utility behometh for the Big Apple and environs is gearing up to ration natural gas by price during periods of peak use. Thank Cuomo.

As a totally corrupt Governor Andrew Cuomo battles against a flaky actress for the Democrat nomination to be the next governor of a dying Empire State, Con Ed is laying the groundwork to address what Cuomo has wrought.

Cuomo imagines the way to reach New Yorkers’ inflated egos and hearts and maybe secure the Presidency is to move ever leftward toward the lunatic fringe cliff. He has no equal among the masters of demagoguery and has cut off one source of natural gas after another by assuming dictatorial powers over fracking and pipelines for the sake of environmental extremist bragging rights. It’s likely he’ll be re-elected despite everything, so Con Ed is moving to do exhaust it must do to address thge coming natural gas shortage in New York City.

Con Ed

This story has gotten zero attention but it tells exactly where Andrew Cuomo’s policies are taking New Yorkers. It comes from the Energy Information Administration’s Natural Gas Weekly of August 23 and here are the basics (forwarded to me by a good friend and industry observer):

On August 9, 2018, the New York Public Service Commission approved a petition by Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison) for a $5 million, three-year natural gas demand response (DR) pilot program, among the first uses of DR for natural gas. Demand response programs help manage utility usage during periods of peak demand.

According to Con Edison, firm natural gas demand on its peak-day has increased by more than 30% between 2011 and 2017 and is expected to grow by an additional 23% over the next 20 years. This increase is driven by a preference for natural gas in new construction and switching from heating oil to natural gas in existing facilities. The transition resulted from a 2011 mandate to reduce use of heavy heating oil in New York City and the decline in natural gas prices since 2011.

In its pilot program, Con Edison proposed two methods of natural gas DR that closely match its existing electric DR programs. For residential and small commercial customers, it proposed using direct load control to adjust customers’ thermostats during peak natural gas demand days, with financial incentives for participation offered for up to 1,000 customers through 2021. For industrial, large commercial, and multi-family residential customers with centralized boilers, Con Edison proposed to achieve demand reductions via financial incentives alone when peak demand days are forecast. The company aims to enroll 500 new customers each year of this portion of the pilot program. Overall, Con Edison anticipates that it can meet approximately 1% of its anticipated shortfall in firm pipeline capacity with this pilot program.

Con Edison has firm pipeline transport contracts that enabled the company to meet 83% of its peak-day demand in winter 2017-18. To meet the rest of its peak-day natural gas demand, Con Edison purchases delivered services (also known as peaking contracts) from other companies. Unlike firm transport contracts, which generally have renewal rights, delivered services are not guaranteed to be available in any given year, especially if competing natural gas use elsewhere continues to increase.

Con Edison estimates that by the winter of 2023-24, its firm pipeline contracts will meet only 78% of its peak-day demand absent any new pipeline capacity. However, no remaining firm pipeline capacity is currently available into New York City or Westchester County, and recent attempts to add pipeline capacity have stalled as a result of regulatory challenges. Con Edison is now planning alternative measures, including DR, to help ensure all its customers are served on the coldest days of the year.

Although DR has become fairly common in the electricity sectorover the past 10 to 15 years, programs to reduce natural gas demand have only recently been adopted. In early 2017, SoCalGas pilotedthe Seasonal Savings program, which used direct load control to adjust about 50,000 residential thermostats according to a household’s schedule and preferences to reduce short-term peak demand. In the winter of 2017-18, 16 National Grid customers in New York City and Long Island participated in a DR program aimed at commercial and industrial customers, where large heaters or machinery run on natural gas were turned on and off to manage peak demand days.

Curious what “direct load control” means? Well, it’s exactly what you suspected in your worst dreams:

A remotely controllable switch that can turn power to a load or appliance on or off. Such a device could also be used to regulate the amount of power that a load can consume. Direct load control devices can be operated by a utility or third party energy provider to reduce a customer’s energy demand at certain times.

Yes, Con Ed proposes not only raises to discourage—by raising the price—your use of gas in that Manhattan apartment when you really want the heat; it also plans to remotely shut-off the appliances in your home. So, if you’re using the gas range to cook up that latest epicurean delight fit for the likes of a Soho resident able to afford to live there, you may have to serve it cold like the soup wealthy folks pretend to like.

Now, let me be clear. I’m not opposed to pricing things according to demand because that’s just economic common sense. Moreover, far be it from me to criticize Con Ed for sticking it to the Soho man. But, let’s be honest, too. There’s absolutely no reason for the pipeline opposition and fracking delay that Cynthia Nixon has promised and Andrew Cuomo has already delivered. There are no facts involved in the position of either; just unadulterated virtue signaling to the ignorant but rich among those of the fatal conceit.

This opposition to reality, when it’s reflected in the demagoguery of pols, is also never enough for these folks. Here, in fact, is what David Siroto, a trendy rich kid who now hails from Denver but apparently thinks of himself as a New Yorker, had to say in a recent Tweet. The blip to which he refers in the first item immediately follows:

Con Ed Con Ed

You see, to guys like Siroto, who went to an expensive private school and knows little of the real world, it is isn’t enough for Cuomo to allow his career public servants to evaluate pipeline projects based on “rigorous review of the facts and science.” No, they must be deniers of fact and science, exactly that which Siroto accuses everyone who opposes his ideology of being.

Siroto, whose wife is a “boldly progressive” wannabe pol, and who has made a career of attaching himself to causes politically correct with his peers, says Andrew Cuomo is not doing enough unless he jumps headlong into the swamp, wrestles decision-making away from those wisely staying in the boat and plunges everyone into the depths where the alligators lie submerged.

Siroto is mad, and by that I don’t mean angry, although these folks are always angry about something. It is Andrew Cuomo who is trying to appease the likes of this spoiled kid, though and he can never do enough to please him. The alligator always wants another bite. And, so New York slowly sinks into an abyss of quicksand as the gators grab its parts (and take its appliances).

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4 thoughts on “Con Ed May Require New Yorkers to Pay More for Gas When They Need It

  1. “A remotely controllable switch that can turn power to a load or appliance on or off. Such a device could also be used to regulate the amount of power that a load can consume. Direct load control devices can be operated by a utility or third party energy provider to reduce a customer’s energy demand at certain times.” …

    … Like when they need it the most!

  2. Over the several years of my cyber-interacting with foes of fossil fuels, one major reality has become clear .. i.e., these individuals are only susceptible to learning by experience, aka ‘the hard way’.

    The coming winters in your area, especially in the very precarious New England, may arouse enough ire in large enough numbers of your fellow citizens to prompt major changes.
    This is already happening in South Australia, the federal level government of Australia, Ontario, Germany to mention just a few regions.

    California is actually already hemorrhaging massive numbers of companies to outlying states despite rosy MSM platitudes.

    Your efforts, Mr. Shepstone, and the inormation from other contributors, are not falling upon deaf ears.

    There is a palpable fear growing amongst the more knowledgeable renewable advocates that they my have gone too far and are setting themselves up for a vicious backlash.

    Please keep up your efforts at informing the public on these vital matters.

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